Actual director de la Hayward Gallery (Londres), donde ha comisariado distintas exposiciones temáticas como "The Infinite Mix" (2016), "Invisible: Art about the Unseen 1957-2012" (2012), "The Human Factor: the Figure in Contemporary Sculpture" (2014), "Psycho Buildings: Artists Take On Architecture" (2008), una exposición que incluyó instalaciones interactivas e inmersivas de artistas como Mike Nelson, Gelitin y Do-ho Suh, y "The Painting of Modern Life "(2007); además de importantes retrospectivas e individuales dedicadas a Ed Ruscha, George Condo, Carsten Holler, Jeremy Deller y Tracey Emin.
También ha sido director del Wattis Institute (San Francisco), entre 2000 y 2006, y recibió en 2005 el primer premio de crítica de arte y comisariado de la Fundación Penny MacCall.
En diciembre de 2017 fue designado director artístico de la 58ª Edición de la Bienal de Venecia, a celebrar del 11 de mayo al 24 de noviembre de 2019.
Rugoff ha sido director artístico de la XIII...edición de la Bienal de Lyon de 2015.
Ralph Rugoff has been the Director of the Hayward Gallery of London since 2006. Opened in 1968, the Hayward Gallery is considered one of the most leading public art galleries in the United Kingdom; it is part of the Southbank Centre, Europe's largest arts centre that receives major funding by the Arts Council of England. Rugoff was the Artistic Director of the XIII Biennale de Lyon in 2015 titled La vie moderne. Between 1985 and 2002 he wrote art and cultural criticism for numerous periodicals, publishing widely in art magazines as well as newspapers, including Artforum, Artpresse, FlashArt, Frieze, Parkett, Grand Street, The Financial Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Los Angeles Weekly and published a collection of essays, Circus Americanus (1995), in which he explored cultural phenomena of the American West. During the same period he began working as an independent curator, organizing exhibitions such as Just Pathetic (1990) and Scene of the Crime (1997). A former Director (2000-06) of CCA Wattis Institute, at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, he has curated numerous group shows at the Hayward Gallery over the past 11 years, including The Painting of Modern Life (2007), Psycho Buildings (2008), an exhibition that included interactive and immersive installations by artists such as Mike Nelson, Gelitin and Do-ho Suh; and The Infinite Mix (2016); he also has curated important retrospectives and solo exhibitions by Ed Ruschka, Jeremy Deller, Carsten Holler, Tracey Emin and George Condo.