Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (b. 1957, Ridgewood, New Jersey, US) is an Italian and American author, an organizer of events and exhibitions, and a researcher of artistic practices, the histories of art and the politics of aesthetics and multispecies co-evolution. She is the Director of Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea and Fondazione Francesco Federico Cerruti in Turin and is currently completing the expansion of the museum to incorporate the Cerruti Collection (May 2019). Additionally, she is Edith Kreeger Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professor in Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University (2013–ongoing).
Previously, she was Senior curator at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, a MoMA affiliate in New York, from 1999 to 2001; the chief curator at Castello di Rivoli (2002-2008); the artistic director of the 16th Biennale of Sydney, Revolutions—Forms That Turn in 2008; the artistic director of dOCUMENTA (13) which took place in 2012 in Kassel, Germany as well as in Kabul, Afghanistan; Alexandria and Cairo, Egypt; and Banff, Canada; the curator of the 14th edition of the Istanbul Biennial (SALTWATER: A Theory of Thought Forms) in 2015 and, in 2016, she became the ﬁrst person to simultaneously direct both of Turin’s two art institutions, the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea and the GAM – Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (2016-2017) where she organized exhibitions such as Organismi (2016) and Colori (2017).
As a writer, she has been interested in the relations between historical avant-gardes and contemporary art and has written extensively on the Arte Povera movement, such as in her book Arte Povera (Phaidon Press, 1999). She published the first monograph on the work of South African artist William Kentridge (1998–99), and the first monograph on Canadian artist Janet Cardiff, including works done in collaboration with George Bures Miller (2001). She has organized exhibitions with and written books on Fabio Mauri (1994), Alberto Burri (1996), Franz Kline (2004), Pierre Huyghe (2004), Giovanni Anselmo (2016), Ed Atkins (2017), Anna Boghiguian(2017), Wael Shawky (2017), Nalini Malani (2018) and Hito Steyerl (2018-forthcoming).
She has lectured widely at art and educational institutions and Universities for the Arts and Philosophy, including the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles; Cooper Union, New York; Cornell University, Ithaca; Monash University, Melbourne; Di Tella University, Buenos Aires; University of Leeds; the University of Frankfurt; Harvard University, Boston; and MIT, Boston.