Thomas Trevor (curator)

Last updated

Thomas Trevor
Tom Trevor.jpg
Trevor in 2011
Born1962 (age 6162)
Occupation(s) Curator, writer

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


Trevor is Associate Professor of Contemporary Art and Curation at the University of Exeter. [2] [3] He was previously Artistic Director of The Atlantic Project, [4] in Plymouth, UK (2016–19), Guest Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, [5] London (2015–16), Artistic Director of the 4th Dojima River Biennale [6] in Osaka, Japan (2014–15), curatorial consultant to the 1st ARoS Triennial [7] in Aarhus, Denmark (2014–15), Guest Curator at the Devi Art Foundation [8] in Delhi, India (2013–14), Director of Arnolfini [9] in Bristol, UK (2005–13), Associate Curator of the Art Fund International collection [10] (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. [11]

Since the 1990s, Trevor has curated more than 100 exhibitions, placing a particular emphasis upon experimental, interdisciplinary practice and context-led projects. [12] Solo exhibitions include Cosima von Bonin, [13] Matti Braun, [14] Angus Fairhurst, [15] Jutta Koether, [16] Joelle Tuerlinckx, [17] and Lois Weinberger. [18] Group exhibitions include The Visible & the Invisible (1996), [19] the Home Series (2000–04), Port City (2007), [20] Far West (2008), [21] Museum Show (2011), [22] No Borders (2012) [23] and Version Control (2013). [24]


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. [25] 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. [26]

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. [27] 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. [28] He also curated projects for the Liverpool Biennial; Generator (2002), [29] Hortus (2004) [30] and, later, Far West Metro (2008); [31] and for Frieze Art Fair (2005) (with new film commissions by Yang Fudong, Mark Leckey, Daria Martin, Jimmy Robert, Imogen Stidworthy and Mika Taanila).

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". [32] Long-term context-led projects in the city of Bristol include Maria Thereza Alves' Ballast Seed Garden (2007 ongoing)[ citation needed ] and Suzanne Lacy's University of Local Knowledge (2009 ongoing). [33] Trevor left Arnolfini in October 2013, after 8 years, to focus on developing curatorial projects internationally. [9] The first of these, Black Sun (co-curated with Shezad Dawood), opened at the Devi Art Foundation, in Delhi, India, in November 2013. [34]

Trevor's recent curatorial projects include The Atlantic Project "After The Future", [35] [36] [37] a large-scale context-led project across the city of Plymouth, in the autumn of 2018, featuring site-specific installations by twenty artists from twelve countries, "Music for Museums", [38] 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" [39] 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 was conferred a Doctorate of Letters (DLitt) at the University of Exeter in July 2014. [40] He has lectured widely, including talks in Aarhus, Beijing, Beirut, Bridgetown, Faenza, Seoul, Tehran, Venice, Yokohama and Zurich. [41] In 2012 he was a visiting lecturer on the Gwangju Biennale International Curators Course, [42] and in 2013 he gave the 4th ARKO lecture in Seoul, South Korea. [43] He has written numerous articles and produced more than 40 publications. He founded the Concept Store journal in 2008. [44]

Selected exhibitions




















Selected writings and publications

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hans Ulrich Obrist</span> Swiss art curator, critic and historian (born 24/5/1968)

Hans Ulrich Obrist is a Swiss art curator, critic, and art historian. He is artistic director at the Serpentine Galleries, London. Obrist is the author of The Interview Project, an extensive ongoing project of interviews. He is also co-editor of the Cahiers d'Art review. He lives and works in London.

Lynne Cooke is an Australian-born art scholar. Since August 2014 she has been the Senior Curator, Special Projects in Modern Art, at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

<i>Aesthetica</i> Art and culture magazine

Aesthetica Magazine is a publication focusing on art and culture. Established in 2002, the magazine provides bi-monthly coverage of contemporary art across various disciplines, including visual arts, photography, architecture, fashion, and design. It has a readership of over 550,000 globally.

<i>The Brooklyn Rail</i> Journal of arts, culture and politics

The Brooklyn Rail is a publication and platform for the arts, culture, humanities, and politics. The Rail is based in Brooklyn, New York. It features in-depth critical essays, fiction, poetry, as well as interviews with artists, critics, and curators, and reviews of art, music, dance, film, books, and theater.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Simon Njami</span>

Simon Njami is a writer and an independent curator, lecturer, art critic and essayist.

Mamuka Japharidze is an artist from the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi. He is especially known for representing Georgia in the 48th Venice Biennale. He currently lives in Tbilisi and produces his art there.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev</span> Art historian, critic, and curator

Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev is an Italian-American writer, art historian and exhibition maker who served as the Director of Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea in Turin in 2009 and from 2016 to 2023. She was also the founding Director of Fondazione Francesco Federico Cerruti from 2017 to 2023. She was Edith Kreeger Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professor in Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University (2013-2019). She is the recipient of the 2019 Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence. She is currently Honorary Guest Professor at FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern, Switzerland. She has lectured widely at art and educational institutions and Universities for the Arts, including the Goethe University, Frankfurt; Harvard University, Cambridge; MIT, Boston; Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Dehli; Cooper Union, New York; The Courtauld Institute of Art, London; Monash University, Melbourne; Di Tella University, Buenos Aires; Northwestern University, Chicago, and UNITO, Università di Torino, Turin.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shilpa Gupta</span> Indian artist

Shilpa Gupta is a contemporary Indian artist based in Mumbai, India. Gupta's artistic practise encompasses a wide range of mediums, including manipulated found objects, video art, interactive computer-based installations, and performance.

Mami Kataoka is an art curator and writer. She is presently the director of the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo.

Carol Yinghua Lu is a curator, art critic and writer who lives and works in Beijing.

Massimiliano Gioni is an Italian curator and contemporary art critic based in New York City, and artistic director at the New Museum. He is the artistic director of the Nicola Trussardi Foundation in Milan as well as the artistic director of the Beatrice Trussardi Foundation. Gioni was the curator of the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013.

Liu Ding is a Chinese artist and curator based in Beijing. Liu’s artistic practices range from installation, painting, photography, and theatre set design and production, whereas his professional skills vary from magazine editorial, television production, and curatorial work.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Catherine de Zegher</span> Belgian curator, art critic, and art historian

Catherine de Zegher is a Belgian curator and a modern and contemporary art historian. She has a degree in art history and archaeology from the University of Ghent.

Jane Thérèse "Tessa" Jackson OBE is a British art curator, writer and cultural advisor.

June Yap is a Singaporean curator, art critic, and writer. She is currently the Director of Curatorial & Collections at the Singapore Art Museum.

Sergio Edelsztein founded and curated the Artifact Gallery, the International Video Art Biennale and Videozone, and also founded the Center for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv, in 1997.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Amalia Pica</span> Argentine artist

Amalia Pica is a London-based Argentine artist who explores metaphor, communication, and civic participation through sculptures, installations, photographs, projections, live performances, and drawings.

Natalie King is an Australian curator and writer working in Melbourne, Australia. She specializes in Australian and international programs for contemporary art and visual culture. This includes exhibitions, publications, workshops, lectures and cultural partnerships across contemporary art and indigenous culture.

Young In Hong is a visual artist from Seoul, Korea, based in Bristol, England. Hong graduated with an MA and a PhD in Art from Goldsmith College in London UK in 2012. From 1992 to 1998, she studied Sculpture at Seoul National University. Hong currently works from her studio at Spike Island in Bristol and is represented by PKM Gallery in Seoul. She teaches at Bath School of Art as Reader in Performance and Textiles.

Krist Gruijthuijsen is a Dutch curator and art critic who has been serving as Director of KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, Germany, since July 2016. At KW, he has curated exhibitions with, among others, Hanne Lippard, Ian Wilson, Adam Pendleton, Ronald Jones, Hiwa K, Willem de Rooij, Beatriz González, David Wojnarowicz, Hreinn Friðfinnsson, and Hassan Sharif.


  1. Who's Who. A & C Black. 2009. p. 2351. ISBN   9-781408-102480.
  2. "Professor Tom Trevor". University of Exeter. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  3. "Former Director of Arnolfini appointed to lead new Masters in International Contemporary Art". University of Exeter. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  4. "The Atlantic Project" . Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  5. "Whitechapel Gallery" . Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  6. e-flux. "Dojima River Biennale 2015" . Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  7. "ARoS Triennial" . Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  8. "Devi Art Foundation" . Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  9. 1 2 A-N (31 October 2013). "International Moves: Tom Trevor leaves Arnolfini". Artists Newsletter. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  10. Bristol Museum (29 November 2012). "No Borders, first exhibition of the Art Fund International collection" . Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  11. KWMC. "Demanding Conversations". Knowle West Media Centre. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  12. Aesthetica (1 April 2010). "Tom Trevor". Aesthetica Magazine. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  13. 1 2 Morrison, Harun (4 May 2011). "Cosima von Bonin". This is Tomorrow. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  14. Perry, Colin (March 2013). "Matti Braun". Frieze D/E. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  15. 1 2 Jones, Jonathan (6 February 2009). "Angus Fairhurst". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  16. "Jutta Koether". Artforum. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  17. 1 2 Searle, Adrian (11 December 2013). "Joelle Tuerlinckx: the artist who makes puzzles out of meteorites and Sellotape". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  18. Culture 24 (13 December 2006). "Weinbergers Home Voodoo". 24 Hour Museum. Retrieved 7 January 2014.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  19. InIVA. "The Visible & the Invisible". Institute of International Visual Arts. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  20. 1 2 Mahoney, Elisabeth (19 September 2007). "Port City". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  21. 1 2 Mahoney, Elisabeth (4 July 2008). "Far West". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  22. 1 2 Papachlimitzou, Regina (19 October 2011). "A Mosaic of Collective Unconscious". Aesthetica Magazine. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  23. 1 2 Evans, Jenifer (13 January 2013). "No Borders?". Egypt Independent. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  24. 1 2 Clarke, Leela (February 2013). "Version Control at Arnolfini". Aesthetica Magazine. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  25. Curatorial Network. "Tom Trevor" . Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  26. 1 2 Tawadros, Gilane (March 2007). "Feminism: Three Views". Frieze. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  27. InIVA. "Tom Trevor". Institute of International Visual Arts. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  28. Art Daily (15 October 2005). "New Director appointed for Spacex". Art Daily. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  29. Generative. "Generator". Spacex | Star. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  30. Spacex. "Hortus". Spacex. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  31. Art in Liverpool. "Far West Metro". Art in Liverpool. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  32. Art Daily (25 September 2011). "Arnolfini celebrates 50th anniversary" . Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  33. Arnolfini. "University of Local Knowledge". Arnolfini. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  34. 1 2 Bajaj, Kriti (29 November 2013). "Total eclipse: The "Black Sun" across cultures". Art Radar Asia. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  35. "The Atlantic Project: Excavating Plymouth's Failed Utopias". Frieze. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  36. "Post-Utopian Narratives". Aesthetica. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  37. "The Atlantic Project: After The Future". Art Monthly. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  38. 1 2 "Music for Museums" . Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  39. Dojima River Biennale. "Take Me To The River" . Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  40. University of Exeter. "Honorary Graduates 2014-15". University of Exeter. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  41. National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul. "Rules of Engagement". British Council Korea. British Council Korea. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  42. Gwangju Biennale. "International Curators Course, 2012". Gwangju Biennale. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  43. ARKO. "On Dialogue". ARKO website. Arts Council Korea. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  44. Arnolfini. "Tom Trevor" . Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  45. "Dojima River Biennale 2015". Real Kyoto.
  46. "Vertigo Sea" . Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  47. Sam, Sherman (September 2013). "Jutta Koether". Artforum. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  48. Art Daily (6 October 2012). "Key works by the Cologne-based artist Matti Braun at Arnolfini". Art Daily. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  49. Papachlimitzou, Regina (May 2011). "The viewer as subject". Aesthetica Magazine. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  50. BAS7 Finale symposium. "Arnolfini in 2061". Kurator. Retrieved 5 January 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  51. Tuerlinckx, Joelle (2013). WOR(l)(D)(K) IN PROGRESS. Koln: Walther Konig. ISBN   978-3-86335-380-3.
  52. Dawood, Shezad (2013). Black Sun. Ridinghouse. ISBN   978-1-905464-84-5.
  53. van Cauteren, Philippe (2013). Lois Weinberger. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz. ISBN   978-3-7757-3517-9.
  54. Baudin, Katia (2011). Cosima von Bonin, The Lazy Susan Series, Rotterdam – Bristol – Genève – Köln. Koln: Museum Ludwig / DuMont. ISBN   978-3-8321-9433-8.
  55. Zitko, Otto (2011). Me, Myself and I. Berlin: Jovis. ISBN   978-3-86859-132-3.
  56. Cummings, Neil (2011). Sel Portrait: Arnolfini. Bristol: Arnolfini. ISBN   978-0-9568886-1-7.
  57. Hegyi, Lorand (2011). Lois Weinberger. Milan: Silvana Editoriale. ISBN   9-782907-571548.
  58. Kunst-Werke (2008). Sigalit Landau. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz. ISBN   978-3-7757-2104-2.
  59. Trevor, Tom (2007). Port City: On Mobility and Exchange. Bristol: Arnolfini. ISBN   978-0907738879.