Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Lyon from 1984 until 2018 and Artistic Director of the Lyon Biennial of Contemporary Art
An art historian whose PhD thesis bore on “the museum question”, Thierry Raspail began his career as a curator at the Grenoble Museum. After a number of assignments in West Africa he designed the museology for the Musée National in Bamako, Mali.
He has been the Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Lyon since its founding in 1984. It was then that he conceived of a museographical plan based on the principle of a collection of moments comprising generic works, often on a monumental scale, by artists such as Joseph Kosuth, John Baldessari, Marina Abramovic, Robert Morris, Robert Irwin, Daniel Buren, Robert Filliou, Ilya Kabakov, George Brecht. He has been the curator or co-curator of several exhibitions: Robert Morris, Joseph Kosuth, Louise Bourgeois, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Cai Guo Qiang, Ben, Pascale Marthine Tayou and Jan Fabre. Together with Hans-Ulrich Obrist and Gunnar Kvaran, he curated the exhibition Indian Highway and Imagine Brazil. He is currently preparing a major Yoko Ono retrospective for March 2016.
In 1991, Thierry Raspail created the Lyon Biennial of Contemporary Art and has since been its Artistic Director. He curated the first three Biennials and invited many international curators, such as Harald Szeemann, Jean-Hubert Martin, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Nicolas Bourriaud, Hou Hanru, Victoria Noorthoorn and Gunnar B. Kvaran. In 2015 he invited Ralph Rugoff, the Director of the Hayward Gallery in London for the 13rd edition of the Lyon Biennial, titled La vie moderne.
Photo © Antoine Harinthe