Ralph Rugoff

30 Nov 2016


Ralph Rugoff. Photo by Mark Blower.

Ralph Rugoff is director of the Hayward Gallery at the Southbank Centre in London. An art writer-turned-curator, he is known for exhibitions that encourage audiences to actively engage with works, sometimes physically. Since becoming director in 2006, he has launched shows such as Invisible Art, a 2012 survey of artworks that you can't actually see, and Psycho Buildings, an immersive 2008 exhibition that invited artists to create funhouse-like structures throughout the Hayward. Also, along with showing work by major figures like Tracey Emin and Antony Gormley, he has given space to lesser-known artists—like Jeremy Deller and David Shrigley—who have since risen to international acclaim. Rugoff was previously director of the California College of the Arts (CCA) Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts and the founding chair of CCA's graduate program in curatorial practice. His publications include monographs on George Condo, Mark Wallinger and Anya Gallacio, as well as Circus Americanus (Verso 1995) and At the Threshold of the Visible (Independent Curators International, 1997). In 2005, he won the inaugural Ordway Prize in the category of arts writer and/or curator from the Penny McCall Foundation. Rugoff is a contributor to two Center publications: What Makes a Great Exhibition? (2006) and Pigeons on the Grass: Contemporary Curators Talk About the Field (2013).