Biography

Dr. Raphael Gygax (*1980) is an art historian, curator and writer. He studied Art History, Film and Drama Studies at the Universities of Berne and Zurich. The topic of his PhD was on the use of instrumentalized bodies in contemporary art (Extra Bodies – The Use of the ‹Other Body› in Contemporary Art). From 2003–19 he was Curator at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich where he curated numerous exhibitions and was Head of Publications. From 2019–23 he was Head of the Bachelor Fine Arts – the largest program for the education of artists in Switzerland with over 180 students – and Deputy Director Department Fine Arts at the University of the Arts in Zurich. In 2023, he curates the annual exhibition program of Museo Casa Rusca in Locarno. In addition, in 2023 he became ART on THE MART‘s curator of digital art (2024– 26, Chicago),  the largest permanent digital art projection in the world. Since 2024 he has also been appointed Curator-at-Large for Kunsthaus Zurich.

Since Fall 2023 he is an independent curator, organizing exhibitions a.o. in Zurich, London, Paris, Luxembourg, Locarno and New York. He has assumed teaching positions at different universities and is on the board of several institutions, including the advisory board of the Kunsthalle Stavanger, Norway. He writes regularly for several catalogues and art magazines, including frieze magazine. From 2013–15 he was the curatorial advisor for the sections Focus and Live of Frieze Art Fair London and New York and from 2016–17 the Curator for Frieze Projects, the non-profit program of artist commissions of Frieze Art Fair, in London. In 2016 he was named as one of the 20 most influential young curators in Europe.

Previously curated solo exhibitions include a.o. Una Szeemann (2023), Martín Soto Climént (2023), Lily van der Stokker (2019/20), Maria Eichhorn (2018), Charles Atlas (2018), Ian Cheng (2016), Xanti Schawinsky (2015), Wu Tsang (2014), Teresa Margolles (2014), Alex Bag (2011), Christoph Schlingensief (2007),  Monster Chetwynd (2007) and Cory Arcangel (2005). Previously curated group exhibitions include a.o. Step Out of Your Body, Enter New Ones (2021), United by Aids (2019), Extra Bodies (2017), Toys Redux (2015), Une Idée, une Forme, un Être (2010) or Deterioration, They Said (2009). In 2008, together with writer Sibylle Berg, he curated the theater/art project Of those who will survive at Schauspielhaus Zürich.

Raphael Gygax photographed by Nicolas Duc. 2018
Raphael Gygax photographed by Nicolas Duc