Rouse Visiting Artist Lecture: Raf Simons and Sterling Ruby with Jessica Morgan

Raf Simons and Sterling Ruby store design collaboration for Calvin Klein. Located on Madison Avenue.


Please join us for our final Rouse Visiting Artist program of the spring, an evening with Raf Simons, Chief Creative Officer at Calvin Klein, and LA-based visual artist, Sterling Ruby. Simons and Ruby have been friends and collaborators for over a decade. This event is a rare opportunity to hear Simons and Ruby talk about their process and their work. The two will be joined by Jessica Morgan, Director of the Dia Art Foundation, for a conversation about the overlapping worlds of design, fashion, and contemporary art.

Raf Simons serves as the Chief Creative Officer of Calvin Klein, Inc. In this role, Mr. Simons leads the creative strategy of the CALVIN KLEIN brand globally across the designer, contemporary, bridge, jeans, underwear and home categories in addition to overseeing all aspects of Global Marketing and Communications, Visual Creative Services and Store Design.

Mr. Simons was born and raised in Belgium, where he later studied and obtained a degree in industrial and furniture design. In 1995, he launched his eponymous line, Raf Simons. In 2005, he was appointed creative director of Jil Sander, where he served at the helm for seven years. Mr. Simons assumed the position of creative director at Dior in 2012, a position he held until 2015.

Mr. Simons lives and works in New York City.

Sterling Ruby was born in 1972 on Bitburg Air Base in Bitburg, Germany. He graduated in 1996 from the Pennsylvania School of Art and Design, Lancaster. Ruby received his B.F.A. in 2002 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, and his M.F.A. in 2005 from the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena. Ruby’s work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Recent solo exhibitions include  “CHRON II,” Fondazione Memmo Arte Contemporanea, Rome (2013, traveled to Kunsthalle Mainz, Germany); “DROPPA BLOCKA,” Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Belgium (2013); Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland (2014); “STOVES,” Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris (2015); and the Belvedere Museum, Vienna (2016). Ruby’s work is featured in museum collections worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Quebec; Tate, London; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

Jessica Morgan is the Nathalie de Gunzburg Director of Dia Art Foundation. Since joining Dia in January 2015, Morgan has helped advance Dia’s mission by presenting new programs such as, the Dream House by LaMonte Young, Marian Zazeela and Jung Hee Choi as well as new exhibitions of works by Robert Ryman, Hanne Darboven, Kishio Suga, and François Morellet in New York City; new commissions such as Puerto Rican Light by Allora & Calzadilla in Puerto Rico and Particulates by Rita McBride in New York City; and collection displays of Walter de Maria, John Chamberlain, Anne Truitt, and Dan Flavin in Dia:Beacon. Morgan has brought Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels to Dia’s collection of Land Art as well as bodies of work by Jo Baer, Joan Jonas, Mario Merz, Robert Morris, and Robert Ryman. This May, Morgan brings Dorothea Rockburne and Mary Corse to Dia:Beacon for long term exhibitions.

Morgan previously served as The Daskalopoulos Curator, International Art, at Tate Modern from 2010-2015 and as a curator at Tate from 2002-2010. Morgan was the Artistic Director of the 10th Gwangju Biennale (2014).

At Tate, Morgan curated The World Goes Pop (2015). She also curated a number of important exhibitions including the retrospectives Saloua Raouda Choucair (2013), Gabriel Orozco (2011), John Baldessari: Pure Beauty (2009), and Martin Kippenberger (2006), as well as the group shows The World as a Stage (2007), Time Zones (2004) and Common Wealth (2003). Morgan also curated the Unilever Series commissions for the Turbine Hall by Tino Sehgal, These associations (2012); Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, TH.2058 (2008–09); and Carsten Höller, Test Site (2006–07). Additionally, she developed a series of solo exhibitions of international emerging artists including Meschac Gaba, Roman Ondàk, Catherine Sullivan, Simryn Gill, and Brian Jungen in 2005–06.

Morgan was previously Chief Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, where she organized exhibitions of work by, among others, Carsten Höller, Ellen Gallagher, Olafur Eliasson, Rineke Dijkstra, Marlene Dumas, Marijke van Warmerdam, Kerry James Marshall, and Cornelia Parker.

PLEASE NOTE: This event is free and open to the public, but requires registration. 

  • The lottery for Harvard GSD students is now closed and tickets have been distributed. Please contact [email protected] if you are a GSD student with questions about your ticket or your attendance. 
  • As of April 4, tickets for the general public are SOLD OUT. We will release a small block of tickets for the general public at 3:00 PM on Monday, April 23. Click here at that time to register.
  • If you do not manage to get a ticket, you may still be able to get a seat. We will have a separate line for those without tickets, and any seats that remain at 6:25 PM will be given away on a first-come first-served basis right before the event begins.
  • This event will also be live-streamed here on the website. Access the webpage from any web-enabled device to be able to view the stream, which will become visible just before the lecture begins. 

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the Public Programs Office at (617) 496-2414 or [email protected].