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MARC-OLIVIER WAHLER (born 1964 in Neuchâtel, Switzerland) is an international museum director, curator, and writer. He is the current director of the Musée d’art et d’histoire in Geneva. He also serves as the founder and president of PAL Paris Art Lab and Chalet Society (Paris), as well as the founder and creative director of Transformer Sculpture Park (Melides, Portugal). He is the former director of the MSU Broad Museum at Michigan State University (East Lansing, 2016-2019), former director of Palais de Tokyo (Paris, 2006-2012), former director of Swiss Institute (New York, 2000-2006), founding director of CAN (Neuchâtel, 1995-2000), founding editor of PALAIS / Magazine, and co-founder of the Tokyo Art Club (Paris).
As director of the MSU Broad museum he organized around 30 exhibitions a year, among them solo presentations of seminal figures such as Mike Kelley, Jim Shaw, David Lamelas, and Michel Parmentier. He founded a new project: the Art Lab, a collaborative and community-oriented venue.
He also founded the Chalet Society, producing contemporary art exhibitions in a former school building in central Paris, including outsider artists, young emerging artists as well as international stars.
Wahler’s tenure at the Palais de Tokyo proves his ability to bring a nascent art institution to international relevance in original, innovative exhibitions with emerging artists. His directorship was so successful that the French state incorporated the museum into the national system. His international campaign and program innovations made Palais de Tokyo the “number one reason to come to France,” according to Wallpaper Magazine (2009) and “the coolest museum in Paris” according to T: New York Times Style Magazine (2009).
During the last 25 years, Marc-Olivier Wahler has organized over 400 exhibitions – principally as museum director / chief curator, but also as a free-lance curator. As a writer and art critic, Marc-Olivier Wahler regularly writes on contemporary art in international magazines and academic books. His most renowned publication is the art encyclopedia From Yodeling to Quantum Physics in 5 volumes. His last book “The Transported Man” explores the notion of belief in magic and contemporary art.
In 2011, he was decorated as a Chevalier in the French Republic’s Order of Arts and Letters. In 2013, Wahler was awarded the Meret Oppenheim Prize, Switzerland’s highest cultural award in the contemporary arts.