Executive Director of the Center for Curatorial Studies
Having joined CCS Bard in 2005, he built the Hessel Museum of Art which opened in November 2006 and organized the inaugural exhibition of the Marieluise Hessel Collection, Wrestle (2006). The many exhibitions he has curated at the museum have included collaborative projects with artists Martin Creed (2007), Keith Edmier (2008), Rachel Harrison (2009), Josiah McElheny and Lynne Cook (2011), Liam Gillick (2012), Haim Steinbach (2013), and Amy Sillman with Cheney Thompson (2014). In 2005, he organized the U.S. version of Uncertain States of America at CCS Bard. He also commissioned the permanent installation of Olafur Eliasson’s Parliament of Reality on the grounds of Bard (2009). During his tenure, the center has also organized numerous exhibitions and projects including the first U.S. retrospective of Blinky Palermo (in collaboration with the Dia Art Foundation in 2011), Philippe Parreno (in collaboration with the Pompidou Center in 2010), and Anne Collier (2014). Many of these exhibitions have travelled internationally to venues such as the Serpentine Gallery, London, and the Kunsthalle Zurich.
From 2006-2010, he was the curatorial adviser to the Park Avenue Armory including work on the master-plan for the artistic program of the Armory and curated Ernesto Neto’s anthropodino in 2009 and Christian Boltanski’s No Man’s Land in 2010 and was consulting curator for Paul McCarthy’s WS (2013) and Philippe Parreno’s Hypnosis (2015). Eccles was a “correspondent” for the 2009 Venice Biennale (curated by Daniel Birnbaum). At Marian Goodman Gallery in 2009, he curated a group exhibition, As Long As It Lasts, including artists Pawel Althamer, Johanna Billing, Tacita Dean, William Kentridge, Gerhard Richter, and Artur Zmijewski, among others.
Since 2006, Eccles has worked with the LUMA Foundation and philanthropist, Maja Hoffmann, as a member of the “Core Group” of advisers for the development of a major cultural center in Arles, France (with Liam Gillick, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Philippe Parreno, and Beatrix Ruf).
He is a frequent contributor to ArtReview, the British contemporary art magazine.
He is a board member of the Keith Haring Foundation. Until 2011, he was an adviser to the software developer, Adobe, for the Adobe Museum of Digital Media and curated the first online project with Tony Oursler in 2010. He curated the sculpture park for the New York Frieze Art Fair in 2012 and 2013 producing new works such as Paul McCarthy’s Balloon Dog and has been the organizer of the talks program at Frieze New York since 2014. He is currently consulting curator for Governors Island in New York and has recently commissioned new works by Susan Philipsz, Mark Handforth and Rachel Whiteread and the 2015 group exhibition with Ruba Katrib, Visitors, that includes projects by Darren Bader, Nina Beier, Rachel Rose, Pilvi Takala, and others.
Eccles was Director of the Public Art Fund in New York City from 1996-2005 where he curated more than 100 exhibitions and projects with artists including Louise Bourgeois, Janet Cardiff, Mark Dion, Dan Graham, Barbara Kruger, Pierre Huyghe, Ilya Kabakov, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, Nam June Paik, Pipilotti Rist, Lawrence Weiner, Rachel Whiteread, and Andrea Zittel. He organized a number of outdoor projects in collaboration with New York City institutions including the Museum of Modern Art (Tony Smith, Francis Alys), the Whitney Museum (Biennials 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006), and the New Museum (Paul McCarthy). During his tenure at the Public Art Fund, he also initiated the Tuesday Night Talks series (Cooper Union 1995-2000 and the New School for Social Research 2001-2005) and the In the Public Realm program for emerging artists including projects by Alexander Brodsky, Christine Hill, and Paul Pfeiffer (1995-2005).
Eccles graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1989 with an M.A. in Philosophy and Italian. He studied philosophy, aesthetics and semiotics at the University of Bologna from 1985-87. He is a faculty and graduate committee member of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.