Emma Enderby new director KW Berlin
KW Institute for Contemporary Art announces the appointment of Emma Enderby as director as of 15 May 2024. Emma Enderby is a curator, writer, and lecturer of modern and contemporary art. She is currently the Head of Programs and Research/Chief Curator at Haus der Kunst, Munich. Enderby is the successor of Krist Gruijthuijsen who has been leading KW for the last eight years.
Read the full press release send out by KW
“I look forward to this new journey and thank the board and the selection committee for trusting me to guide KW as a place within Berlin that can be quick and responsive, allowing for the issues of our time to be made central. For me, KW has a unique position within the Berlin landscape as a home for artists and the wider cultural landscape of the city and I want to present Berlin and KW as a nexus for the arts,“ says Enderby about her appointment.
Since starting in 2021, she curated Tony Cokes: Fragments, or just Moments, and a decentralized exhibition with Rirkrit Tiravanija at Haus der Kunst. Previously, as Chief Curator at The Shed, New York, the British curator worked on founding the new institution, the overall multidisciplinary program, and curated the retrospective exhibition Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates, as well as Tomás Saraceno: Particular Matters, Ian Cheng: Life after BOB and exhibitions and commissions with Trisha Donnelly, Tony Cokes, Oscar Murillo, Lynn Hershman Leeson, and Carrie Mae Weems.
Emma Enderby held positions in various institutions like Public Art Fund, where she curated the group exhibitions Commercial Break and The Language of Things, as well as Tauba Auerbach: Flow Separation, among others. As exhibitions curator at the Serpentine Galleries, London, she organized numerous projects and exhibitions including with Hilma af Klint, Rachel Rose, Trisha Donnelly, and Adrián Villa Rojas. The curator further works as a visiting lecturer, critic, and speaker at a number of universities and institutions, as well as an editor and writer for multiple publications and catalogues. She holds degrees from University College London and University of Oxford.
“After an exciting selection process and a unanimous vote, we are proud to announce Emma Enderby as the new director of KW. She will bring her wide-ranging, programmatic vigor to KW as of mid-2024. Her committed approach to ecological issues and her focus on positions from outside of the official canon and Berlin as an international hub has inspired and convinced us. We want to thank Krist Gruijthuijsen for creating a program that was as daring as it was rich in perspectives, which has been opening up KW to a diverse audience since 2016. His cooperation efforts resulted in fantastic new networks with international institutions,” says chair of the board Katharina Grosse.
Emma Enderby takes over from Krist Gruijthuijsen, who is leaving the institution after eight years in 2024. Gruijthuijsen has been director of KW since 1 July 2016 and his contract had already been extended by the board for another three years in 2021. Emma Enderby will begin her exhibition and event program in January 2025. Until then, Krist Gruijthuijsen and his curatorial team will be responsible for the program.
Joe Chialo, Senator for Culture and Social Cohesion: „KW is more than the center of art creation in Berlin since the 90s – it is a place where the threads of contemporary art come together, a meeting place and research space. Its founding director Klaus Biesenbach, now at Neue Nationalgalerie, set something in motion there that has not lost any of its momentum to this day. I am delighted that with Emma Enderby we are now welcoming a director who brings with her excellence from Munich, London and New York and who will lead KW into a new artistic era from 2025 on. A huge gain for Berlin! At this point, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to Krist Gruijthuijsen, the current director, who has realized breathtaking exhibitions and events over the past seven years and has decisively shaped KW.“
Gruijthuijsen’s curatorial vision has been instrumental in diversifying the program. His commitment to discursive formats has contributed to a stronger network for the institution, both locally as well as internationally. Under his directorship, KW significantly increased its international attention, visitors, as well as its finances. The program introduced and cemented numerous artistic positions, both historical as well as contemporary, and expanded KW’s public outreach and events to great success.
The search process was organized by KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e. V., the responsible body of KW Institute for Contemporary Art and Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, in close coordination with the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Community, the funding body of KW. Upon invitation by the then executive board of KW’s responsible body – Katharina Grosse (chair), Julia Stoschek (co-chair) and Matthias Sauerbruch (treasurer) –, 30 renowned representatives of the international art world were asked to each suggest one candidate for the position as director of KW. After reviewing the incoming applications, the search committee agreed on a shortlist of candidates. In addition to the executive board of KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e. V., the committee consisted of Gabriele Horn, director of Berlin Biennale, two representatives of the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Community, as well as two representatives of the international art practice, namely, Andrea Lissoni (director of Haus der Kunst, Munich) and Haegue Yang (artist, Berlin/Seoul). After hearing the shortlisted candidates, the search committee, chaired by Katharina Grosse, unanimously decided in favor of Emma Enderby as KW’s future director.