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PRINT October 2001

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Catherine David

IT CAME AS SOMETHING of a surprise to art-world observers when it was announced this summer that Catherine David, the quirky, possibly brilliant curator of the most recent Documenta, would take over from Bartomeu Marí as director of Rotterdam’s Witte de With come January. David, after all, once held prestigious curatorships at the Jeu de Paume and the Centre Georges Pompidou. The Witte de With has been in existence for just over a decade and puts on only six exhibitions a year. It is an important alternative space—Europe’s Dia perhaps—but one had to wonder: Couldn’t she have done better?

Yet for those who’ve fondly followed David’s career, the choice simply came as further proof of the depth of her independence. David is known as an early advocate of Jeff Wall and Chantal Akerman and as one of the first curators to exhibit film in an art setting. A prolific traveler, she has discovered and

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