Tom Trevor image

Tom Trevor is a curator and writer based in the United Kingdom. He is Associate Professor of Contemporary Art and Curation at the University of Exeter, UK. Previously he was Artistic Director of The Atlantic Project in Plymouth, UK (2016-19), Guest Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, London (2015-16), Artistic Director of the 4th Dojima River Biennale in Osaka, Japan (2014-15), curatorial consultant to the 1st ARoS Triennale in Aarhus, Denmark (2014-15), Guest Curator at the Devi Art Foundation in Delhi, India (2013-14), Director of Arnolfini in Bristol, UK (2005-13), Associate Curator of the Art Fund International collection, UK (2007-12), and Director of Spacex in Exeter, UK (1999-2005).

Over the past twenty years he has curated more than 100 exhibitions, placing an emphasis upon experimental emerging practice, particularly interdisciplinary and context-led projects, working in partnership with museums and galleries around the world. During this time he has been responsible for numerous early career shows, as well as first UK presentations by artists such as Maria Thereza Alves, Cosima von Bonin, Matti Braun, Tania Bruguera, Meschac Gaba, Shilpa Gupta, Doris Salcedo, Joelle Tuerlinckx, Lois Weinberger and Haegue Yang, amongst others.

His recent curated projects include The Atlantic Project: After The Future (2018), a large-scale context-led project which took place in unusual locations across the city of Plymouth, featuring site-specific installations by 20 artists from 12 countries, including Hito Steyerl, Ryoji Ikeda and SUPERFLEX. In 2015, as Artistic Director of the 4th Dojima River Biennale in Osaka, he was the first British curator to lead a Japanese biennial, entitled Take Me To The River, with artists from 8 countries showing alongside leading practitioners from Japan. In the same year, as Guest Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, he curated Music for Museums, a four-month programme of experimental music performances, film screenings and sound interventions throughout the institution. In 2014-15, as curatorial consultant to ARoS Kunstmuseum in the lead-up to Aarhus 2017, European Capital of Culture, he initiated and devised the 1st ARoS Triennale, on a theme of THE GARDEN. He also worked on a major video commission by John Akomfrah, Vertigo Sea, for the 56th Venice Biennale. In 2013, as Guest Curator at the Devi Art Foundation in Delhi, he co-curated the exhibition, Black Sun, with Shezad Dawood, including leading artists from the South Asian diaspora.

Over the past 20 years Trevor has curated numerous group shows and multi-site projects; e.g. The Visible & the Invisible (1996), the Free Association Series (1999-2000), the Home Series (2000-01), Generator (2002), Patterns (2002), Homeland (2004), Hortus: Botany & Empire (2004), Port City (2007), Far West (2008), Supertoys (2008), the Artist/Activist Series (2009-10), Museum Show pt I & II (2011), Version Control (2013), etc.

As Associate Curator of the Art Fund International (2007-12), Trevor led on building a major new £1million (GBP) collection of contemporary art from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, making 44 acquisitions, including works by Ai Weiwei, Yto Barrada, Cao Fei, Meschac Gaba, Shilpa Gupta, Emily Jacir, Amar Kanwar, Imran Qureshi, Walid Raad, Haegue Yang and Akram Zaatari, amongst others, and a major commission by Do Ho Suh.

As a writer, Trevor has authored, produced, or contributed to, over 40 publications, including artists monographs with publishers such as Walther Konig, Hatje Cantz, Jovis and Dumont. His most recent published texts were for the Bruges Triennale 2018 catalogue (The Space of Flows), the launch of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town in September 2017 (Port City: Cape Town in Africa Modern) and for the documenta 14 Daybook. He has twice been shortlisted for the International Awards for Art Criticism (2015 & 2019), and won joint Second Prize at the 2019 ‘IAAC 6’ annual ceremony in Shanghai.

Trevor is an elected member of AICA (International Art Critics Association), IBA (International Biennial Association) and IKT (International Curators Association). He was previously a member of Plus Tate (chairing the digital working group), the national steering group of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network, and was founding Chair of Visual Arts South West, in the UK. He studied at the Ruskin, University of Oxford, and Goldsmiths’ College, University of London. He was conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Letters (Hon DLitt) at the University of Exeter in 2014, where he was an Honorary Research Fellow from 2014-20.


5 thoughts on “About

  1. Very impressed — Tom as a vital link between the inner world of the artist and the outer world of institutions and wider society.

  2. Hi Tom,
    Could you possibly send me the contents page of the title: Concept Store #3: art activism and recuperation / ed by Cox, Haq & Trevor. 2010?
    It looks like what we need, but we would really like to be able to see the contents before we go ahead.
    please email to library [at] harvest.edu.au
    thank you very much!
    Kerrie Stevens

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