Dr Brigitte Franzen (*1966) is an art and cultural studies scholar. She is the executive director of the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation, which has strong links to 26 international museums and institutions in the field of visual art. From 2009 to 2015 she served as the director of the Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst in Aachen. From 2005 to 2008 she was curator of contemporary art at the Westfälisches Landesmuseum in Münster, during which time she co-curated “sculpture projects münster”, the most important international exhibition of art in public space. In 2005 she founded the Sculpture Projects Archive in Münster, which was exhibited for the first time in 2007.
Brigitte Franzen studied art history, European ethnology, German and sociology in Karlsruhe, Vienna and Marburg. In addition to her curatorial work, she has held teaching positions at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Graz University of Technology, the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, the University of Cologne and the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Franzen has worked in the art exhibition and museum sector since 1990, among others at the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt am Main, Badischer Kunstverein in Karlsruhe, Forum Stadtpark in Graz, the Westfälisches Landesmuseum in Münster and the Ludwig Forum in Aachen. Franzen describes her approach as “research-oriented curatorial practice”.
Since 1993 Franzen has curated and organised numerous exhibitions on 20th- and 21st-century art and architecture, including “sculpture projects muenster 07” (2007), “Stephen Willats” (2008), “Ergin Cavusoglu” (2009), “Pawel Althamer” (2011), “West Arch – A New Generation in Architecture” (2010), “Hyper Real – Art and America around 1970” (2011), “Susan Philipsz” (2011), “Phyllida Barlow” (2012), “The city that doesn’t exist” (2012), “Nancy Graves Project” (2013), “A Children’s Kingdom” (2014), “Le Souffleur. Schürmann meets Ludwig” (2015) and “Mies & Collage” (2016).
In her various curatorial capacities Brigitte Franzen has worked with leading contemporary artists such as Hans-Peter Feldmann, Suchan Kinoshita, Martha Rosler, Wilhelm Schürmann, Deimantas Narkevicius, Isa Genzken, Rosemarie Trockel, Stephen Willats, Andreas Siekmann, Dora Garcia, Lewis Baltz, Pae White, Jeremy Deller, Silke Wagner, Thomas Kilpper, Thomas Schütte, Rosemarie Trockel, Sofia Hultén, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Tania Bruguera, Armin Linke, Haegue Yang, Joelle Tuerlinckx, Nairy Baghramian, Clemens von Wedemeyer and Tobias Zielony.
Franzen has authored and edited many publications on the subject of contemporary art, including books such as “Die vierte Natur” (2000; out of print) and “Landschaftstheorie” (2005; out of print), as well as catalogues such as “Stephen Willats – Texte zur Architektur” (2008), “Closer than Fiction – Hyper Real Reader” (2012), “Phyllida Barlow – Brink”, “Susan Phillipsz: You are not Alone” (2013) and “Nancy Graves Project” (2014).