KW Institute for Contemporary Art is glad to announce the appointment of Krist Gruijthuijsen as its new director.
Gruijthuijsen was selected from a group of invited candidates. The selection committee’s decision was unanimous. From July 1, 2016, he will take over the running of KW in Berlin, beginning his exhibition and event program in fall 2016, after the 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art.
This appointment will be accompanied by a restructuring of KW. On the basis of an amendment to its statutes, KW will be represented by Krist Gruijthuijsen as director; Gabriele Horn, previously director of both KW and the Berlin Biennale, will continue to run the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art. The two directors will be supported by an administrative manager. KW will continue to be the responsible body and main location for the Berlin Biennale, which is funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation) as a cultural institution of excellence. This statutory reform has been made possible to a large degree by financial support from the Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery – Cultural Affairs.
Krist Gruijthuijsen (born 1980) is a curator and art critic from the Netherlands. He has good international contacts and long years of experience as a curator, as well as editing numerous publications and directing leading international institutions for contemporary art. He is moving to Berlin after four years as artistic director of Grazer Kunstverein. During that time, he was also course leader in the department of fine art at the Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam. He co-founded Amsterdam’s Kunstverein, of which he acted as director from 2009 to 2012, and he was a consultant to Manifesta 7. Among others, he has curated projects for Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul; Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp, BE; Arnolfini, Bristol, UK; Artists Space, New York, US; Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade; and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.
Chairman Olafur Eliasson: “As the board, we are glad that an increase in our subsidy from the Senate Chancellery has enabled us to create a solid basis for the restructuring of KW Institute for Contemporary Art. As reflected in the selection committee’s unanimous decision, we are confident that Krist Gruijthuijsen is eminently qualified for this post and that he will be highly motivated. Krist is an independent and creative thinker, and an experienced exhibition maker with excellent connections to artists and colleagues of different generations, who was nominated multiple times. The board sought sound advice and collegial support through its international network of experts, who assisted the selection procedure with their recommendations; their professional bond with KW enriched the process and rendered it productive. We are extraordinarily happy to have succeeded in creating conditions under which we can now enter a new era at KW with Krist Gruijthuijsen as artistic director.”
Krist Gruijthuijsen takes over programming from Ellen Blumenstein, who has been chief curator at KW Institute for Contemporary Art since January 2013. With her commitment to discursive formats, Blumenstein helped improve the institution’s networking at local and international levels. Her programmatic focus on themed exhibitions like FIRE AND FORGET. ON VIOLENCE, that reflected on the ambivalence of violence with the means of art, considerably raised the public profile of KW, as well as its visitor numbers. Blumenstein presented the first institutional solo shows of Kader Attia, Ryan Trecartin, and Kate Cooper in Germany and brought the first major retrospective of Californian artist Channa Horwitz, COUNTING IN EIGHT, MOVING BY COLOR, to KW, that will be on show from March 10, 2016, at Raven Row in London. In September 2016, a second, fully reworked version of FIRE AND FORGET opens at Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt, DE, under the title UNTER WAFFEN. FIRE AND FORGET 2.
The cultural programs of KW Institute for Contemporary Art are made possible with the support of the Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery – Cultural Affairs.
Image caption: Krist Gruijthuijsen Direktor/Director KW Institute for Contemporary Art – Foto/Photo Ali Kepenek