He studied art history from 1967 to 1975 at Leiden University, after which he became an academic.
In 1975, Fuchs became director of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. At that time he was the youngest director of a museum in the Netherlands. In 1982, he was one of the organisers and the artistic director of Documenta 7 in Kassel in Germany.
Between 1987 and 1993 he was director of the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, leaving a deficit of around four million euros.
In February 1993 he became director of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. At first he was general director, later director of art
He worked at the museum until 1 January 2003. His farewell was spoiled by a misunderstanding over Value-Added Tax with the tax authorities.
Fuchs is currently (2013) a lecturer at the University of Amsterdam and independent writer
He has published widely on art as an author and art critic.