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Monday, May 27, 2024

Emma Enderby becomes new director of KW Institute for Contemporary Art

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KW Institute for Contemporary Art announces the appointment of Emma Enderby as Director from 15 May 2024. Emma Enderby is a curator, writer and lecturer in modern and contemporary art. She currently heads the Programme and Research Department at the Haus der Kunst in Munich as Chief Curator.

Fig. above: Emma Enderby, Photo: Manuel Nieberle

“I am looking forward to this new journey and thank the board and the search committee for entrusting me with the leadership of KW, a place in Berlin that can respond quickly and flexibly to the challenges of our time and place them at the centre of its work. For me, KW is unique in the Berlin art landscape because it offers a home to artists and a broader cultural scene, and I want to show that Berlin and KW are a central hub for the arts,” Enderby explains about her appointment.

Since starting at Haus der Kunst in 2021, Enderby has curated the exhibition Tony Cokes.Fragments, or just Moments and a decentralised exhibition with Rirkrit Tiravanija.Previously, as senior curator of The Shed, New York, the British artist was involved in the founding of the institution and its overall multidisciplinary programme, curating the retrospective Agnes Denes. Absolutes and Intermediates and Tomás Saraceno.Particular Matters, Ian Cheng. Life after BOB as well as exhibitions and commissioned projects with Trisha Donnelly, Tony Cokes, Oscar Murillo, Lynn Hershman Leeson and Carrie Mae Weems.Emma Enderby has been employed by various institutions such as the Public Art Fund, where she curated group exhibitions including Commercial Break and The Language of Things, and Tauba Auerbach: Flow Separation. As an exhibition curator at Serpentine Galleries, London, she has organised numerous projects and exhibitions with Hilma af Klint, Rachel Rose, Trisha Donnelly and Adrián Villa Rojas, among others. Enderby also works as a guest lecturer and critic; she holds teaching posts at various universities and institutions and is responsible for numerous publications and catalogues as an editor and author. Emma Enderby studied at University College London and the University of Oxford.

“We are proud to announce Emma Enderby as our new director after an exciting selection process and a unanimous vote. With wide-ranging programmatic élan, she comes to KW as chief curator of The Shed, New York and now of Haus der Kunst, Munich from mid-2024.Her committed approach to ecological questions, the focus on positions outside the traditional canon and Berlin as an international hub have excited and convinced us.
We thank Krist Gruijthuijsen for his perspective-rich, courageous programme, with which he has opened KW to a diverse audience since 2016 and fantastically networked it through collaborations with international institutions,” says Chair of the Board Katharina Grosse.

Emma Enderby succeeds Krist Gruijthuijsen, who will leave the house next year after eight years.Gruijthuijsen has been Director of KW since 1 July 2016; his contract had already been extended by the Board for another three years in 2021.Emma Enderby will begin her exhibition and event programme in January 2025; until then, Krist Gruijthuijsen and his curatorial team will continue to be responsible for this.

The Senator for Culture and Social Cohesion, Joe Chialo: “KW is more than the centre of art creation after the fall of the Berlin Wall – it is a place where the threads of contemporary art come together, a meeting place, a research space. Its founding director Klaus Biesenbach, now at the Neue Nationalgalerie, set something in motion there that has not lost momentum to this day.

I am delighted that with Emma Enderby we have now been able to win a director who brings excellence from Munich, London and New York with her and who will lead the house into a new artistic era from 2025. A gain for Berlin! At this point, my warmest thanks go to Krist Gruijthuijsen, the current director, who has realised breathtaking exhibitions and events and decisively shaped KW over the past seven years.”

Gruijthuijsen’s curatorial vision has been instrumental in diversifying KW’s programme in recent years.His commitment to discursive formats also brought about greater local and international networking at KW. Under his leadership, KW has significantly increased its international importance, visitor numbers and financial resources. The programme has taken up and strengthened numerous historical and contemporary artistic positions, and public awareness and event activities have been expanded with great success.

The selection process for the new management of the house was organised by KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e. V., the supporting association of KW Institute for Contemporary Art and the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, in cooperation with the Senate Department for Culture and Social Cohesion as KW’s sponsor. At the invitation of the board of the supporting association at the time – Katharina Grosse (chairwoman), Julia Stoschek (second chairwoman) and Matthias Sauerbruch (treasurer) – 30 renowned representatives of the international art world were each asked to propose a candidate for the future directorship of KW.

After reviewing the applications received, the selection committee, which included the board of KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e. V., Gabriele Horn, director of the Berlin Biennale, two representatives of the Senate Department for Culture and Social Cohesion, and two representatives of international art practice, Andrea Lissoni (director of Haus der Kunst, Munich) and Haegue Yang (artist, Berlin/Seoul), agreed on a shortlist of candidates. After hearing the candidates on the shortlist, the search committee, chaired by Katharina Grosse, unanimously chose Emma Enderby as the future director of KW.


KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Auguststrasse 69
10117 Berlin

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