Philipp Kaiser Will Curate Swiss Pavilion at 2017 Venice Biennale

It's a first for the Swiss.

News is already trickling in about the artists and curators which are tasked with making the 2017 Venice Biennale an international attraction, in the wake of the announcement that Centre Pompidou chief curator Christine Macel will direct the 57th edition. Artist Phyllida Barlow will represent Britain, and we’ve now learned that former Museum Ludwig director Philipp Kaiser has been tapped to curate the Swiss pavilion.

Kaiser, who stepped down from the Cologne institution in 2013, now lives and works in Los Angeles as an independent curator and critic. The decision to select a curator to assume the responsibility of assembling the pavilion marks a first for the European country. “While in previous years artists have been nominated to exhibit at the Swiss Pavilion, now the jury have chosen a curator to assume the responsibility for Switzerland’s National Participation at next year’s Venice Art Biennale,” the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia said in a statement, obtained via ARTNews.

“This year, the biennial’s jury based their decision on Philipp Kaiser’s impressive accomplishments as a curator, notably his monographic and thematic exhibitions with both public and private collections which create bridges between Europe and America,” the statement continues. “Working as an independent curator and art critic in California, Kaiser’s work recognises and retains his close links to the Swiss art scene.”

Prior to his time at the Museum Ludwig, Swiss-born Kaiser served as a senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (MOCA). From 2001 to 2007, he was a curator of modern and contemporary art at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Basel. At MOCA, he curated “Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974” with art historian Miwon Kwon, and the first US retrospective of artist Jack Goldstein at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach.

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