Nicolaus Schafhausen studied art history and worked as artist before he started his career as a curator. He served as artistic director of Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, and as director of the Frankfurter Kunstverein. He was a curator at the Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art in Helsinki (NIFCA) and the founding director of the European Kunsthalle, an initiative to establish a new art institution in Cologne. From 2006 to 2012 he headed the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam. Nicolaus Schafhausen was the curator of the German Pavilion for the 52nd and the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2007 and 2009. Schafhausen is also the strategic director of Fogo Island Arts, an initiative of the Canadian Shorefast Foundation (shorefast.org) and since October 2012 Nicolaus Schafhausen is the director of Kunsthalle Wien and curator of the 6th Bucharest Biennial in 2014. In addition to Schafhausen's extensive experience in leading institutions and curating exhibitions, he is author and editor of numerous publications on contemporary art.