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Tom Trevor

Tom Trevor

Former Director of Arnolfini appointed to lead new Masters in International Contemporary Art

Internationally renowned contemporary art curator and writer, Tom Trevor, has been appointed Associate Professor in Art History and Visual Culture and will lead on the new MA International Contemporary Art.

Tom has over the past 20 years curated more than 100 exhibitions internationally and for eight years was Director of the Arnolfini – Bristol’s International Centre for Contemporary Arts.

Speaking about his appointment as course director, Tom said: “I am delighted to be joining the University, and to be leading the new MA in International Contemporary Art: Curation and Business, which is distinctive in its dual emphasis upon a global perspective and a practical understanding of the workings of the art world.

“As someone from ‘industry’, I look forward to re-framing my knowledge of curatorial practice within an academic context so as to share direct experience of a rapidly changing field, and to working collaboratively with colleagues, both internally and externally, to foster interdisciplinary research.”

Professor of Art History and Visual Culture at the University of Exeter, Fabrizio Nevola, said: “Tom brings a wealth of experience in international curation and contemporary art and is a really exciting appointment to lead the new MA which starts September 2020.”

Tom has placed an emphasis upon experimental emerging practice, particularly interdisciplinary and context-led projects, working in partnership with museums and galleries around the world. He has focused on curating international biennials and large-scale visual arts projects, working in India, Korea, Denmark, Japan, UAE and the UK. Over the course of his career, he has produced, edited or contributed texts to over 40 publications, and lectured widely.

He already has strong ties with the University of Exeter, where he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate (Hon DLitt) in 2014 and has been an Honorary Research Fellow for the past six years.

He said: “As one of the leading Universities in the UK, Exeter’s concentration of highly critical, creative and innovative thinkers is a wonderful community to think and work alongside!”

The focus of Trevor’s current research is on shifting notions of ‘the contemporary’, and how these are being revised by de-colonisation and the rapid transformations of visual culture within the new conditions of an emerging global network society.

With regard to his curatorial practice, Trevor is currently working on a water-themed exhibition with the Jameel Arts Centre in Dubai, for 2021. Following an Ishibashi Foundation / Japan Foundation Fellowship in September 2019, he is also developing a new international art festival in the Kansai region of Japan from 2022.

He has commissioned projects by leading 20th century figures including Louise Bourgeois, William Kentridge and Yoko Ono.

The new MA International Contemporary Art: Curation and Business is international in focus encouraging an understanding of the social, cultural and economic issues that surround the contemporary art world. It has split-site teaching with Term 1 at the University of Exeter and Term 2 at international gallery space Autograph in London.

The course is designed to help students develop subject specific, academic and transferrable skills, including high order conceptual and visual literacy and communication skills for the arts sector and beyond.

They will gain access to expert guest tutors and lecturers, international art fairs, London field trips and undertake a placement or research project with an organisation in the sector.

The Masters is aimed at those with a 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in a subject that includes some coverage of Art History, Business Studies, Drama, English, Cultural Studies and History.

For more details visit

Date: 20 January 2020

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