The Board of La Biennale di Venezia, at the suggestion of the President Paolo Baratta, approved the appointment of Ralph Rugoff as Director of the Visual Arts Department, with specific responsibility for curating the 58th International Art Exhibition.
Ralph Rugoff has been the Director of the Hayward Gallery of London since 2006. Opened in 1968, the Hayward Gallery is considered one of the most leading public art galleries in the United Kingdom; it is part of the Southbank Centre, Europe’s largest arts centre that receives major funding by the Arts Council of England. Rugoff was the Artistic Director of the XIII Biennale de Lyon in 2015 titled La vie moderne. Between 1985 and 2002 he wrote art and cultural criticism for numerous periodicals, publishing widely in art magazines as well as newspapers, including Artforum, Artpresse, FlashArt, Frieze, Parkett, Grand Street, The Financial Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Los Angeles Weekly and published a collection of essays, Circus Americanus (1995), in which he explored cultural phenomena of the American West. During the same period he began working as an independent curator, organizing exhibitions such as Just Pathetic (1990) and Scene of the Crime (1997). A former Director (2000-06) of CCA Wattis Institute, at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, he has curated numerous group shows at the Hayward Gallery over the past 11 years, including The Painting of Modern Life (2007), Psycho Buildings (2008), an exhibition that included interactive and immersive installations by artists such as Mike Nelson, Gelitin and Do-ho Suh; and The Infinite Mix (2016); he also has curated important retrospectives and solo exhibitions by Ed Ruschka, Jeremy Deller, Carsten Holler, Tracey Emin and George Condo.
President Baratta stated that “the appointment of Ralph Rugoff confirms the Biennale’s primary goal, to qualify the Exhibition as a place of encounter between the visitors, the art and the artists. An Exhibition engaging the viewers directly with the artworks in such a way that memory, the unexpected, the possible provocation, the new and the different can stimulate their visions, their minds and their emotions, and offer them the opportunity for a direct experience.”
The Board also approved the dates of the 58th International Art Exhibition to be held from May 11th to November 24th, 2019; Press Preview May 8th, 9th, and 10th; opening to the public on Saturday, May 11th.