It took just six months as an art student for me to realize that I was not an artist, nor was I becoming one. But that only made me all the more interested in why artists are artists. What makes some abandon a career as an artist, and why are others driven to create artistic work? I felt impelled to find out more about all of this, so I studied History of Art. Ever since then I have been fascinated by the freedom and unconditionality of modern and contemporary art. I have therefore pursued my vocation as an art historian with something of the same urgency and uncompromising determination that is seen in artists and their works. Working in proximity to artistic creativity is a constant source of inspiration for my work; it allows me to discover, to take in, and to analyze what artists do, what their works mean, and how other people are enthused by them.

Since gaining my doctorate in art history on the topic of floor sculptures in the twentieth century, I have gained over twenty-five years of professional experience in public and private art institutions and as a freelance curator and author. My career began at the Krefelder Kunstmuseen and at the Mies van der Rohe villas used for exhibitions in Krefeld, Haus Lange and Haus Esters (artist’s:books; Carl Andre, etc.). I then spent several years, still in the 1990s, as director of Kunsthalle Nürnberg, a municipal art centre (Ein Stück vom Himmel; Peter Doig; Jason Rhoades; Lawrence Weiner, etc.). In 1999 I took up an appointment in Switzerland as director of two major private collections (Paul McCarthy; The Oldest Possible Memory, etc.). Following that I spent some years as Senior Curator at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands (Nach Kippenberger; Lucy McKenzie; EindhovenIstanbul, etc.). In 2006 I moved back to Germany; since then I have realized major exhibitions and publication projects at home and abroad (including Allan Kaprow; Andy Warhol; catalogue raisonné for Zvi Goldstein; Blicke! Körper! Sensationen!). In 2011 I relocated my office, cakesmeyer, to Berlin, where I have run it ever since with my associate curator Johannes Schmidt.

Photograph © Ines Lechleitner
Photograph © Ines Lechleitner
Photograph © Ines Lechleitner
Photograph © Ines Lechleitner