When he resigned in 2010, The Guardian newspaper said of him: “His curiosity, wit, rigour and passion make him a model for future directors of Tate Modern,” such was the impact of Valencian art expert Vicente Todolí during his time as director of the Tate Modern Gallery, a magnet for art lovers in London from all over the world.
His recruitment as director of the Tate in 2003 is a curious story; he was in fact trying to get them to lend him some paintings for an exhibition when they suggested that he apply.
His curriculum was certainly impressive, having set up and directed Valencia’s internationally renowned Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno (IVAM) between 1986 and 1988.
He was also director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Fundação De Serralves in Porto, Portugal from 1996 to 2002.
He was furthermore an adviser for the ‘Future, Past, Present’ exhibition at the 1997 Venice Biennale and co-commissioned the Portuguese pavilion for the 2003 Venice Biennale.
He had also studied at Yale before graduating in Valencia, but apparently now likes nothing more than to cultivate olives (which he commercialises under the trading name Tot Oli) and lemons at his hometown farmhouse without electricity at Palmera near Gandia, far from the madding artistic crowd for the most part.
To keep his hand in, he still visits Milan once a month to advise at a private gallery, Hangar Bicocca, where the collection of the Pirelli family can be found.