The Venice Biennale announced today that Ralph Rugoff, the director of the Hayward Gallery in London, will be the artistic director of the fifty-eighth edition of the exhibition, which will run from May 11, 2019, until November 24.
“The Venice Biennale is the oldest and most prestigious exhibition of its kind internationally and I am really looking forward to taking on this new challenge alongside next year’s momentous reopening of the Hayward Gallery and upcoming exhibition program,” Rugoff said in a statement.
Rugoff first joined the Hayward Gallery in 2006. During his tenure there, he has curated exhibitions such as “The Infinite Mix” (2016), “Invisible: Art About the Unseen 1957–2012” (2012), and “The Human Factor: the Figure in Contemporary Sculpture” (2014) and has organized solo presentations by various artists including Ed Ruscha, Jeremy Deller, Carsten Höller, and Tracey Emin. He also served as curator of the Thirteenth Lyon Biennale in 2015 and the director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts at the California College of the Arts, in San Francisco, from 2000 to 2006. A prolific writer, Rugoff has penned articles for publications such as Artforum, Frieze, Parkett, and the Los Angeles Times, and he has contributed essays to books on artists Mike Kelley, David Hammons, Roni Horn, Luc Tuymans, and Paul McCarthy, among others.
“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,” Biennale president Paolo Baratta said. “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.”