Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev. Photo: Giorgio Perottino.

Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev to Receive Bard College Award for Curatorial Excellence

The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard) in New York announced today that Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, the director of Castello di Rivoli in Turin, Italy, has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence. She will be presented with the annual $25,000 prize at the CCS Bard Gala Celebration on April 17, 2019.

“Christov-Bakargiev is a singular force within the field of contemporary exhibition making,” Tom Eccles, executive director of CCS Bard, said in a statement. “Her far-reaching ideas and bold commitment to artists making new and ambitious works is equally matched by her exploration of artistic histories and their re-presentations. Her remarkable dOCUMENTA(13) was undoubtedly one of the great exhibitions of our time.”

As head of Castello di Rivoli, Christov-Bakargiev is currently spearheading a major expansion project, which will allow the institution to incorporate the $570 million Francesco Federico Cerruti Collection into its holdings. Once the project is completed in May 2019, the Castello di Rivoli will become one of the first contemporary art institutions to support an encyclopedic collection. Christov-Bakargiev also serves as the Edith Kreeger Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professor in Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University in Illinois.

Previously, she was senior curator at MoMA PS1, artistic director of the sixteenth Biennale of Sydney, artistic director of Documenta 13—which took place in Kassel, Germany; Kabul, Afghanistan; Alexandria and Cairo, Egypt; and Banff, Canada—and curator of the fourteenth edition of the Istanbul Biennial. As a prolific writer, she has authored numerous works, including the book Arte Povera (Phaidon Press, 1999) and the first monographs on artists William Kentridge and Janet Cardiff.

“I am very pleased to receive this important award, and to follow many other visionary people who have received it before me,” Christov-Bakargiev said in a statement. “To young people approaching our field I wish to say: act committedly, act with skepticism, and act understanding that we serve the artists and no-one else.”

Past recipients include Helen Molesworth and Hans Ulrich Obrist (2011), Ann Goldstein (2012), Elisabeth Sussman (2013), Charles Esche (2014), Christine Tohme and Martha Wilson (2015), Thelma Golden (2016), Nicholas Serota (2017), and Lia Gangitano (2018).