Dr Doris Krystof, born in 1961 in Nuremberg, lives in Cologne; she is a curator at the K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf.
Krystof studied art history, linguistics, literature and history in Freiburg and Cologne. She wrote her thesis in 1993 on Hendrick Goltzius and the influence of the rhetoric of classical antiquity on the Mannerist art of printing in the Netherlands. Following this she worked first as a trainee and later as a research assistant at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf. Krystof also worked for a short period at the Kunsthalle Wien (Vienna) as a curator in the field of modern and contemporary art. Among the artists she has presented in solo exhibitions are Yves Klein (Cologne/Düsseldorf, 1994), Daniel Buren (Düsseldorf, 1996), Steve McQueen (Vienna, 2001) and Heimo Zobernig (Vienna/Basel/Düsseldorf, 2002/2003).
Doris Krystof has been a curator for both the collection and temporary exhibitions at the K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen since 2001. Among her most prominent exhibition projects in Düsseldorf are “Ich ist etwas anderes” (2001), “‘Sie träumt von ihrem Lieblingsstar. Er spricht mit einer fremden Sprache.’ Vier Räume aus der Sammlung Schürmann.” (2002), “40yearsvideoart.de” – as part of an initiative of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (Federal Cultural Foundation; 2006) – and a comprehensive retrospective of Martin Kippenberger (in collaboration with Tate Modern, London, 2006).
Krystof has written and published texts about Mannerist art, but especially about Modernism and contemporary art. The key focus of her work lies on the historical links between Mannerism, Surrealism and Concept art – aspects of visual rhetoric (from copperplate engraving to comics), the relation between appearance and reality, forms of theatrality, questions of portrayal. A further field of her work concerns the practice of exhibiting and collecting film and video works in museums.