The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y., has named Charles Esche as the recipient of the 2014 Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence and a $25,000 prize. Esche is the director of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands; the co-director of Afterall Publishing, London, England; and cocurator of the 2014 São Paulo Bienal.
In addition to directing the Van Abbemuseum since 2004, Esche has curated or co-curated numerous international exhibitions, including the 9th Muslim Mulliqi Prize Exhibition, “It Doesn’t always have to be Beautiful Unless it’s Beautiful” at National Gallery of Kosovo, Prishtinë (2012); the sixth U3 Triennial for Contemporary Art in Slovenia, “An Idea for Living,” Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana (2011); the 9th International Istanbul Biennial (2005); the 4th Gwangju Biennale, Korea (2002); and “Intelligence: Tate Triennial” at Tate Britain, London (2000).
Esche also established L’Internationale, a confederation of seven European art museums founded in 2010 and dedicated to opening a pan-European contemporary and modern art museum. He also cofounded contemporary art press Afterall Publishing in 1998 with Mark Lewis. Esche has previously served the director of the Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art in Malmo, Sweden (2000-04).
The award, in its 17th year, celebrates curatorial achievement. Past winners include Lucy Lippard (2010), Ann Goldstein (2012) and Elisabeth Sussman (2013).