Thomas Trevor (curator)

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Thomas Trevor
Tom Trevor.jpg
Trevor in 2011
Born1962 (age 5657)
NationalityUnited Kingdom
Occupation Curator, writer

Thomas Trevor (born 1962) is a British curator and writer on contemporary art. [1]

Curator content specialist charged with an institutions collections and involved with the interpretation of heritage material

A curator is a manager or overseer. Traditionally, a curator or keeper of a cultural heritage institution is a content specialist charged with an institution's collections and involved with the interpretation of heritage material.

Contemporary art art of the present time beginning with Pop Art and Conceptual Art

Contemporary art is the art of today, produced in the second half of the 20th century or in the 21st century. Contemporary artists work in a globally influenced, culturally diverse, and technologically advancing world. Their art is a dynamic combination of materials, methods, concepts, and subjects that continue the challenging of boundaries that was already well underway in the 20th century. Diverse and eclectic, contemporary art as a whole is distinguished by the very lack of a uniform, organising principle, ideology, or "-ism". Contemporary art is part of a cultural dialogue that concerns larger contextual frameworks such as personal and cultural identity, family, community, and nationality.


Trevor is Artistic Director of the Atlantic Project (incorporating the River Tamar Project), [2] developing a new international festival of contemporary art for the South West of England. He was previously Guest Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, [3] , London (2015-16), Artistic Director of the 4th Dojima River Biennale [4] in Osaka, Japan (2014–15), curatorial consultant to the 1st ARoS Triennial [5] in Aarhus, Denmark (2014–15), Guest Curator at the Devi Art Foundation [6] in Delhi, India (2013–14), Director of Arnolfini [7] in Bristol, UK (2005–13), Associate Curator of the Art Fund International collection [8] (2007–12) and Director of Spacex (1999–2005) in Exeter, UK. Before that he was an independent curator based in London (1994–1999), initiating projects for institutions such as Camden Arts Centre, the Freud Museum and InIVA. [9]

Whitechapel Gallery art gallery in London

The Whitechapel Gallery is a public art gallery in Whitechapel on the north side of Whitechapel High Street, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Designed by Charles Harrison Townsend, it was opened in 1901 as one of the first publicly funded galleries for temporary exhibitions in London, and it has a long track record for education and outreach projects, focused on local people. It exhibits the work of contemporary artists, as well as organising retrospective exhibitions and shows that are of interest to the local community.

Arnolfini Art Gallery, Performance Arts, Cinema in England, UK

Arnolfini is an international arts centre and gallery in Bristol, England. It has a programme of contemporary art exhibitions, artist's performance, music and dance events, poetry and book readings, talks, lectures and cinema. There is also a specialist art bookshop and a café bar. Educational activities are undertaken and experimental digital media work supported by online resources. A number of festivals are regularly hosted by the gallery.

Spacex (art gallery) contemporary art gallery in Devon, England

Spacex was a contemporary art organisation, located in Exeter, between 1974 and 2017. It was founded in 1974 by John Butler as an artist co-operative. Its programme spanned installations, performance, photography, sculpture, painting, film and video. Its learning programme focused on helping visitors of all ages to explore and engage with contemporary art.

Since the 1990s, Trevor has curated more than 100 exhibitions, placing a particular emphasis upon experimental, interdisciplinary practice and context-led projects. [10] Solo exhibitions include Cosima von Bonin, [11] Matti Braun, [12] Angus Fairhurst, [13] Jutta Koether, [14] Joelle Tuerlinckx, [15] and Lois Weinberger. [16] Group exhibitions include The Visible & the Invisible (1996), [17] the Home Series (2000–04), Port City (2007), [18] Far West (2008), [19] Museum Show (2011), [20] No Borders (2012) [21] and Version Control (2013). [22]

Angus Fairhurst English photographer

Angus Fairhurst was an English artist working in installation, photography and video. He was one of the Young British Artists (YBAs).

Jutta Koether is a German artist, musician and critic based in New York City and Berlin since the early 1990s.


Trevor studied Fine Art at the Ruskin, University of Oxford and Goldsmiths College, University of London. As an artist based in London, in the 1990s, he participated in various group exhibitions, such as East Country Yard Show (1990), with contemporaries including Liam Gillick, Michael Landy, Sarah Lucas and Gillian Wearing. [23] In 1996 he co-curated a multi-site project, The Visible & the Invisible: representing the body in contemporary art & society, produced by InIVA, that took place in non-art locations around Euston, London, including first UK presentations by Tania Bruguera and Doris Salcedo, along with site-specific installations by Louise Bourgeois, Bruce Nauman, Yoko Ono, Donald Rodney and others. [24]

University of Oxford university in Oxford, United Kingdom

The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation after the University of Bologna. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two 'ancient universities' are frequently jointly called 'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Oxford has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

East Country Yard Show

East Country Yard Show was an exhibition of contemporary art organized by Henry Bond and Sarah Lucas. It was on view between 31 May—22 June 1990. The exhibition was a "seminal" London group show which was significant in the subsequent development of the Young British Artists.

Liam Gillick is an English conceptual artist who lives in New York City. He is often associated with the artists included in the 1996 exhibition Traffic, which first introduced the term Relational Art.

At Spacex, from June 1999, Trevor curated more than 50 exhibitions and "off-site" projects, placing a particular emphasis upon socially-engaged, context-based work. [25] Multi-site projects included Patterns (2001), with Samta Benyahia and Zineb Sedira, and Homeland (2004), presenting site-specific work by 44 artists in 8 different everyday locations. [26] He also curated projects for the Liverpool Biennial; Generator (2002), [27] Hortus (2004) [28] and, later, Far West Metro (2008); [29] and for Frieze Art Fair (2005) (with new film commissions by Yang Fudong, Mark Leckey, Daria Martin, Jimmy Robert, Imogen Stidworthy and Mika Taanila).

Samta Benyahia born in Constantine, Algeria, in 1950, is an Algerian French artist, known for her Arab Berber Andalusian geometrical patterns and rosaceae, called fatima.

Yang Fudong Yang Fudong was born in Beijing in 1971. He is considered one of China’s most important contemporary artists. He received a BFA in oil painting from the China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, in 1995. In the early 1990s, he began to work with film. He began creating films and videos using 35 mm film. Currently Yang directs films, creates photographs, and creates video installations. Yang is known to explore themes that are historical, social, and political within his work by juxtaposing contradictions between current social issues, with cultural norms. A fan of the abstract and fragmented storyline, he tends to create sequences that are long and suspended, with the use of black-and-white as a constant. Yang’s work has a nostalgic feel that incorporates the lyrical harmony of traditional handscrolls with the expressiveness of new wave cinema that is reminiscent of Jim Jarmusch, someone he admires. Yang Fudong's most popular works include: Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forrest, The Fifth Night, the 17th Biennale of Sydney, East of Que Village, An Estranged Paradise, Backyard- Hey! Sun is Rising, and No Snow on the Broken Bridge.

Mark Leckey is a British contemporary artist, working with collage art, music and video. His found object art and video pieces, which incorporate themes of nostalgia and anxiety, and draw on elements of pop culture, span several videos. In particular, he is known for Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (1999) and Industrial Light and Magic (2008), for which he won the 2008 Turner Prize.

From October 2005 Trevor was Director of Arnolfini, overseeing a visual arts-led multidisciplinary programme of exhibitions, performance, dance, music and film, with a public programme of talks, seminars and learning & participation activities. In 2011, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary, Sir Nicholas Serota described Arnolfini as "one of a handful of the most significant contemporary cultural centres in Europe". [30] Long-term context-led projects in the city of Bristol include Maria Thereza Alves' Ballast Seed Garden (2007 ongoing) [31] and Suzanne Lacy's University of Local Knowledge (2009 ongoing). [32] Trevor left Arnolfini in October 2013, after 8 years, to focus on developing curatorial projects internationally. [7] The first of these, Black Sun (co-curated with Shezad Dawood), opened at the Devi Art Foundation, in Delhi, India, in November 2013. [33]

Nicholas Serota British curator

Sir Nicholas Andrew Serota, is an English art historian and curator, who served as the Director of the Tate from 1988 to 2017. He is currently Chair of Arts Council England, a role which he has held since February 2017.

Suzanne Lacy is an American artist, educator, and writer, professor at the USC Roski School of Art and Design. She has worked in a variety of media, including installation, video, performance, public art, photography, and art books, in which she focuses on "social themes and urban issues." She served in the education cabinet of Jerry Brown, then mayor of Oakland, California, and as arts commissioner for the city. She designed multiple educational programs beginning with her role as performance faculty at The Feminist Studio Workshop at The Woman's Building in Los Angeles.

Shezad Dawood is an artist born in and based in London.

Trevor's recent curatorial projects include "Music for Museums", [34] a series of performances, films and sound interventions taking place throughout the Whitechapel Gallery, London, during the autumn of 2015, and "Take Me To The River" [35] for the 4th Dojima River Biennale, in Osaka, opening in July 2015, with artists from eight countries showing alongside established and emerging Japanese practitioners. Other projects in 2015 include John Akomfrah's Vertigo Sea (Associate Producer), commissioned for the 56th Venice Biennale, and a large-scale architectural commission by Do Ho Suh for the Art Fund International collection (Associate Curator) at Bristol Museum. In 2014 Trevor was a member of the Advisory Committee to the Gwangju Biennale and a member of the jury for the Korea Artists Prize at the national Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul.

Trevor is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Exeter, UK, where he was conferred a Doctorate of Letters (DLitt) in July 2014. [36] He has lectured widely, including talks in Aarhus, Beijing, Beirut, Bridgetown, Faenza, Seoul, Tehran, Venice, Yokohama and Zurich. [37] In 2012 he was a visiting lecturer on the Gwangju Biennale International Curators Course, [38] and in 2013 he gave the 4th ARKO lecture in Seoul, South Korea. [39] He has written numerous articles and produced more than 40 publications. He founded the Concept Store journal in 2008. [40]

Selected exhibitions




















Selected writings and publications

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