Today, the Supervisory Board of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
announces the appointment of Beatrix Ruf as new Director of the Stedelijk. Ruf is currently Director of the Kunsthalle Zürich. The Supervisory Board speaks very highly of her keen eye for quality and emerging talent, her extensive professional network, and her distinctive, radical and self-assured programming for the Kunsthalle Zürich, as well as her impressive personal dedication in presenting the institution and placing it at the centre of debate. Ruf succeeds Ann Goldstein, who was Artistic Director at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam for the past 4 years and will jointly lead the Museum with Managing Director Karin van Gilst.
Over the last 15 years, Beatrix Ruf has become widely acknowledged as one of the most influential figures in the international art world. For several years, the American journal Art Review has named her as one of the top-ranking art professionals in its Power Top 100, ranking her 7th in 2013.
Beatrix Ruf (Singen, Germany, 1960) was appointed Director of the Kunsthalle Zürich in 2001. She initiated an extensive reconstruction and expansion project in 2003, which took place in 2011 and 2012. At the Kunsthalle Zürich, Ruf developed a distinguished exhibition program of solo presentations and group presentations. She also gave many young artists their first museum presentation at the Kunsthalle Zürich.
Ruf embraces experimentation, as proven by the numerous ambitious new art installations she commissioned for Kunsthalle Zürich. Ruf also initiated art-historically relevant projects such as the long-anticipated survey exhibitions of Yang Fudong and Ian Wallace, among others. She also provided a platform for many important, but lesser-known or forgotten, artists. By exhibiting their work generously and at precisely the right moment, Ruf gave them a well-deserved place in the canon, correcting art history and highlighting meaningful connections between historical and current art forms. In her programming Ruf focused on renowned local artists, the upcoming generation and non-Western artists alike. In Zürich, Ruf presented the breadth of contemporary art production―from local to national, regional and international.
Ruf embeds her projects within a network of prominent international institutions including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Tate Liverpool, the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven and Moderna Museet in Stockholm. In addition to her directorship in Zürich, Ruf has also been involved with numerous prestigious international biennials and triennials. In 2006, she was the curator of the successful third edition of the Tate Triennial in London.
Alexander Ribbink, Chairman of the Supervisory Board: We believe that, with her profound and inspiring international scope, Beatrix Ruf is the best choice for this museum and its visitors. She shows a unique ability to connect the museum to artists, collectors, the private and public sector, and the city. She brings a contemporary vision to the Museum which will expand upon the Stedelijks illustrious history and bring it forward to the 21st century.
Karin van Gilst: I greatly look forward to working with Beatrix Ruf. This is an excellent moment to refresh the artistic DNA and vision of our Museum, which is at the very core of our existence.
Beatrix Ruf: I feel very honored, and am very moved, to be entrusted with the opportunity to be Director of the Stedelijk Museum and to lead its extraordinary exhibition history and its collection into the future, together with the entire Stedelijk team. Its courageous and outstanding contemporary as well as art historical exhibitions and the world-class collection of modern and contemporary art and design were always a beacon and example in my own professional thinking and in numerous discussions with artists and colleagues. The Stedelijk Museum is a museum that shows us how to live in the present and how future can be built on tradition. I am thrilled to be able to work with this unique institution, its team and its collection.
A selection committee from the Supervisory Board drew up a profile for the position in consultation with the staff of the museum. The Board also sought advice on potential candidates from both Dutch and foreign experts. 8 candidates were invited for interviews. John Leighton, former Director of the Van Gogh Museum, was involved in the final phase of the selection process as an external advisor.
Upon this announcement, Beatrix Ruf will start her involvement with the Stedelijk Museum effective immediately. She will commence working with the staff on programming and other matters. In the upcoming months she will increasingly be involved with the museum and start settling in Amsterdam. She will join the Stedelijk Museum fulltime on November 1st.