Marc-Olivier Wahler was appointed Director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum in March of 2016. An internationally recognized curator, scholar, and museum professional, Wahler brings more than 20 years of experience to the Broad MSU. Throughout his career, Wahler has focused on contemporary art as a platform for building and strengthening communities and catalyzing interdisciplinary collaboration and exploration. Prior to his role as Broad MSU Director, Wahler served as Founding Director of the Chalet Society in Paris; Artistic Advisor for De Appel Arts Center, Amsterdam and CI Contemporary Istanbul; and Founding Director of Transformer Sculpture Park, Melides, Portugal.
At the Palais de Tokyo, where Wahler served as Director and Chief Curator from 2006-12, he brought together artists with experts from a wide array of disciplines, notably Gianni Motti’s collaboration with the Large Hadron Collider engineers at CERN, Geneva; Robin Meier's collaboration with the Pasteur Institute, Paris; and Micol Assael's collaboration with the Moscow Power Engineering Institute. Wahler exhibited established artists such as Charles Ray, Jeremy Deller, Tatiana Trouvé, Ugo Rondinone, Carol Bove, Adam McEwen, Cady Noland, and Tom Friedman, as well as young and emerging talents—including the first museum presentations in France for Camille Henrot, Ulla von Brandenburg, Oscar Tuazon, Valentin Carron, and Koki Tanaka. During this time, he also founded and served as Editor-in-Chief of PALAIS / Magazine, the museum’s publication exploring contemporary art, criticism, and philosophy.
At the Swiss Institute in New York, where he served as Director from 2000-06, Wahler curated large-scale exhibitions with artists including Urs Fischer, Takashi Murakami, Jim Shaw, and Jutta Koether, and established initiatives to encourage collaboration amongst artists and leaders in fields as disparate as urban planning, chemistry, and sociology. As Co-Founder of CAN, the Centre d’art Neuchâtel, Switzerland, and director from 1995-2000, Wahler integrated researchers at the University of Neuchâtel into the institution’s contemporary art programming, including site-specific performances and solo and group exhibitions with Steven Parrino, Fischli and Weiss, Roman Signer, Cheryl Donegan, Philippe Parreno, and Mike Kelley, among others.
Wahler has curated over 400 exhibitions around the globe, principally as museum director/chief curator, but also as a consultant and independent curator, including From Synchrony to Synchronicity (Basel, 2015), a large-scale installation with fireflies, crickets, and algorithmic music by Swiss artist Robin Meier that explored the principles of order in nature and collective intelligence. Wahler writes regularly for international magazines, including Flash Art International, Parkett Magazine, and Art Press Magazine, among others, and has contributed to many academic publications and exhibition catalogs on a range of contemporary art topics, including the art encyclopedia From Yodeling to Quantum Physics in five volumes.
A Swiss native, Wahler was honored with the Meret Oppenheim Prize in 2013, Switzerland’s highest cultural award in the contemporary arts, and was made Chevalier of the order of Arts and Letters in France in 2011. He has served as a guest lecturer at colleges and universities around the world, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Master’s degrees in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Neuchâtel.