Rosa Martinez

Curator, Writer and Art Collections Consultant


  • 1979: Bachelor’s Degree in Arts (History of Art, University of Barcelona).
  • 1989: Course on Artistic and Cultural Institutions Management (Advanced Management Programme, ESADE, Barcelona) in collaboration with the Graduate School of Public Administration (New York University).
  • Languages: Fluent English, French, Spanish and Catalan (spoken and written). Conversational Italian, Greek and Portuguese.

Professional Experience

Rosa Martínez is a curator, writer and art collections consultant based in Barcelona, where she obtained her degree in Art History in 1977.

Rosa Martínez set out on her professional career in the field of education and was organizer and coordinator of the Art and History programmes at “la Caixa” Social Outreach Projects in Barcelona (1977- 1987). For two decades (1988 to 2007) she occupied the positions of director and curator of international biennials such as Istanbul, Santa Fe de Nuevo México, Pusan, Moscow and São Paulo. In 2005 she directed the International Exhibition of the Venice Biennale at the Arsenale, which made her (along with Maria de Corral, curator of the Italian Pavilion) one of the first women directors in the exhibition’s 110-year history

From its foundation in 2004 to 2007 she was Chief Curator of the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, where she set up the exhibition programme, established the guidelines of the collection and organised relevant exhibitions and video programmes.

Besides curating many solo and group shows, she has also been a prolific lecturer and a regular contributor to numerous exhibition catalogues, art journals and newspapers.



  • 2007: Co-curator of the 2nd Moscow Biennale (Moscow, Russia) together with Joseph Backstein, Daniel Birnbaum, Iara Boubnova, Fulya Erdemci, Gunnar B. Kvaran and Hans Ulrich Obrist.
  • 2006: Co-curator of the 27th Sao Paulo Biennial (Sao Paulo, Brazil) together with Lisette Lagnado, Cristina Freire, Adriano Pedrosa, José Roca and Jochen Volz.
  • 2005: Director of the International Exhibition of the 51st Venice Biennale presenting “Always a Little Further” at the Arsenale.
  • 2005: Co-curator of the 1st Moscow Biennale together with Joseph Backstein, Daniel Birnbaum, Nicolas Bourriaud, Iara Boubnova and Hans Ulrich Obrist.
  • 2003: Curator of the Spanish Pavilion, Venice Biennial 2003.
  • 2001-2003: International advisor for the Echigo-Tsumari Triennial (Japan).
  • 2000: Co-curator of “Leaving the Island”, 2nd Pusan Biennale, Metropolitan Art Museum of Pusan (Korea) -together with Young Chul Lee and Hou Hanru.
  • 2000: Curator of “Friends and Neighbours”, Biennial EVA 2000, Limerick (Ireland).
  • 1999: Curator of “Looking for a Place”, the 3rd. International SITE Santa Fe Biennial, Santa Fe, New Mexico (U.S.A.)
  • 1997: Artistic Director of “On Life, Beauty, Translations and Other Difficulties”, 5th International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul (Turkey)
  • 1996: Co-curator of Manifesta I, Rotterdam (Netherlands) -together with Viktor Misiano, Katalin Neray, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Andrew Renton.
  • 1988-1992: Director of the Barcelona Biennial and coordinator of Barcelona’s participation in the Mediterranean Biennials held in Bologna (Italy), Salonika (Greece), Marseille (France) and Tipasa (Algerie).

Group Shows

  • 2019 IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, Picasso Museum, Barcelona, Spain
  • 2018 CONSTELLATION MALTA. Contemporary Art Exhibition at various Heritage Sites, Valletta 2018 European Capital of Culture, Malta.

  • 2017, INTIMACY IS POLITICAL. Sex, Gender, Language, Power. Centro Cultural Metropolitano, Quito, Ecuador.
  • 2015-2016 FEAR NOTHING, SHE SAYS. When Art Reveals Mystic Truths,
    National Museum of Sculpture, Valladolid, Spain.
  • 2012-2013 WHAT TO THINK, WHAT TO DESIRE, WHAT TO DO. Fundación “la Caixa”, Barcelona, España
  • 2011: “TRA. EDGE OF BECOMING”, Palazzo Fortuny. Venice. (Italy) cocurated with Daniela Ferretti, Francesco Poli and Axel Vervoordt.
  • 2007-2008: “Chacun à son Goût”, Guggenheim Bilbao Museum.
  • 2007: “Time Present – Time Past”, cocurated with David Elliot, Istanbul Modern, Istanbul (Turkey)
  • 2005-2007: Video programs at Istanbul Modern: “Video program 2” (AprilJuly,2005); “Nothing Lasts for Ever” (Feb.-Mayo 2006); “Painting as a Way of Living (May-August, 2006), “Is this Fiction?” (Feb.-Mayo 2007), “… And Dreams are Dreams” (Mayo-August, 2007)
  • 2006: “Venice-Istanbul”, Istanbul Modern, Istanbul (Turkey)
  • 2005: “Centre of Gravity”, Istanbul Modern, Istanbul (Turkey).
  • 2005: Co-curator of “Here comes the Sun” with Daniel Birnbaum, Jerome Sans and Sarit Shapira. Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, Stockholm (Sweden).
  • 2003: Curator of “COPYRIGHT: EUROPE EXISTS” together with Harald Szeemann, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece.
  • 2003: Curator of “Universal Strangers”, Borusan Art Center (Istanbul, Turkey)
  • 2002: Curator of “The Song of the Pirate”, Centro Cultural Andratx (Mallorca, Spain).
  • 2002: Curator of “The Hall of Lost Steps”, Borusan Art Center (Istanbul, Turkey).
  • 2002-1998: Curator of the International Project Rooms at ARCO, the International Contemporary Art Fair, Madrid (Spain), -together with Octavio Zaya and various guest curators.
  • 2001-2002: Co-curator of “Trans Sexual Express Barcelona 2001: A Classic for the Third Millennium”, Santa Monica Art Centre, Barcelona (Spain) – together with Xabier Arakistain. Travelling show going to Kunsthalle Mücsarnok (Budapest, Hungary) in January 2002, and to Kiosko Alfonso (La Coruna, Spain) in April 2002.
  • 2000: Co-curator of “Living and Working in Vienna”, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, (Austria) -together with Paulo Herkenhoff and Maaretta Jaukkuri.
  • 1998: Co-curator of CREAM (Contemporary Art in Culture), a portable exhibition published in the form of a book by Phaidon Press, London, (Great Britain).
  • 1998: Curator of “Mediterranea. Tradition and Modernity in Ceramics”, Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, Istanbul, (Turkey).
  • 1998: Curator of “Mar de Fondo”, Roman Theatre, Sagunto (Valencia, Spain).
  • 1998: Curator of the virtual exhibition “Berlin. Between Architecture , Art and Glamour Engineering” for Flash Art International.
  • 1996: Curator of “Thinking of you. A selection of Spanish Contemporary Art”, Göteborg Kunsthalle, Göteborg, (Sweden).

Solo Shows

  • 2008: Anish Kapoor: “Islamic Mirror”, Convent of las Claras, Murcia (Spain).
  • 2004: “Nikos Navridis”, Sala de exposiciones de la Fundación la Caixa, Madrid.
  • 2004: Pilar Albarracín, Reales Atarazanas de Sevilla (Spain)
  • 2003: Curator of 3 solo shows by Ghada Amer, Shirin Neshat and Oleg Kulik, Galeria Filomena Soares, Lisbon (Portugal).
  • 2003: Curator of “Nedko Solakov: Romantic Landscapes with missing Parts”, Espacio 1, MNCARS, Madrid (Spain)
  • 2001: Curator of 3 urban interventions by Ghada Amer, Santiago Sierra and Sergio Vega in the context of “Experiences, Barcelona Art Report 2001”, Barcelona (Spain)
  • 1999: Curator of “Jean-Michel Othoniel”, Sala Rekalde, Bilbao (Spain) and Palacio de los Condes de Gabia, Granada (Spain)
  • 1999: Curator of “Bülent Sangar”, Museum in Progress, Vienna (Austria)
  • 1997: Curator of the season “The Meteors” at La Caixa Foundation’s Sala Montcada (Barcelona, Spain) presenting solo shows of: Akane Asaoka, Sam Taylor-Wood, Ana Laura Aláez and Irwin.
  • 1992: Curator of the season “5 Values for the Next Millennium” at La Caixa Foundation’s Sala Montcada (Barcelona, Spain) presenting solo shows of: Juan Urrios, Sergio Caballero, Patrick van Caeckenbergh, Marcel.lí Antúnez/ Nan Goldin and Jana Sterbak.

Art Collections

  • 2012- 2013: “What To Think, What To Desire, What To do” Curated by Rosa Martínez, Caixaforum Barcelona presents a cycle of three exhibitions that offers a new interpretation of Fundació la Caixa Contemporary Art Collection from the perspective of thought, desire and action.

Selected Juries

  • 2011: President of the International Jury of the 12th Cairo Biennale (Egypt)
  • 2002: Member of the International Jury of L’Oréal Prize (Tokyo, Japan).
  • 2002: Member of the Jury of Fundación Botín Grants (Santander, Spain).
  • 2001: Member of the International Jury of 8th Cairo Biennial (Cairo, Egypt).
  • 2001: Member of the International Jury of Union Latina, Visual Art Prize, (Lisbon, Portugal).
  • 2001: Member of the International Jury of “The Vincent” Prize, Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht (The Netherlands).
  • 1999: Member of the International Jury of the 48th Venice Biennial (Venice, Italy).
  • 1999: Member of the International Jury of the Deste Foundation Prize (Athens, Greece).

Selected Articles, Essays and Publications

  • Regular contributor to several newspapers and art journals, notably Flash Art International, El País, Atlántica, Letra Internacional and La Guía del Ocio. She has also written numerous essays for artist’s catalogues.

Articles (Selection)

  • 2010-2014: Contributor to the “Images” section of Le Monde Diplomatique en español.
  • 2006: “Women in Art. A Politically Unbalanced Relationship”, Quaderns de la Mediterrània, 7. European Institute of the Mediterranean, Barcelona.
  • 2002: “Is there fear of discussing the basic moral, philosophical and the aesthetic tenents behind the current avant-garde in art?”, The Art Newspaper, London, nº 123, March.
  • 2001: “Some Islands: International Project Rooms ARCO’01”, ARCO Noticias, Madrid, nº 20, April.
  • 2000: “On Love, New Feminism and Power”, Atlántica, nº 26.
  • 2000: “Buscando otros lugares: el arte como asistencia social”, Archipiélago, cuadernos de crítica de la cultura, Barcelona, nº 41. April-May.
  • 2000: “In the Society of Spectacle You are Always an Employee: Never the Owner of the Show”, Trans, New York, nº 7, May.
  • 1999: “Carta desde Estambul”, Letra Internacional, nº 60. Madrid, Spain.
  • 1999: “Of Course, Intensity and Art can Change the World. A Conversation between Harald Szeemann and Rosa Martínez”, Lápiz, nº 150. JanuaryFebruary.
  • 1999: “En Primera Línea. CREAM: Cien artistas para un nuevo siglo”, El País de las Tentaciones, El País, May 7th.
  • 1998: “Guggenheim Bilbao. What lies behind the titanium esplendor?”, Flash Art, Jan-Feb.
  • 1998: “Art Collecting. Interview with Nancy and Robert Magoon.” ARCO Noticias, nº 12
  • 1997: “Istanbul Biennial, Curatorial Interpretations”, Flash Art, NovemberDecember. Pg. 98-100.
  • 1995: “Arte: hágalo usted mismo”, Lápiz. Madrid, nº 109-110, FebruaryMarch.

Essays for Catalogues (Selection)

Akane Asaoka (La Caixa Foundation, Barcelona), Ana Laura Aláez (La Caixa Foundation, Barcelona), Pilar Albarracín (Junta de Andalucía, Sevilla), Dimitris Alithinos (Greek Pavillion in the 47th Venice Biennial), Ghada Amer (Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Sevilla), Helena Almeida (Filomena Soares Gallery, Lisboa), Janine Antoni (Ink Tree, Switzerland), Marcel.lí Antunez (La Caixa Foundation, Barcelona), Sergio Caballero (La Caixa Foundation, Barcelona), Johan Creten (Robert Miller Gallery, New York), Cristina García Rodero (49th Venice Biennial), Nan Goldin (La Caixa Foundation, Barcelona), Cai Guo Quiang (Kunsthalle Wienn; Academie de la France a Rome), Joan Hernández Pijoan (Banco Zaragozano, Zaragoza), Irwin (La Caixa Foundation, Barcelona), Meta Isaeus-Berlin (Rooseum, Malmö), Liza May Post (Cream-Phaidon, London), Priscilla Monge (Teorética, San José de Costa Rica), Paloma Navares (Mestna Galerija, Liubljana), Nikos Navridis (Greek Pavillion in the 49th Venice Biennial), Rivane Neuenschwander (24th Sao Paulo Biennial ; Hugo Boss Prize 2004. New York), Alex Nogué, Jean-Michel Othoniel (Diputación de Granada, Granada), Marta María Pérez Bravo (Kunsthalle Wienn), Egle Rakauskaite (Cream-Phaidon, London; National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens), Bülent Sangar (Cream-Phaidon, London), Antonio Saura (Banco Zaragozano, Zaragoza), Jana Sterbak (La Caixa Foundation, Barcelona), Sam TaylorWood (La Caixa Foundation, Barcelona; MNCARS, Barcelona), Lin Tian Miao (Cream-Phaidon, London), Grazia Toderi (Luxembourg Casino), Juan Urrios (La Caixa Foundation, Barcelona), Eulalia Valldosera (Cream-Phaidon, London), Patrick Van Caekenberg (La Caixa Foundation, Barcelona), Maaria Wirkkala (49th Venice Biennial; National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens), María Zárraga (Galería Salvador Díaz, Madrid), Gregor Zivic (Kunsthalle Bern).

Educational Activities

  • 2012-2013: Lectures What to Think, What to Desire, What to Do at Caixaforum Barcelona.
  • 2002-2008: Lectures at the Fundación La Caixa (Barcelona, 1998); Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles, 1999); CAPC (Bordeaux, 1999); Singapore Museum (Singapore, 1999); ARCO (Madrid, 1999, 2000, 2001); Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (Sevilla, 1999, 2002); Drawing Center (New York, 2000); Tate Modern (London, 2000); MNCARS (Madrid, 2000); MACBA (Barcelona, 2000); Fundazione Querini Stampalia (Venice, 2000); 7a Bienal de la Habana (Cuba, 2000); Mimar Sinam University (Istanbul, 2001); Royal College (London, 2001); SITAC (Mexico DF, 2001); Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney, 2002); Centro Párraga (Murcia, 2002); Kunsthauss Bregenz, 2004; (Austria, 2004); Art Basel Conversations (Basel, Switzerland, 2004); Art Basel Conversations-Art Basel Miami Beach (Miami, USA, 2004); FAAP (Fundaçao Armando Alvares Penteado), University of Sao Paulo (2006); Course “Towards a Total Museology”, Cosmocaixa, Barcelona (2006, 2007, 2008).
  • 1996-1997: Director of the curatorial training programme “Passion and Ennui in Contemporary Art” organised by La Caixa Foundation, Barcelona (Spain).
  • 1978-1988: Organizer and coordinator of the “Art and History” activities staged under the auspices of La Caixa Foundation’s Social Activities Programme.

Selected Interviews

Publishing Projects

  • 1993: Director of the book “Últimas tendencias” (Last trends), Historia Universal del Arte, Editorial Planeta, Barcelona
  • 1995-96: Director of the “Historia del Arte”, 16 volums, Instituto Gallach, Grupo Editorial Océano (Barcelona)

Board Membership

  • 2012: Member of SITElines, Advisor Committee. SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico (USA)
  • 2010-2011: Member of the Caixa de Catalunya Foundation Culture Board. Barcelona (Spain)
  • 1997-2006: Member of the Advisory Board of the International Istanbul Biennial (Turkey)
  • 1999-2002: Member of the IKT Board (International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art)