Niels Olsen

John Portman Design Critic in Architecture

Niels Olsen works a curator, art historian and director of exhibitions at the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture (gta), ETH Zurich. There, he collaborates with Fredi Fischli on projects at the intersection of architecture, art, research and teaching, resulting in such exhibitions as Unschöne Museen, Cloud’ 68. Collection of Radical Architecture, Home. A User’s Manual and Book for Architects.

Together they have also curated numerous themed exhibitions in conjunction with international institutions, such as Retail Apocalypse at CCA Montreal and ETH Zurich, Sturm & Drang with Armature Globale at Fondazione Prada in Milan, Inside Outside. Petra Blaisse at La Triennale di Milano and MAXXI Rome, Theater Objects at Luma Foundation in Zurich and Trix & Robert Haussmann at KW Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin and Nottingham Contemporary. They are currently working on a thematic exhibition on the occasion of the forthcoming opening of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.

In monographic exhibitions, they have showcased contemporary artists, including Tony Cokes, Precious Okoyomon, Gili Tal, Heimo Zobernig, Cassandra Press by Kandis Williams, Hannah Black, Andrea Fraser and Ashley Bickerton. Solo exhibitions by Sidsel Meineche Hansen and Christelle D’Oyiri are upcoming this year.

In the field of architecture, they have dedicated exhibitions to the work of Kazuo Shinohara, Architecten De Vylder Vinck Taillieu, Smiljan Radic, Berta Rahm, Office Kersten Geers David van Severen, Cinzia Ruggeri, John Hejduk, Alexander Brodsky. They also collaborate with scholars on research-based exhibitions, such as Discreet Violence with Samia Henni and Cabin Crew with the collective Querformat.

Finally, they have produced diverse publications in their capacity as editors: Retail Apocalypse; Screensavers. Anonymous Club Archive; Armadillo House. Marc Camille Chaimowicz and Roger Diener; Reaper. Richard Hamilton und Sigfried Giedion; Ser Serpas. Carman; and Trix & Robert Haussmann. A comprehensive publication on the multifaceted oeuvre of Petra Blaisse and her studio Inside Outside is forthcoming next year.