Karola Kraus, born in 1961 in St. Georgen, has been the director of the mumok – museum moderner kunst stiftung ludwig wien – in Vienna since October 2010.
Kraus grew up surrounded by her parents’ prestigious art collection (Sammlung Grässlin). In the early 1980s she got to know the artist Martin Kippenberger, who had a major influence on her decision to pursue a career in contemporary art. She completed her degree in art history with a thesis that compared the early work of Wols to the art of Surrealism. In 1990 and 1991, as an assistant on the large-scale exhibition project Metropolis at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, Kraus worked with 25 international artists including Cady Noland, Jeff Koons, Robert Gober, Reinhard Mucha, Richard Prince and Clegg & Guttmann.
From 1991 to 1995 Kraus was the director of the non-commercial exhibition space K-raum Daxer in Munich, where she presented international art from the 1980s and 90s with a particular emphasis on conceptual and context-based installations. In 1995 she became Katharina Sieverding’s assistant; her responsibilities in this role included organizing the artist’s presentation in the German pavilion at the 47th Venice Biennale and overseeing several solo exhibitions in major international museums. As one of the founders of the INIT-Kunsthalle in Berlin in 1998, she curated exhibition projects in Berlin, Moscow and Athens.
In 1999 Karola Kraus was appointed director of the Kunstverein Braunschweig. In the main building of the Kunstverein – Haus Salve Hospes – artistic practices from the 1980s and 90s were juxtaposed with art movements of the 1960s and 70s, while the adjacent studio gallery provided a platform for emerging, experimental art.
From 2006 to 2010 Kraus was the director of the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, where – in addition to solo exhibitions and thematic group shows – she regularly organized large-scale survey exhibitions that addressed the changing role of art in society. She also curated exhibitions in New York and Miami Beach.
Karola Kraus has held teaching posts at the University of Freiburg and the State Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe, and has also served as a member of numerous professional juries.
- “Claes Oldenburg. The Sixties”, museum moderner kunst stiftung ludwig wien, Vienna, 2012 (curated by Achim Hochdörfer)
- “Museum of Desires”, museum moderner kunst stiftung ludwig wien, Vienna, 2011/2012
- Daniel Buren: “Allegro Vivace”, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, 2010/2011
- “Every artist is a human being. Positions in self-portraiture”, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, 2010
- Christopher Williams: “For Example: Dix-Huit Leçons Sur La Société Industrielle (Revision 11)”, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, 2010
- Georg Baselitz: “50 years of painting. 30 years of sculpture”, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden and Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden, 2009/2010
- “Entre deux actes – Loge de comédienne”, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, 2009
- “From Surface to Space. Malevich and Early Modern Art”, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, 2008/2009
- Stephen Prina: “The Second Sentence of Everything I Read is You”, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, 2008
- André Cadere: “Peinture sans fin”, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, 2007/2008
- “Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue? Positions in Color Field Painting”, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, 2007
- “Kunst aus Los Angeles der 60er bis 90er Jahre”, Kunstverein Braunschweig, 2006/2007
- Chéri Samba: “Les débuts de Chéri Samba”, Kunstverein Braunschweig, 2005
- Paulina Olowska: “Sie musste die Idee eines Hauses als Metapher verwerfen”, Kunstverein Braunschweig, 2004
- Yayoi Kusama: “Werke aus den Jahren 1949 bis 2003”, Kunstverein Braunschweig, 2004
- Martin Kippenberger: “Multiples”, Kunstverein Braunschweig, 2003
- Poul Gernes: “Arbeiten aus den Jahren 1960 bis 1996”, Kunstverein Braunschweig, 2002
- Franz West: “SAMMLUNG. Ich sammle mich”, Kunstverein Braunschweig, 2001
- Isa Genzken: “Sie sind mein Glück”, Kunstverein Braunschweig, 2000
- Bas Jan Ader: “Filme, Fotografien, Projektionen, Videos und Zeichnungen aus den Jahren 1967 – 1975”, Kunstverein Braunschweig, 2000
- Cosima von Bonin: “The Cousins”, Kunstverein Braunschweig, 2000
- Mike Kelley: “Two Projects”, Kunstverein Braunschweig, 1999