Michael Stanley, a Turner Prize judge and the Director of Modern Art Oxford, has died aged 37.
Stanley, who was found dead in a garden on Friday, leaves behind his wife and three children. Police are not treating his death as suspicious.
A statement on the Modern Art Oxford website read, “We are deeply saddened to report the death of Modern Art Oxford’s Director, Michael Stanley. Michael joined the gallery in January 2009 and during this time he delivered a vibrant and critically acclaimed artistic programme. He spearheaded an approach that showcased both neglected and established artists, as well as introducing cutting-edge contemporary artists. His approach was sometimes radical, often revelatory and always thought-provoking.”
Tributes have poured in for the late director. David Isaac, Chair of Modern Art Oxford, extended his condolences, commenting, “He will be hugely missed by everyone in the artistic community both nationally and internationally. We have lost a great talent; our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.”
Dr Christopher Brown, Director of the Ashmolean Museum, said, “Michael Stanley was a terrific young museum director and an enormous talent who was, I thought, destined for great things. He had already made an impact in Oxford with a series of great exhibitions and the Ashmolean was recently very pleased to collaborate with Modern Art Oxford on recent exhibitions. Michael’s death is an enormous personal sadness to me. My thoughts are with his young family, his friends and his colleagues.’
Sir Nicholas Serota, Director of Tate, shared similar sentiments, commenting, ‘Michael Stanley was a curator and director with enormous talent, imagination and dedication to art and artists. His exhibitions at Milton Keynes and Oxford were original, brave and beautifully presented. He was much admired and loved by artists who responded to his warmth and conviction. His early death is a great loss to Oxford, to the audiences he served and to the whole art world.’
The gallery has set up an online book of condolence