The 58th Venice Biennale Exhibition: Meet Curator Ralph Rugoff

By Michael KurcfeldJune 5, 2019

The 58th Venice Biennale Exhibition: Meet Curator Ralph Rugoff
This year’s prestigious Venice Biennale’s centerpiece exhibition, its 58th, has been curated by Ralph Rugoff, an American art critic who became director of London’s Hayward Gallery. Seeking to assemble artists he felt somehow captured our turbulent, many would say perilous zeitgeist, Rugoff wryly titled the show “May You Live In Interesting Times.” He explains why in this video, shot on-site during the festival’s opening week, and takes us on a tour of a few of the show’s highlights. Uniquely, half of the show's artists are women. The Venice Biennale, which began in 1895 and now features artists from 87 countries, will be on view through November 24, 2019.


Image: Rugoff with Paolo Baratta, the President of the Venice Biennale, seated on a piece by Anthea Hamilton in the Biennale's Giardini gallery.

LARB Contributor

Michael Kurcfeld is a journalist, originally from the print world, but since 1990 working in electronic media. Since founding Stonehenge Media, he has produced film and arts coverage for,, Huffington Post, PBS, Bravo, Yahoo Movies, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, and He produces the Photographer Spotlight series for the Los Angeles Review of Books.


Did you know LARB is a reader-supported nonprofit?

LARB publishes daily without a paywall as part of our mission to make rigorous, incisive, and engaging writing on every aspect of literature, culture, and the arts freely accessible to the public. Please consider supporting our work and helping to keep LARB free.