Belgian art historian Philippe Pirotte (b. 1972) has been appointed as the new director at Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste – Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine, Pirotte will take office on 1 April 2014, succeeding Nikolaus Hirsch who only spent two years at the post. Earlier predecessor Kaspar König held the chair from 1989 to 2000, while Daniel Birnbaum remained from 2000 to 2010.
Philippe Pirotte was director of the Kunsthalle Bern 2005-2011, where he executed solo shows with Allan Kaprow and Jutta Koether. He is curatorial advisor to the University of California, the Berkeley Art Museum and its Pacific Film Archive, as well as the Rijksakademie van Beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam. Pirotte is a regular contributor to Nka – Journal of Contemporaray African Art and Afterall Journal.
Städelschule is known for its relatively low number of students and its international profile. Of the 140 students of fine art and 50 in architecture, more than 60% come from countries other than Germany. Professors in art include: Monika Baer, Peter Fischli, Douglas Gorden, Judith Hopf, Michael Krebber, Tobias Rehberger and Willem de Rooj. Daniel Birnbaum teaches philosophy while Isabelle Graw is professor for art theory and art history.
The nomination of Pirotte was made by a committee of professors, staff and students at the school. Pirotte will also lead Portikus, the gallery of Städelschule.