Tom Eccles is the Executive Director of the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College and the Founding Director of the Hessel Museum of Art where he oversees the Marieluise Hessel Collection. At the museum he has organized exhibitions and curatorial projects with artists including Rachel Harrison, Leigh Ledare, Haim Steinbach, VALIE EXPORT, Amy Sillman and many others. On the Bard campus he has also organized permanent commissions and installations of major works by Cosima von Bonin, Olafur Eliasson, Franz West, Martin Creed and Mark Handforth. He works closely with Chief Curator, Lauren Cornell, to develop the Center’s artistic and curatorial program.
From 1995 until 2005, Eccles was the Director the Public Art Fund in New York City where he organized over a hundred installations and projects including collaborations with the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum and the New Museum. He worked closely with artists to realize over one hundred ambitious projects including Vito Acconci, Allison and Betye Saar, Rachel Whiteread, Barbara Kruger, Pipilotti Rist, Louise Bourgeois, Pierre Huyghe, Jeff Koons, Nam June Paik and Tony Oursler, and organized historical survey exhibitions of Tony Smith, Keith Haring, and Willem de Kooning.
Eccles is currently the visual arts curator at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City and initiated the program in 2009. His installations include major commissions with Hito Steyerl, Paul McCarthy, Philippe Parreno, Ai Weiwei and Herzog and de Meuron, Ernesto Neto, Nick Cave, and others.
Since 2009, he has been a member of a core group of advisors (with Hans Ulrich Obrist, Liam Gillick, Beatrix Ruf, and Philippe Parreno) to the Luma Foundation in Arles led by philanthropist Maja Hoffmann, and has organized numerous exhibitions, conferences, and publications for the Luma program.
In 2018, he also organized a three-day performance in San Francisco’s Women’s Building with Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson for the inaugural program of the not-for-profit C Project.
Since 2014, he has been the curator the talks program at Frieze New York with speakers including Pussy Riot, Claudia Rankine, Ottessa Moshfegh, Sheila Heti, Valeria Luiselli, Eileen Myles, Fred Moten, and Sondra Perry among others.
Eccles is a Board Member of the Keith Haring Foundation and a member of the Century Association in New York City.
He received his Masters in Philosophy and Italian from the University of Glasgow and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Gothenburg. He is a faculty and graduate committee member of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.
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