Raphael Gygax Appointed as New Curator of Frieze Projects

The curator has a reputation for pushing boundaries.

Gygax has previously contributed to Frieze Magazine. Photo: Frieze

Frieze has announced the appointment of Raphael Gygax as the new curator of Frieze Projects, the London art fair’s Luma Foundation-supported, non-profit artist commissions program.

The Swiss national who is a curator at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich, and a contributor to Frieze Magazine, was also an advisor for the Focus section at Frieze London. He will now be responsible for devising a program and commissioning artists to create engaging new works for display at the the 2016 edition of the Frieze fair in London.

Gygax will also participate in the selection panel for the Frieze Artist Award, an international open-call opportunity for emerging artists to win a major commission for display at Frieze London 2016.

Nick Mauss's piece at Frieze Projects 2014Photo: Linda Nylind Courtesy of Linda Nylind/Frieze

Nick Mauss’s piece at Frieze Projects 2014
Photo: Linda Nylind Courtesy of Linda Nylind/Frieze

“I am thrilled to welcome Raphael Gygax as the new curator of the projects for Frieze London,” Frieze fairs director Victoria Siddall said in a statement. “The Frieze Projects program of artist commissions has been a cornerstone of the fair since its inception in 2003.”

Taking over the reins form Nicola Lees (2013-15), Gygax is the fifth curator to hold the position, after Sarah McCroy (2009-12), Neville Wakefield (2007-08), and Polly Staple (2003-06).

The appointment indicates that organizers may be seeking a fresh multidisciplinary approach to the Frieze Projects commissions. According to Siddall, “His diverse interests in performance, film and theater, and his wide-ranging curatorial experience, will continue a rich tradition […] of commissioning exciting, ambitious, site-specific works which challenge disciplinary boundaries.”

Mélanie Matranga's Ato B coffee at Frieze Projects 2014Photo: Lorena Muñoz-Alonso

Mélanie Matranga’s Ato B coffee at Frieze Projects 2014
Photo: Lorena Muñoz-Alonso

Gygax, who recently earned his PhD from the University of Berne, organized solo shows at the Migros Museum with Xanti Schawinsky (2015), Wu Tsang (2014), Stephen G. Rhodes (2013), and Cory Arcangel (2005), among others.

Revealing some of his preliminary thoughts for Frieze Projects, Gygax said in a statement “I would like to use the international visibility that this platform offers to work with artists from different generations and art fields. Diversity, transformation, hospitality and otherness will be important key terms that will accompany me on this journey.”


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