|Is||Historian Art historian Writer Editor Film director Screenwriter|
|Field||Academia Arts Film, TV, Stage & Radio Journalism Literature Social science|
|Birth||1955, Nuremberg, Middle Franconia, Bavaria, Germany|
Thomas Kellein (born 1955 in Nuremberg) is a German art historian.
During his school years, Kellein lived in Hannover, and studied art history, philosophy and literature in Berlin, Hamburg and Marburg. He graduated in 1982. His dissertation was published in the book Sputnikschock und Mondlandung. Künstlerische Großprojekte von Yves Klein zu Christo, and additional sections appeared in his catalogue Walter de Maria. 5 Kontinente Skulptur. Kellein lives in Berlin.
In 1982, he was appointed curator of the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, where he directed the international Archive for Intermedia Arts founded by Hanns Sohm in 1945. Later he curated exhibitions, with Ad Reinhardt and then with Walter de Maria.
In 1988, he was appointed Director of the Kunsthalle Basel, where he curated exhibitions of Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, Andy Warhol, Roni Horn, Mike Kelley, John McCracken, Cindy Sherman, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Rachel Whiteread. He also organized thematic projects like “The 21st Century” or “World Morality: Ideas of Morality in Contemporary Art.” Several of his exhibitions traveled from Basel to various European countries and to the United States.
During his years in Basel, he was guest curator at Watari-Um in Tokyo, at the Royal Academy of Arts in London and at Haus der Kunst in Munich. There, in 1995, he curated the historically comprehensive exhibition “Pierrot: Melancholy and Mask.” Between 1982 and 1996 he was part-time lecturer and Professor for Art History at the Philipps-Universität Marburg, the Kunstakademie Stuttgart, and the Universities of Stuttgart and Freiburg.
From 1996 to 2010, Kellein served as Director of the Kunsthalle Bielefeld, turning the municipal Art Museum into a nonprofit operating company. In Bielefeld he curated exhibitions by Alvar and Aino Alto, Vanessa Beecroft, Louise Bourgeois, George Condo, Paul Delvaux, Fang Lijun, Caspar David Friedrich, Adam Fuss, Donald Judd, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Jeff Koons, Henri Laurens, Robert Longo, Kasimir Malevich, Yoko Ono, Pablo Picasso, Rirkit Tiravanija and Not Vital. Among his thematic projects were “1937: Perfection and Destruction,” “1968: The Great Innocence,” and “The 80s Revisited: The Bischofberger Collection.” Many publications related to the listed exhibitions, including the ones in Basel, were issued by well-known German publishing houses. There were a large number of English publications as well.
In 1997 Kellein initiated the state-sponsored project “Garden Landscape OstWestfalenLippe” in public and private gardens and parks of the region. From 2000 to 2010 the project involved up to six different spatial installations a year. Among the participating gardeners and artists were Georg Baselitz, Gilles Clément, George Condo, Richard Deacon, Olafur Eliasson, Jenny Holzer, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Anish Kapoor, Jonathan Meese, Christiane Möbus, Piet Oudolf, Tobias Rehberger, Thomas Schütte, Martha Schwartz, Yutaka Sone and Jan Vercruysse. Several of the spatial installations, such as those by Jenny Holzer in the palace grounds of Reder, are accessible as permanent installations. In the Gräflicher Park Bad Driburg, the “Piet Oudolf Garden” has been open to the public since 2009.
From 2011 until 2012, he served as Director of the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas<. The 340-acre estate comprises more than thirty buildings, which the American sculptor Donald Judd (1928-1994), through grants since 1979 from the Dia Art Foundation, filled with art installations to found his own museum. H With the help of the architectural firm of Zwimpfer Partner, Kellein had invited Donald Judd to Basel in 1991, where the sculptor developed the design of the façade of the Bahnhof Ost railroad station.
From 2012 to 2013 Kellein was an independent art advisor. Since 2013, he is Director of Art Consult at Bergos Berenberg AG in Zurich and continues to advise the Berenberg Group.
Selected exhibition catalogues and book publications
- Ad Reinhardt. The Black Paintings. Exh. cat. (with Gudrun Inboden). Stuttgart, Staatsgalerie, 1985
- Fröhliche Wissenschaft. Das Archiv Sohm. Exh. cat. Staatsgalerie Stuttgart 1986
- Walter De Maria. Five Continent Sculpture. Exh. cat. Stuttgart, Staatsgalerie, 1987
- Sputnikschock und Mondlandung. Künstlerische Großprojekte von Yves Klein zu Christo. Stuttgart, Verlag Gerd Hatje 1989
- Mark Rothko. Kaaba in New York. Exh. cat. Kunsthalle Basel 1989
- Ian Hamilton Finlay. Exh. cat. Kunsthalle Basel 1990
- Cindy Sherman. Ostfildern, Verlag Hatje/Cantz 1991
- Clyfford Still 1904-1980. The Buffalo and San Francisco Collections. Munich, Prestel Verlag 1992
- The 21st Century. Exh. cat. Kunsthalle Basel 1993
- Mike Kelley. Ostfildern, Verlag Hatje/Cantz 1993
- Andy Warhol abstract. Munich, Prestel Verlag 1993
- Welt-Moral. Moralvorstellungen in der bildenden Kunst heute. Exh. cat. Kunsthalle Basel 1994
- Rachel Whiteread, Sculpture. Exh. cat. Kunsthalle Basel/ICA Philadelphia/ICA Boston 1994/95
- Hiroshi Sugimoto. Time Exposed, London and New York, Thames and Hudson 1995
- Fluxus, London and New York, Thames and Hudson 1995
- Roni Horn. Making Being Here Enough. Exh. cat. Kunsthalle Basel/Kestner Gesellschaft Hanover 1995
- John McCracken. Exh. cat. Kunsthalle Basel 1995
- Pierrot. Melancholie und Maske. Munich, Prestel Verlag 1995
- Robert Longo. Magellan. Cologne, DuMont Buchverlag 1997
- Caspar David Friedrich. Der künstlerische Weg. Munich, Prestel Verlag 1998
- When I Paint My Name Is Konrad Lueg (with Daniel Marzona). Exh. cat. Kunsthalle Bielefeld/Museum of Contemporary Art in Gent/P.S. 1, New York 1999/2000
- Kasimir Malewitsch. The Late Work. Exh. cat. Kunsthalle Bielefeld 2000
- Abstrakte Fotografie (with Angela Lampe). Ostfildern, Verlag Hatje/Cantz 2000
- Art Works. Marzona Collection. Art around 1968. Ostfildern, Verlag Hatje/Cantz 2001
- Henri Laurens. Frauenbilder, Frauenkörper. Exh. cat. Bielefeld, Kunsthalle 2001
- Donald Judd. Early Work 1955-1968. Cologne and New York, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König and D.A.P. 2002
- Jeff Koons. Pictures 1980-2002. Cologne and New York, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König and D.A.P. 2002
- Adam Fuss. Cologne and New York, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König and D.A.P. 2003
- Vanessa Beecroft. Photographs, Films, Drawings. Ostfildern, Verlag Hatje/Cantz 2004
- Ilya und Emilia Kabakov. The Utopian City and Other Projects. Bielefeld, Kerber Verlag 2004
- Alvar und Aino Aalto. Design. Collection Bischofberger. Ostfildern, Verlag Hatje/Cantz 2005
- George Condo. One Hundred Women. Ostfildern, Verlag Hatje/Cantz 2005
- Louise Bourgeois. La famille. Cologne and New York, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König and D.A.P. 2006
- George Maciunas. The Dream of Fluxus. London and Bangkok, Edition Hansjörg Mayer 2007
- 1937. Perfection and Destruction. Tübingen, Verlag Ernst Wasmuth 2007
- Yoko Ono. Between the Sky and My Head. Cologne, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König 2008
- 1968. The Great Innocents. Cologne, DuMont Buchverlag 2009
- Fang Lijun. Sea + Sky. Cologne, DuMont Buchverlag 2009
- The 80s Revisited. From the Bischofberger Collection. Cologne, DuMont Buchverlag 2010
- Rirkrit Tiravanija. Cook Book. Just Smile and Don’t Talk. Bangkok, River Books, and London, Edition Hansjörg Mayer 2010
- Picasso 1905 in Paris (with David Riedel). Munich and Leipzig, Hirmer Verlag 2011