Michelle Cotton to direct the Kunsthalle Wien

Michelle Cotton ©️ Wolfgang Voglhuber. Courtesy Stadt Wien

British curator Michelle Cotton will take over as director of the Kunsthalle Wien in summer 2024, replacing the ousted Zagreb-based curatorial collective WHW (What, How & for Whom), which had managed the institution since 2019.

Cotton is currently programme director at Luxembourg’s MUDAM. Born in Preston, UK, in 1977, Cotton studied English Literature at King’s College London and completed a postgraduate degree in Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Arts. She began her career of curating at the Norwich Gallery, after which she managed the programmes at S1 Artspace in Sheffield and Cubitt in London. From 2010-2015, Cotton served as the chief curator at the centre for contemporary art at Firstsite in Colchester, before directing the Bonner Kunstverein as director from 2015-2019.

Cotton was selected from 37 applicants, after the initial 20 submissions ‘didn’t meet the criteria’, according to the City of Vienna. The WHW collective, consisting of Ivet Ćurlin, Nataša Ilić and Sabina Sabolović, did not apply to the position for the second time.

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