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Ralph Rugoff named artistic director of the 2019 Venice Biennale

Director of London’s Hayward Gallery will organise 58th International Art Exhibition

Ralph Rugoff Mark Atkins

The artistic director of the next Venice Biennale will be Ralph Rugoff, the international exhibition’s board of directors announced today (15 December). The 58th biennale is due to open in 2019 on 11 May and run until 24 November.

New York-born Rugoff has been the director of the Hayward Gallery of London since 2006, where he has organised exhibitions such as Invisible: Art about the Unseen 1957-2012 (2012) and The Human Factor: the Figure in Contemporary Sculpture (2014). He was also the curator of the 13th Lyon Biennale (La Vie Moderne) in 2015. He was appointed director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco in 2000.

"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 programme,” says Rugoff.

The biennial’s president, Paolo Baratta, says in a statement that "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.”

The 57th edition, which closed on 26 November, included 86 official national pavilions and drew more than 615,000 visitors. The central show, Viva Arte Viva, was organised by Christine Macel, the chief curator at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.