Kunstmuseum St. Gallen Taps Lorenzo Benedetti as Curator of Contemporary Art

The appointment is a real coup for the Swiss museum.

Lorenzo Benedetti. Photo via YouTube.

Lorenzo Benedetti will join the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen in February 2017 as curator of contemporary art, the Swiss museum announced on Tuesday.

The move comes 15 months after Benedetti was unexpectedly dismissed by Amsterdam’s De Appel Art Center in a move that outraged the Dutch art scene. The curator was widely praised for his work at the Dutch museum before he was unceremoniously sacked in September 2015.

Prior to his stint in the Netherlands Benedetti worked as a curator the Museum MARTA in Herford from 2006 to 2008, and as director of the SBKM/De Vleeshal in Middelburg. In 2013 he was in charge of the Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

“We are delighted to welcome Lorenzo Benedetti to the team at the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen and are convinced that he will further strengthen the profile of our house. Exciting conceptual exhibitions are virtually his trademark,” director Roland Wäspe said, explaining the appointment in a statement.

Describing the exhibition space as a “mediating boundary between us and the unimaginable,” Benedetti explained that he was already looking forward to getting to work in St. Gallen.

The appointment is a coup for the Kunstmuseum St Gallen. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The appointment is a coup for the Kunstmuseum St Gallen. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The new curator fills a vacancy left by outgoing curator of contemporary art Konrad Bitterli who was recently appointed director of the Kunstmuseum Winterthur and Oskar Reinhart Museum. The appointment of a high-profile curator such as Benedetti represents a coup for the Swiss institution which will benefit greatly from the Italian’s experience and expertise.

However, in the aftermath of his dismissal from the De Appel, the Dutch institution’s CEO Alexandra van Huffelen suggested that Benedetti was a difficult personality to work with, explaining that despite his curatorial skills there were long-running problems behind the scenes.

Benedetti’s dismissal prompted the Dutch institution’s board to resign after the ensuing outrage provoked the entire team of tutors at the De Appel’s curatorial program—which includes Charles Esche, Elena Filipovic, Chus Martinez, and Beatrix Ruf—to demand that the board step down.

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