Peter Pakesch

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Peter Pakesch

Peter Pakesch (born July 16, 1955 in Graz , Styria ) is an Austrian exhibition curator , museum director and board member of the Maria Lassnig Foundation.

Live and act

As a student, Pakesch attended the Academic Gymnasium in Graz from 1965 to 1973 , where he also passed the school leaving examination. He then began to study architecture, but was also active as an artist at an early age. He made his first experiences as an exhibition curator from 1976 to 1979 at Forum Stadtpark , of which he has been a member since 1970. After projects at Styrian Autumn and the organization of performances ( Kipper Kids and Reindeer Werk ) with a focus on non-verbal theater. In 1978 he organized the exhibition Art in the Shop Window together with Peter Weibel . 1980 followed a study trip to New York, which brought important encounters and participation in activities in the area of ​​Fashion Moda and the Times Square Show.

After returning to Austria, Pakesch opened his own gallery in Vienna in 1981, where he had his first exhibitions with artists such as John Baldessari , Herbert Brandl , Ilya Kabakow , Mike Kelley , Martin Kippenberger , Sol LeWitt , Albert Oehlen , Franz West and Heimo Zobernig . In 1986 he founded the Grazer Kunstverein together with the Graz cultural politician Helmut Strobl , of which he was artistic director until 1988. As part of this activity, he published the interdisciplinary journal Durch . For the Wiener Festwochen he organized the project Protect Me From What I Want together with Hubert Klocker , a cooperation between Jenny Holzer and Keith Haring . In 1990, in collaboration with Johannes Schlebrügge, he founded the magazine Fama & Fortune Bulletin , which appears at irregular intervals.

In 1993 Pakesch closed his gallery in Vienna. In the 12 years of his activity as a gallery owner, he was able to make Austrian artists such as Franz West and Heimo Zobernig known internationally. In the following years he worked as a freelance curator for the National Gallery in Prague , and in 1996 he took over the position of director at the Kunsthalle Basel . There he showed the first museum exhibitions by young artists such as Olafur Eliasson , Michel Majerus or Pawel Althamer , carried out the renovation of the historic building and reorganized the local annual exhibition into a format that today still represents an important major exhibition between Mulhouse, Freiburg and Basel as 'Regional' . From 1996 to 1998 he traveled to countries of the post-communist world as a member of the Soros International Advisory Board. In 1997 he married the actress and film producer Michaela Leutzendorff, and daughter Josepha was born in 1998.

From 2003 Pakesch was Artistic Director and, together with Wolfgang Muchitsch, Managing Director of the Universalmuseum Joanneum and, until 2011, director of the Kunsthaus Graz, which is also part of this museum complex . In these years, in view of the 200th anniversary of the Joanneum (2011), this oldest public museum in Austria was fundamentally renewed. In the context of the Kunsthaus Graz, which opened in 2003, Pakesch was responsible for various trend-setting exhibitions, most recently for the double exhibition Warhol Wool Newman - Painting Real and Screening Real - Conner Lockhart Warhol.

Between 2003 and 2008 Pakesch was a member of the University Council of Graz University of Technology. Pakesch has been a member of the IBA Basel 2020 Board of Trustees since 2010.

In September 2015 Pakesch terminated the contract with the Universalmuseum Joanneum prematurely and at his own request. Since then he has been the chairman of the Maria Lassnig Foundation. In this role he curated an exhibition by Maria Lassnig in 2016 together with Paul Schimmel at the Hauser & Wirth gallery in Los Angeles and London.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c biography on the website of the Universalmuseum Joanneum ( Memento from January 15, 2013 in the web archive )
  2. Peter Pakesch's farewell from the Joanneum: The balance sheet.
  3. ^ Maria-Lassnig-Privatstiftung: To increase fame and reputation. The standard from September 15, 2015.
  4. Maria Lassnig. A Painting Survey, 1950-2007. Hauser & Wirth