Barbara Steiner is a theorist of modern art and museum curator. She used to be the artistic director of the transnational project Europe (tothepowerof) n. The N mathematical symbol stands for a metaphor, which refers to the ever expanding Europe. Scenarios about Europe were the prelude of the project now displayed at the Museum of Contemporary Art (GfZK) in Leipzig.
Barbara graduated from the University of Vienna where she had studied art history and political science. She wrote her doctoral thesis on the Ideology of the White Cube (a white exhibition space). In the 90-s she was the director of Modern Art Centers at Ludwigsburg and Wolfsburg (Germany). From 2001 to 2011 Barbara Steiner was the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Leipzig (Germany). She launched and promoted a range of research art projects on the role of art and culture in post-Soviet societies, on modernism heritage, a historical memory policy and memory culture, on relations between the private and the public, art and economics. She oversaw the planning and development of an additional exhibition hall for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Leipzig, which later received a range of international architecture awards.
The main topics of her curator and research activities encompass politics of representation, institutional and economic critics of museum and exhibition spaces.
She is the author of multiple books, monographs about selected painters (Jorge Pardo, Christine Hill, Superflex, Josef Dabernig) as well as topical research papers (Art Works: Autobiography. Barbara Steiner, co-authored by Jun Yang, 2004; Possible Museums (co-edited by Charles Esche), 2007; The Captured Museum, 2010).