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Hayward Gallery Director Ralph Rugoff appointed curator of the Biennale de Lyon 2015
"For 2015, and until 2019, I have chosen to explore MODERN, both a substantive and a qualifier."

LYON.- Ralph Rugoff is Director of the Hayward Gallery in London.

Thierry Raspail, artistic director of the Biennale de Lyon, kicks off a new trilogy from 2015-2019 around the word “modern”.

For 2015, and until 2019, I have chosen to explore MODERN, both a substantive and a qualifier. Modern is not modernism, nor is it modernity; but it can contain them, grab them, express them. What’s more, we know perfectly well, and have done for a long time – at least since Rimbaud – that “one must be absolutely modern”.

2015 Biennale
I have entrusted the first part of this modern trilogy to Ralph Rugoff, who will curate the 2015 edition. Needless to say, our intention is not to define the modern, but to report novel experiences of it which artists are turning into history. --Thierry Raspail

Since his appointment in 2006, he has curated numerous exhibitions including Psycho Buildings: Artists Take On Architecture, The Painting of Modern Life, Invisible: Art About the Unseen, 1957-2012, and The Alternative Guide to the Universe, as well as monographic exhibitions on Ed Ruscha, George Condo, Jeremy Deller and Tracey Emin.

From 2000-2006, he was Director of the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art in San Francisco where organized approximately one dozen exhibitions, including Baja to Vancouver, the first survey of artists living along North America’s West Coast, and solo projects by artists such as Mike Kelley, Roni Horn, Thomas Hirschhorn, Ann Veronica Janssens, and Mike Nelson.

Prior to that, he worked as an independent curator and critic, organizing shows at venues such as the Serpentine Gallery in London (The Greenhouse Effect, 2000) and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles (Scene of the Crime, 1996). His first exhibition, Just Pathetic (1990-91) was cited by Artforum magazine as being one of the most influential exhibitions of the decade.

As a writer, Rugoff has contributed essays to catalogs and books on artists such as David Hammons, Paul McCarthy, Luc Tuymans, Michel Blazy, Jean-Luc Mylayne, and the filmmaker Jean Painlevé. In addition, he is the author of Circus Americanus, a collection of essays on popular visual culture and architecture. In 2005, he won the inaugural Ordway Prize for Criticism and Curating from the Penny McCall Foundation in the United States.

He has been an advisor to the 2002 Sydney Biennale, and the 2005 Turin Triennale. More recently, he has served as a judge for the 2013 Turner Prize and the 2010 British Council selection committee for the Venice Biennale.

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