Curator, researcher and scholar Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (born in Ridgewood, New Jersey) is the Director of Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea and Fondazione Francesco Federico Cerruti in Turin. She is the recipient of the 2019 Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence. She was Edith Kreeger Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professor in Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University (2013–2019). Christov-Bakargiev was born in the United States from a Bulgarian father and an Italian mother and she returned to Italy to conduct her studies in Literature and Philosophy at the universities of Genoa and Pisa. She began her career in the arts writing reviews for the magazine Reporter and for the newspaper IlSole24Ore. Friendships with artists in Italy and internationally, including William Kentridge, Alighiero Boetti, Pierre Huyghe, Francis Alÿs, Mario and Marisa Merz, and Jannis Kounellis, propelled her curatorial work. Following a period at Villa Medici where she curated summer exhibitions (1998–2000), she served as Chief Curator at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center affiliated to MoMA in New York. Amongst many other projects, at PS1 she organized the groundbreaking survey of Janet Cardiff’s work. In 2002 she returned to Turin to work at Castello di Rivoli upon invitation of its former director Ida Gianelli. In 2008 she curated the Sydney Biennial, followed by dOCUMENTA(13) in 2012, and the 14th Istanbul Biennial in 2015. The following year she returned to Turin where, until 2017, she directed both GAM Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea and Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea. Amongst her major publications is the monograph Arte Povera (London, Phaidon Press, 1999).
Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev has been appointed Honory Guest Professor at the Institute Art Gender Nature in 2022.