Charles Esche

Van Abbemuseum director and stalwart of the biennial circuit

While he may not have curated any biennials himself in the past year (albeit with São Paulo and Jakarta recently under his belt), Esche was a cocurator of the NSK State Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, making a sort of temporary floating embassy for the territory-less artist-state. Esche is also both an adviser to the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, and a director of London publishing house Afterall. ‘It’s important that we constantly stretch the definition of what “making art public” means in terms of exhibitions,’ Esche told ArtReview last year, and the programme at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, which he has directed since 2004, reflects this: a new three-year exhibition titled The Way Beyond Art showcases some of the socially engaged and expanded practices that Esche champions, like Chto Delat and Can Altay. The Van Abbe also supports archival research and revision under its ‘Deviant Practice’ grants. Esche remains dedicated to exploring the limits of the contemporary museum.