Martin Köttering was born 1964 in Lingen/Ems, Germany. He studied cultural studies and aesthetic practice at the University of Hildesheim and fine art in Bath, England. He then worked as the assistant to the artistic director of documenta 9, Jan Hoet. In 1995 he became director of the Städtische Galerie in Nordhorn and was the initiator, artistic director and manager of the open museum kunstwegen. Within the frame of these activities, he conceived and realised numerous exhibitions and projects in public space with renowned international artists such as Guillaume Bijl, Mark Dion, Olafur Eliasson, Fischli/Weiss, Dan Graham, Katharina Grosse, Beate Gütschow, Jenny Holzer, Ilya und Emilia Kabakov, Michel Majerus, Tobias Rehberger, Andreas Slominski or Franz Erhard Walther. He additionally edited a large number of catalogues on contemporary art as well as artist’s monographs. He was also project head at the Ministry of Science and Art of the federal state government of Lower Saxony and realised, among others, the youth and culture guesthouse Koppelschleuse in Meppen.
Martin Köttering has been president of the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg since 2002. He is a member of various committees, boards and foundations, e.g. Hamburg Media School, the expert committee art of the accreditation institute ACQUIN and until 2008 the supervisory board of the international Kulturfabrik Kampnagel. He is chairman of the art committee of Lower Saxony and member of the board of trustees of the Sammlung Hamburger Kunstmuseen.
Martin Köttering is married, has two children and lives in Hamburg.