Philippe Pirotte

Rector of Frankfurt's Städelschule art school


An art historian, critic and curator, Pirotte has been rector of the influential Städelschule in Frankfurt since 2014. Teaching colleagues include Peter Fischli, Douglas Gordon, Micheal Krebber, Wolfgang Tillmans and Tobias Rehberger. With the Städelschule role comes the directorship of the university gallery Portikus, where exhibitions this year have included Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys, Amy Sillman (the school’s professor of painting), Shahryar Nashat and Lawrence Abu Hamdan. In 2016, however, Pirotte flexed his curatorial muscles (in addition to his continued advisory role to the Kadist collection, in Paris) on a far bigger project, La Biennale de Montréal, which he’s titled Le Grand Balcon, a reference to Jean Genet’s 1957 play Le Balcon. Favouring a younger generation, the biennial includes Nashat again, together with the likes of Luke Willis Thompson and Haig Aivazian, with room for some more ‘seasoned’ players as well, not least Thomas Bayrle and the curator’s compatriot Luc Tuymans.