Nicolaus Schafhausen

Nicolaus Schafhausen is a curator, director, author, and editor of numerous publications on contemporary art. Since 2011 he has been the Strategic Director of Fogo Island Arts, Canada, an initiative of Shorefast, a charitable foundation dedicated to finding alternative solutions for the revitalisation of areas prone to emigration. 2023 Nicolaus Schafhausen has founded KIN, a new commercial gallery in Brussels with a focus on artistic positions that defy easy categorisation. KIN stands for kinship and, as such, the gallery is based on a network of artists that he has been working with for many years.

Schafhausen was the Artistic Director of Tell me about yesterday tomorrow (November 2019–October 2020), an exhibition at the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism about the future of the past, which will be continued by the public program Assembly in Summer 2021 and an accompanying publication. He has curated numerous international exhibitions such as Media City Seoul 2010 and the Dutch Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010. He was the curator of the German Pavilion for the 52nd (2007) and 53rd Venice Biennale (2009), and curator of the Kosovo Pavilion for the 56th Venice Biennale (2015). Schafhausen also co-curated the 6th Moscow Biennale in 2015.

In addition to curating exhibitions, national pavilions and other projects, Schafhausen has led institutions such as the Frankfurter Kunstverein, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, and Witte de With Center Contemporary Art in Rotterdam. He was Founding Director of the European Kunsthalle, conceived as a project to examine the conditions and structures of contemporary art institutions independent of local government mandates. In 2019 he stepped down as Director of the Kunsthalle Wien, a position he held since 2012, for political reasons, observing that the future of such cultural institutions was thrown into question by rising nationalist policies in Austria and elsewhere. He has called for stronger support from independent state institutions and cultural administrations in times of right-wing populist movements. In the future Schafhausen aims to work beyond the boundaries of conventional institutions.

Lecturer in

2018, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2023