Klaus Ottmann received a M.A. in philosophy from the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany in 1980 and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the Division of Media and Communications at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland in 2002. In 2014, Dr. Ottmann attended the Getty Leadership Institute Executive Education Program for Museum Leaders at Claremont Graduate University.
Currently Deputy Director for Curatorial and Academic Affairs at The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., Dr. Ottmann has curated more than fifty exhibitions including STILL POINTS OF THE TURNING WORLD: SITE SANTA FE’S SIXTH INTERNATIONAL BIENNIAL (July 2006 – January 2007); LIFE, LOVE, AND DEATH: THE WORKS OF JAMES LEE BYARS at the Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt am Main, Germany and the Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Strasbourg, France (2004); and WOLFGANG LAIB: A RETROSPECTIVE, which originated at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. and traveled to five additional venues including the Dallas Museum of Art and the Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2000–2002).
His most recent curatorial projects include KAREL APPEL: A GESTURE OF COLOR (The Phillips Collection, June–September 2016); HIROSHI SUGIMOTO: CONCEPTUAL FORMS AND MATHEMATICAL MODELS (The Phillips Collection, February–May 2015); ANGELS, DEMONS, AND SAVAGES: POLLOCK, OSSORIO, DUBUFFET (The Phillips Collection, February–May 2013; Parrish Art Museum, Summer 2013); PER KIRKEBY: PAINTINGS AND SCULPTURE (The Phillips Collection, October–January 2012; Bowdoin College Museum of Art, March–July 2013) and JENNIFER BARTLETT: PLACE — A SURVEY OF PAINTINGS AND SCULPTURE (The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, June–October 2013; Parrish Art Museum, Summer 2014). Earlier projects include FAIRFIELD PORTER: RAW – THE CREATIVE PROCESS OF AN AMERICAN MASTER (Parrish Art Museum, April – June 2010); RACKSTRAW DOWNES: ONSITE PAINTINGS, 1972–2008 (Parrish Art Museum, June – August 2010); EV+A 2007: A SENSE OF PLACE, an international survey of contemporary art held city-wide in Limerick, Ireland (March – May 2007); and BODIES OF DESIRE: WORKS ON PAPER BY WILLEM DE KOONING AND CHLOE PIENE, Locks Gallery, Philadelphia (January – February 2007).