Tom Eccles

Executive director at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard

Where there’s an artworld controversy, there’s a Scotsman giving his thoughts to the press, whether it’s about the Guggenheim’s removal of work from Art and China after 1989, following animal rights protests (‘chilling’) or the debacle of Sam Durant’s Scaffold/gallows sculpture at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, overseen by the Walker Art Center (the museum has a ‘slight cloud over it’). The executive director of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in upstate New York does, after all, know a thing of two about exhibition organising: he’s curated a fair few himself, and taught many of the dominant names in the field along the way. This year, former New Museum curator Lauren Cornell was brought into the fold as graduate programme director and the first chief curator at the school’s Hessel Museum of Art. Eccles also brought Ai Weiwei to the Park Avenue Armory in June (a curatorial collaboration with Hans Ulrich Obrist, with whom he – as well as Philippe Parreno and Beatrix Ruf – advises Maja Hoffmann’s Luma Foundation).