Wulf Herzogenrath

Biographical Information

Prof. Dr Wulf Herzogenrath, born in 1944 in Rathenow/Mark Brandenburg, is a freelance curator and lives in Berlin.

After writing his doctor’s thesis on the subject of Oskar Schlemmer’s murals from 1970, Herzogenrath took up his first position at the Folkwang Museum in 1973 at the age of 28, making him the then youngest director of a German Kunstverein to date. Following that, he worked from 1973 to 1989 for the Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne. In 1976, Herzogenrath curated the first European exhibition showing works by the video pioneer Nam June Paik. In 1977, he was responsible for the video art at the documenta 6 as part of Manfred Schneckenburger’s team. Alongside the outdoor sculptures, the video art section was one of the main features of this “media documenta.” Ten years later, he was once again on the management committee for the documenta 8. In 1980, Herzogenrath collaborated with several colleagues to found the working committee of German art associations “Arbeitsgemeinschaft deutscher Kunstvereine”, and was the chair for a period of ten years. From 1989 to 1994, Herzogenrath worked as chief curator for the Berliner Nationalgalerie and developed, among other things, the concept for the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin. Based on his recommendations, it was possible to purchase a large number of works, including early works by Marie-Jo Lafontaine, Bill Viola, Gary Hill, Wolf Vostell, Nam June Paik and the German pioneers of media art. Herzogenrath was the director of Kunsthalle Bremen from 1994 to 2012 and has successfully organized numerous special exhibitions on the theme of media art, as well as art in and around 1900 which is the main focus of the Bremen collection.

In 2006, Herzogenrath joined the team in the department of fine arts at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin. That same year, supported by the Bundeskulturstiftung he was able to realise a project he had dreamt of for some time: “40jahrevideokunst.de” ("40yearsofvideoart.de"), an exemplary panorama selected from 59 historical and contemporary videos ranging from 1963 to the present and shown simultaneously in five museums. The overview, which is now temporarily accessible to the public in an archive and a series of collections, represents the entire range of video art and its long-term topicality as part of today’s world of images.

Wulf Herzogenrath 2006, Copyright: Kunsthalle Bremen - Der Kunstverein in Bremen
Wulf Herzogenrath
Freelance curator, Berlin

Media art
Art in & around 1900
Modern art

Wulf Herzogenrath