Home > A closer look > 6 curators you should absolutely get to know
6 curators you should absolutely get to know
A closer look 13 Oct 2013

6 curators you should absolutely get to know

Poster for the Utopia Station exhibition
Poster for the Utopia Station exhibition

Curator, or ‘commissaire d’exposition’ in French… these two terms mean the same thing: the person who is in charge of conceiving an exhibition. They select the works of art to be presented, the theme of the exhibition, the layout of the artworks in the space that hosts the project, they also do the selection for the exhibition catalogue and often write the texts too.  The curator is actually the author of the exhibition. Thanks to Artsper, you will find out who today’s 6 most influential curators are and will not miss their work anymore.

1. Anna Colin 

Plus ou moins sorcière
Exhibition Plus ou moins sorcière
 Mikala Dwyer, The Collapzars, 2012

The young woman is an Associate Director at Bétonsalon, in Paris. She is also an artistic adviser to The Women’s Library in London. Before leaving London for Paris in 2011, she was a curator at Gasworks (2007-10), a co-editor of the Untitled magazine (2007-08) and a programmer at Resonance 104.4 FM (2002-06). In 2012, she completed the project Plus ou moins sorcières (More or Less Wicked), situated at the intersection of history, sociology, art and pop culture.

2. RoseLee Goldberg

Logic of the Birds
Shirin Neshat with Sussan Deyhim, Logic of the Birds, 2001

She is an art historian and critic, a curator and an author. Also, she’s a graduate of the Courtauld Institute of Art (University of London). Goldberg was the Director of the Royal College of Art Gallery in London and a curator at Kitchen, New York. She organized the event Six Evenings of Performance in 1990, during the exhibition ‘High and Low: Modern Art and Popular Culture’ at the Museum of Modern Art (New York). In 2001-02 she initiated and produced Logic of the Birds, a multimedia project by the Iranian born artist Shirin Neshat, in collaboration with the singer Sussan Deyhim. The production’s premiere took place at the Lincoln Center Summer Festival, in 2002. RoeseLee Goldberg is the founder and Director of Performa, a performance Biennial in and around New York.

3. Biljana Ciric

Yoko Ono
“Fly” Ke Center for Contemporary Arts

A graduate of the East China Normal University in Shanghai, she works at the Zendai Museum of Modern Art and the Duolun Museum in Shanghai. In 2007, she curated ‘Fly’, the Yoko Ono perspective at the Ke Center for Contemporary Arts. Biljana Ciric has just finished preparing the Tino Sehgal exhibition at the l’Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing.

4. Bassam El Baroni

Trapped in Amber
Photo taken during the Trapped in Amber exhibition, 2009

Art critic, he lives in Alexandria, Egypt. He is the founder and Director of A.C.A.F. (Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum), a non-profit gallery, and in 2010 he was the co-curator of Manifesta 8, in the region of Murcia in Spain. He is currently a PhD researcher for the curating research program at the Goldsmith University in London. One of his recent projects was a collaboration with Jeremy Beaudry and Nav Haq for the online project The Arpanet Dialogues. He has co-curated the show Trapped in Amber, with Helga-Marie Nordby, in Oslo, in 2009. He is currently an invited associate curator of the Lofoten International Art Festival in Norway.

5. Thelma Golden

Rashid Johnson
Post-black art by Rashid Johnson,
I talk white, 2003

Having graduated from the Buckley Country Day School in 1980, she is the Director and Chief Curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. She is known for showing the work of emerging Afro-American artists, especially in Freestyle, an exhibition organized in 2001 that featured 28 artists. She is the one who coined the “post black” concept, identifying a generation of African-American artists that are free to face, or not, the ‘black artist’ label. The connection between being black and the artist’s work stands at the center of her questioning.

6. Hans Ulrich Obrist

Utopia Station
 Utopia Station, Thomas Hirschhorn, 2003

A leading figure in contemporary art, he is the curator of the moment and, as Michael Odukoya of the English magazine Kilimanjaro put it, he is the ‘Dr. Dre of contemporary art’. He was born in 1968 in Zurich and lives and works in London. He is Co-Director of the Serpentine Gallery. In 1993, he founded the Museum Robert Walser and began to run the Migrateurs program at the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, where he was a curator for contemporary art until 2005. Since 1991, he has been organizing and co-organizing numerous solo exhibitions (Olafur Eliasson, Philippe Parreno, Jonas Mekas, Pierre Huygue, Anri Sala, Doug Aitken…) and collective shows (Dont : Do it – more than thirty versions since 1994 ; Cities on the Move, 1997 ; the first Berlin Biennial, 1998; Mutations, 2000 ; Utopia Station, 2003 ; the 9th Lyon Biennale of Contemporary Art, 2007).