As a good percentage of the art industry gets ready to board planes for Los Angeles, where a number of fairs, including the inaugural edition of Frieze in the city, open next week, Marian Goodman Gallery has shared the rather juicy news that it has hired the veteran museum curator Philipp Kaiser with the title of chief executive director of artists and programs. The role will entail him supervising exhibitions at all three of Goodman’s space, in New York, Paris, and London.
“I am delighted and honored to welcome Philipp to the gallery and greatly look forward to him sharing with us the benefits of his vast experience,” Goodman said in a news release.
Kaiser said in a statement of his own that “Marian is one of the field’s greatest advocates of contemporary art and artists.” Goodman’s stacked roster includes Gerhard Richter, Pierre Huyghe, Julie Mehretu, Steve McQueen, and many more.
Kaiser was selected to be director of the Museum Ludwig in Cologne in 2011, and held that position until stepping down in late 2013. Prior to leading the Ludwig, he was a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in L.A., and before that was curator for modern and contemporary art at Museum für Gegenwartskunst Basel.
Since departing the Ludwig, Kaiser has been curating independently, staging a Cindy Sherman show at the Broad and a Jim Shaw exhibition at the Marciano, which are both in L.A., and organizing the Swiss Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale. He also took a job as curator of Art Basel Miami Beach’s “Public” sector in 2017, dipping his toe into the commercial art world.
The hire represents of the most high-profile moves from the nonprofit to the for-profit realm of late—other high-level examples being former MOCA chief curator Paul Schimmel’s stint as a partner at Hauser & Wirth in Los Angeles from 2013 to 2017, and Lisa Dennison’s move from Guggenheim director to Sotheby’s exec in 2007.
Kaiser’s other curatorial credits over the years include solo shows devoted to Jack Goldstein, Louise Lawler, Sterling Ruby, and many more, as well as survey projects like “Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974” and “Index: Conceptualism in California,” which appeared at MOCA in 2008 and 2012, respectively.
Goodman’s gallery dates back to 1977, though the deeply respected dealer has been in the art trade since 1965, when she was involved in founding Multiples, Inc., a business dealing in prints and other types of editions. Last year, she turned 90. Asked by Randy Kennedy of the New York Times about her eventual plans for the gallery in 2016, she said, “I would like it to carry on, and I am in the process of thinking about that. But I think I’ll carry on until I can’t.”