Colin Richards is Professor in the Division of Visual Arts in the Wits School of Arts, University of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg, where he lectures in art criticism, studio practice and art theory. He was educated at the University of South Africa, Goldsmiths' College at the University of London, and University of the Witswatersrand, where he was awarded his PhD in 1995.
Richards has curated a number of major exhibitions including Taking Liberties: The Body Politic (1995) for the Africus Johannesburg Biennale, Siyawela: Love, Loss and Liberation in South African Art (1995) for the africa95 season in the United Kingdom and Graft (1997) for the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale. He has published widely on contemporary South African art in such journals as Third Text, Nka, African Arts and Art South Africa, and his most recent publication is a book-length monograph on the artist Sandile Zulu (Johannesburg: David Krut Publishing, 2005). He is currently completing a second book on artist Durant Sihlali and has contributed a chapter to Modernity and Contemporaneity: Antimonies of Art and Culture after the 20th Century, edited by Terrence Smith, Okwui Enwezor and Nacy Conde (forthcoming 2007).
He has presented conference papers on South African art in Botswana, Nigeria, India, Australia, the United States, England, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland and Sweden, and was also an African delegate for the 2001 Study Tour Program in Japan. He is currently participating in the Art History and Contemporary African Art project jointly organised by the Mellon Foundation and the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.