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Curator, Writer

Guy Brett

  • CountryUnited Kingdom
  • Born1942

About

Guy Brett (born 18 October 1942 in Richmond, Yorkshire) is a London-based art critic, curator and lecturer on art. He has published widely in the international art press and is the author of monographic essays on Rasheed Araeen, Derek Boshier, Lygia Clark, Eugenio Dittborn, Rose Finn-Kelcey, Tina Keane, Victor Grippo, Brion Gysin, Mona Hatoum, Susan Hiller, Ghisha Koenig, David Medalla, Helio Oiticica, Lygia Pape and Aubrey Williams.

Brett contributed as a critic and as curator to the development of European and Latin-American kinetic art during the 1960s. He curated influential exhibitions such as “In Motion”, an international exhibition of kinetic art for the Arts Council of Great Britain (1966) and “Force Fields: Phases of the Kinetic” for MACBA in Barcelona and the Hayward Gallery in London,(2001).

He has been a writer on art, lecturer and exhibition organiser since the 1960s. From 1964-75 he was Art Critic of The Times, London. From 1981-83 he was Visual Arts Editor of the London weekly City Limits. He has written extensively for the art press, including Art In America, Artforum, Art & Text, Third Text, Studio International, Signals, Macula, Block, Artscribe, Art Monthly, Black Phoenix, Revista de Critica Cultural, Les Cahiers du MNAM, Cahier Witte de With, Performance Magazine, C Magazine, Trans, Archis, Parkett.

His curating activities have included “In Motion”, an international exhibition of kinetic art for the Arts Council of Great Britain (1966), “Hélio Oiticica” for the Whitechapel Gallery, London (1969), “A Radical Leap”, a section of the South Bank Centre_s “Art in Latin America: The Modern Period”, the Hayward Gallery, London (1989). He curated “Transcontinental: Nine Latin American Artists” at the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, and Cornerhouse, Manchester, in 1990. He was a member of the curatorial team for the exhibition “Hélio Oiticica”, at Witte de With, Rotterdam, the Jeu de Paume, Paris, and other venues, 1992-93. He was guest curator for “The Airmail Paintings of Eugenio Dittborn”, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, 1993. He was curatorial advisor for “Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object”, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, 1998. In 2000 he curated “Force Fields: Phases of the Kinetic” (for MACBA in Barcelona and the Hayward Gallery in London). In 2001, in collaboration with the Institute of International Visual Arts (inIVA), he organised an exhibition of the Britain-based Chinese artist Li Yuan-chia (1925-1994).

His books include Kinetic Art: the Language of movement (Studio Vista/ Reinholdt, London and New York, 1968), Through Our Own Eyes: Popular Art and Modern History” (New Society, Philadelphia, 1986), Transcontinental (Verso, London and New York, 1990), Exploding Galaxies: The Art of David Medalla (Kala Press, London, 1995), Mona Hatoum (Phaidon, London, 1997), Force Fields: An Essay on the Kinetic (Actar in association with MACBA, Barcelona, and Hayward Gallery, London, 2000), Li Yuan-chia: tell me what is not yet said (INIVA, London, 2001).

He was visiting lecturer at Goldsmiths College, London, in 1979 and 1980, and has given many lectures in art colleges and at conferences in Wales, Scotland, England, Holland, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Cuba, Argentina, the United States and Canada.

Art critic for The Guardian, London and Manchester, 1963-4

Art critic for The Times, London, 1964-75

Co-founder of Centre for Advanced Creative Study, later Signals London, 1964

Co-founder of Project 84, art-science discussion group, 1969

Co-founder of Artists for Democracy, 1974-77

Editorial board of Macula, Paris, 1976

Visiting lecturer, Goldsmiths College, London, 1979, 1980

Visual Arts Advisory Panel, Greater London Arts Association, 1976-78

Visual Arts Editor, City Limits, London, 1981-83

Editorial advisory board, Third Text, London, 1987 onwards

External examiner, 1st, 2nd and 3rd-year essays, Byam Shaw School of Art, London.

External examiner, Chelsea School of Art, London, 1991-3.

Member, Arts Council Collection Purchasing Committee, 1998-99.

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