Born 1951. Studied art history and literature at Bonn and Aachen universities from 1970 until 1976. Ph. D. thesis on the writings of Barnett Newman. From 1977 until 1978 internship at Wallraf-Richartz Museum and Museum Ludwig in Cologne, then assistant curator at Wilhelm-Lehmbruck-Museum in Duisburg until 1980. John J. McCloy travel grant in the USA.
Director of exhibitions and deputy director of Kunstmuseen Krefeld (Museum Haus Lange, Museum Haus Esters, Kaiser Wilhelm Museum) from 1981 until 2000. Until 2009 artistic director of K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf. Artistic director at large of Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf from 2009 until 2016. 2003 and 2005 commissioner of the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Co-curator of Shanghai Biennale in 2008. Curator of the Georgian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2017. Participates in TV program Bilderstreit (3Sat) from 2007 until 2010. Lives in Berlin