Rochelle Steiner is a curator, writer, public art producer and Professor of Critical Studies at the University of Southern California in the Roski School of Art and Design, where she was dean from 2010-12. In 2010, she co-founded and has since co-led Emergent Cities, an ongoing interdisciplinary working and research group at the University of Southern California focused on cultural development, public spaces, urban planning, placemaking, technology and the development of smart cities.
She has curated over 60 major exhibitions and large-scale public art projects in the US, Europe and Asia, including 6 Under 60, an exhibition exploring emerging cities for the 2011 Shenzhen & Hong Kong Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, and Olafur Eliasson’s The New York City Waterfalls (2008) at four sites along the East River in New York City.
As Director of the Public Art Fund (2006-09), she curated major commissions and exhibitions in New York City’s outdoor public spaces including works by Chris Burden, Anish Kapoor, Damian Ortega, Sarah Morris and Sarah Sze, in addition to Eliasson's Waterfalls. As Chief Curator at the Serpentine Gallery in London (2001–06), she curated exhibitions with acclaimed artists including John Currin, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Ellsworth Kelly, Takashi Murakami, Gabriel Orozco, Cindy Sherman, Monika Sosnowka and Rirkrit Tiravanija. From 1996 to 2001, she was Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the Saint Louis Art Museum, where she organized the large-scale group exhibition Wonderland, a group exhibition including new work by Janet Cardiff, Olafur Eliasson and Ernesto Neto, as well as the Museum’s Currents exhibition series with shows by Peter Doig, Tom Friedman, Dan Peterman, and Elizabeth Peyton, among others.
Steiner is editor and lead author of Sarah Charlesworth and Do Ho Suh Drawings (DELMONICO • PRESTEL, 2017 and 2014). She is a contributor to Dara Friedman: Perfect Stranger (Pérez Art Museum, Miami, 2017), P3—New Perspectives on Painting (Phaidon, 2016) and A Space Called Public (Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, 2014). Her more than 50 essays and interviews with artists appear in exhibition catalogues and international publications, including Parkett, Modern Painters and Art Review.
Steiner earned PhD and MA degrees in Visual and Cultural Studies from the University of Rochester, and a BA from Syracuse University in English and Advertising. She was one of 10 fellows selected for the Center for Curatorial Leadership program in association with Columbia University Business School in 2009.