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Advisory Council

The Advisory Council of Arte Laguna Prize is composed of high-profile personalities with a deep expertise in the art world globally.

Igor Zanti
Curator and Art Critic and Director of IED Florence

Igor Zanti was born in 1973 in Milan. He graduated in modern literature at the University of Milan with a thesis on the Medieval and Modern Art History about painting in fifteenth century in Lombardia.
For several years he carries out different activities as a critic and curator of contemporary art and applied arts exhibitions, in collaboration with private galleries, institutional spaces in Italy and abroad. From 2006 to 2019 he was curator and head of the jury of Arte Laguna Prize.
Artist consultant for Undergallery cultural association in Daverio (Varese) and for the International Art Club in Lugano. In 2008 he was the artistic director of the Brolo Museum - Art and Culture Centre in Mogliano Veneto (Treviso). In early 2008, he conceived the project New Art for defining and promoting the New Pop movement in Italy. He was the curator of 2009 and 2010 editions of Ceres for Art prize. In 2010 he was the co-curator of the international fair AAM supported by Arte Ispe Dixit of Como and Geneva. At the beginning of 2011, on behalf of MAE, of the Italian Embassy in India and the Italian Cultural Institute in New Delhi he was the curator of the Dadaumpop, a retrospective of italian neo pop, exhibited in Mumbai, Kolkata and New Delhi. He works on promotional project of Indian art and Italian art in collaboration with Kanchi Metha, curator of the Indian Pavillion at th Prague Biennale.He teaches Visual Communication and Contemporary Art Phenomenology at the IED College of Milan. He writes on Espoarte magazine, on Lobodilattice webzine and collaborates with InsideArt Magazine. Since 2013 he is the IED Florence director.

Abhishek Basu
Abhishek Basu
Executive Trustee of Basu Foundation in Kolkata

Advisor to Family Offices in Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa & Europe on Philanthropy & Art Collecting.
Advisor to Museums, Foundations & Cultural Institutions across Europe, North & South America, Africa, MiddleEast & Asia Pacific on Fundraising & International Partnership.
Advisory Board Member of Arte Laguna Prize Venice, Berlin Art Prize, ArtCare Prize Vienna, Residency Unlimited New York, Fondazione Pastificio Cerere Roma, Fondazione Berengo Venezia, Fondation Fiminco Romainville, Instituto Inclusartiz Rio de Janeiro, Vision Arts Festival Switzerland, Nou Le Morne Mauritius.
Patron of The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, State Hermitage Museum Saint Petersburg, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, The Indian Museum Kolkata, Ludwig Museum Koblenz, KW Institute of Contemporary Art Berlin, Cité Internationale des Arts Paris.
Honorary Member of VIP Collector’s Group for Art Basel, ARCO Madrid , FIAC Paris, Contemporary Istanbul, Vienna Contemporary, Artissima Turin, Frieze Art Fair London & New York.
Graduated in Law from Symbiosis Law College Pune in 2009.
Diploma in International Strategy & Diplomacy from London School of Economics 2011.
Diploma from Sotheby’s Institute of Art on Art as a Global business 2016.

Alia Al-Senussi
Alia Al-Senussi
Cultural Strategist, Patron and Academic

Princess Alia Al-Senussi, PhD, is an active member of the contemporary art world and currently serves as Art Basel's UK and MENA Representative amongst other roles. In 2019 she was appointed Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Culture, Saudi Arabia, where she focuses on developing international partnerships whilst working on a variety of projects across the Ministry’s commissions. Dr Alia is closely collaborating with the new Thunaiyat Ad-Diriyah Foundation, which is currently developing two major international biennales as well as strategy for the Visual Arts Commission. She is also Senior Arts and Culture Advisor to the Milken Institute and an affiliated scholar and guest lecturer at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs and its Center for Middle East Studies.
In her professional and philanthropic roles, Dr Alia brings breadth of experience from previous affiliations including chair of the Tate Young Patrons (and representative to the Tate Patrons board), the Board of Patrons of Art Dubai (serving an integral role in the founding of the fair) and currently continuing to serve as a founding member of the Tate's Acquisitions Committee for the Middle East and North Africa, the Board of 1:54 The African Art Fair, and the Middle East Circle of the Guggenheim. Recently, she served on the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. Dr Alia is currently a member of the Tate Modern Advisory Council, the Strategic Advisory Panel of the Delfina Foundation, the Board of Trustees of The Showroom (London), the Board of Trustees of Global Heritage Fund UK, the Board of Trustees of Elisa Sednaoui Foundation (UK / Egypt / Italy), the Board of Governors of Aiglon College (Switzerland) as well as a member of Therme Advisory Board (Germany) and the UCCA Contemporary Circle (China).
Alia has a PhD in Politics from SOAS (London), examining the nexus of power and cultural patronage, featuring Saudi Arabia as a case study. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in International Relations (honors) and Middle East Studies from Brown University and holds an MA in Political Science from Brown and an MSc in Law, Anthropology and Society from LSE.

Krist Gruijthuijsen
Krist Gruijthuijsen
Curator and director at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin

Krist Gruijthuijsen (born in 1980, NL) has been curator and director of KW Institute for Contemporary Art since July 2016. At KW he has curated exhibitions with, among others, Hanne Lippard, Ian Wilson, Adam Pendleton, Ronald Jones, Hiwa K, Willem de Rooij, Beatriz González, David Wojnarowicz and Hreinn Friðfinnsson.
Gruijthuijsen has been artistic director of the Grazer Kunstverein in Graz from 2012 until 2016 and has been course director of the MA fine arts department at the Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam from 2011 until 2016. He is one of the co-founding directors of Kunstverein in Amsterdam and has organized numerous exhibitions and projects over the past decade, including Manifesta 7 (Trentino-South Tyrol, IT), Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center (Istanbul), Artists Space (New York), Museum of Contemporary Art (Belgrade, RS), Swiss Institute (New York), Galeria Vermelho (São Paulo, BR), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven, NL), Arnolfini (Bristol, GB), Project Arts Centre (Dublin), Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (Salt Lake City, US), and Institute of Modern Art (Brisbane, AU).
Gruijthuijsen has produced, edited and published extensively in numerous collaborations with JRP|Ringier Kunstverlag, Sternberg Press, Mousse Publishing Printed Matter, Inc., Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König and Kunstverein Publishing. Recent publications are amongst others Mierle Laderman Ukeles – Seven Work Ballets (Sternberg Press, 2015), Vincent Fecteau (Sternberg Press, 2015), Writings and Conversations by Doug Ashford (Mousse Publishing, 2014), Lisa Oppenheim: Works 2003–2013 (Sternberg Press, 2014), The Encyclopedia of Fictional Artists and The Addition (JRP|Ringier, 2010), and several others under the umbrella of Kunstverein Publishing.

Mary Elizabeth Klein
Mary Elizabeth Klein
Family Office Chief Financial/Operations Officer in New York

Mary Klein is a Family Office Chief Financial/Operations Officer experienced in advising clients and directing the execution of services and operations. Her background includes diverse roles as a Big 4 Senior Partner and Chief Financial Officer for an ultra-high net worth Family Office. She currently functions as the Chief Operations/Financial /Administrative Officer for a privately-held, multi-stakeholder global law firm serving Fortune 500 clients. Her background includes planning for next generation wealth transfer and enhancing organizational processes and systems. This was accomplished by reviewing investment portfolios from both an asset and liability; leveraging skill sets in international finance; restructuring and recapitalizing businesses to grow internally or through acquisition; and effectively communicating and executing on shareholder/family priorities.
Mary's philanthropic experience includes: overseeing the real estate development of an education campus; managing a $250 million+ art collection; writing and speaking about art as an asset class for family offices; developing compliance and best practice programs for non-profit structures.
She serves as a member of the Investment Advisory Committee of the Art Students League of New York and has been representing Carnegie Hall as an Advisory Director for over nine years. In addition, she has been performing in Vienna at the European Music Institute and Golden Key Music Festival since 2015.

Shaan Kundomal
Shaan Kundomal
CEO of Capital Horizons in Mauritius

Mr. Shaan Kundomal is an experienced executive who has since 2010 setup and invested in the following sectors: Renewable Energy, Real Estate, Financial Services, Technology and Agriculture. He is a shareholder and holds executive positions in a number of successful ventures including Capital Horizons Group (a financial conglomerate present in Mauritius, South Africa and the UAE) and Igknight (a technology company involved in cyber security and public safety) representing NEC in Mauritius. His newest venture will encompass AI with Agriculture in an age where food security is becoming ever more challenging.
Mr. Kundomal sits on the Board of Directors of several well known entities, including the SBM India fund and the SBM Maharajah fund, promoted by the SBM group, the second biggest banking conglomerate of Mauritius, OLA energy holdings ltd, a multibillion Euro turnover pan African Oil and Gas multinational. In his capacity of CEO of Capital Horizons, he also regularly advises Ultra High Net Worth Individual, multinationals and Governments (including sovereign funds).
Mr. Kundomal holds a LL.M. in International Business Law from Paris II (Pantheon-Assas) where he graduated with high honors.

Igor Rusek
Igor Rusek
Attorney at Law, Member of the Board of Directors of ATAG Family Office Ltd, Basel

After graduating as an attorney, he deepened his expertise through further postgraduate studies in law and taxation. For many years he was also legal lecturer for the lawyers and solicitors of Ernst & Young International.
As an internationally experienced and renowned lawyer, he oversees mandates. A high level of expertise, broad specialist knowledge and extensive experience make him an indispensable and valued partner.
His key area of work comprises amongst others organisation and execution of complex legal and tax planning for private clients and companies as well as strategic management of negotiations including consulting work in the field of family and inheritance law, estate planning, wills and the execution of wills.

Richard Frerejean Taittinger
Richard Frerejean Taittinger
Founder & Director of Richard Taittinger Gallery New York and co-founder of Champagne Frerejean Freres in Avize France

Based in New York City since 2007, Richard is recognized for his expertise in Contemporary Art, having worked at auction houses, galleries, and as a consultant for art fairs and museums. Pioneer of the Lower East Side art district, he founded in 2015 his eponymous gallery on 154 Ludlow Street. Richard is Chair of the Board of Residency Unlimited and Co-Founder of CHAMPAGNE FREREJEAN FRERES. He speaks 3 languages and has an M.A. in Marketing & Business Management from EDC Paris, a Master of Wine from the University of Burgundy, and an M.A. from Christie's Education, New York in Art Business. In 2019 he received the FIAF Young Patron Award.

Joachim Pflienger
General manager of Fondation Fiminco, France

Joachim Pflieger worked at the Opéra national de Paris, Teatro Real in Madrid, and at the New York City Opera between 2006 and 2012, within the artistic management of these multidisciplinary institutions. More specifically, in the field of music and live entertainment, he worked with the conductor Laurence Equilbey for the launch of the Scène Musicale program, and within the Centre national de la danse. Furthermore, he was the managing director of the contemporary art gallery Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Paris and Pantin. He more specifically worked with contemporary artists such as Bob Wilson, Amos Gitai, or choreographer Lucinda Childs. Since 2017, he has directed the Fondation Fiminco (a new cultural and artistic hub of 11.000 sq meters in the Paris suburbs), as well as the artist residency program of Fondation Fiminco, and manages the cultural strategy of the company Groupe Fiminco.