[Guy Brett]

photo by Olivia Brett
photo by Olivia Brett

Profession: Writer and Curator

Date of Birth: 18 October 1942
Place of Birth: Richmond, Yorkshire

Interviewer: Linda Sandino
Location: Guy Brett’s home in London, England

Guy Brett is a London-based art critic, writer, and curator. He has been instrumental in making the work of Latin American artists accessible to a wider public - his book Carnival of Perception (InIVA, 2004) includes seminal essays on key Latin American practitioners, as well as several texts that explore the cross-cultural, experimental diversity of the London art scene since the 1960s. In 2005 he was the Peggy Rockefeller Visiting Scholar at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University.

Brett’s work has been crucial 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). Other notable exhibitions include Force Fields: Phases of the Kinetic (MACBA, Barcelona and Hayward Gallery, London, 2000), Li Yuan-Chia (Camden Arts Centre, London and touring, 2001) and Boris Gerrets (Kiasma, Helsinki, 2002).

He has published widely in the international art press, including essays on Rasheed Araeen, Derek Boshier, Sergio Camargo, Michelle Charles, Lygia Clark, Juan Davila, Eugenio Dittborn, Rose Finn-Kelcey, Gego, Tina Keane, Victor Grippo, Brion Gysin, Mona Hatoum, Ghisha Koenig, Antonio Manuel, Ana Mendieta, Helio Oiticica, Lygia Pape, Takis and Aubrey Williams; publications include Through Our Own Eyes: Popular Art and Modern History (New Society,1986), Transcontinental: Nine Latin American Artists (Verso, 1990), Exploding Galaxies: The Art of David Medalla (Kala Press, 1995), Mona Hatoum (Phaidon, 1997), and Susan Hiller: Recall (Baltic, 2004).

Guy Brett is Visiting Professor at Camberwell College of Arts, the University of the Arts London.

The recording took place on a single afternoon on 14 March 2007, and was undertaken for publication in edited form with illustrations in Revista do Programa de Pós-Graduacao em Artes Visuais EBA-UFRJ, Special Issue 'Transnational Correspondence' Ano XIV, no.14, 2007, pp.206-237.

The tracks have been prepared by Linda Sandino with the consent of Guy Brett

[Brett Track 1] complete audio track about Guy Brett's developing interest in non-British art; meeting David Medalla and Brazilian artists; on KInetic art; first trips to South America; on the significance of Soviet art. See summary on Track 1 page for details.

[Brett Track 2] complete audio track with reflections on Latin American art of the 1960s and 1970s; on exhibitions curated by Brett in the 1960s; about the Signals gallery; on the Hélio Oiticica exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery. See summary on Track 2 page for details.

[Brett Track 3] complete audio track including description of Artists for Democracy; further reflections on David Medalla and his work; on the life and work of Li Yuan-Chia. See summary on Track 3 page for details.

[Brett Track 4] complete audio track with further reflections on the Signals gallery, its activities and artists; on meeting and friendship with Yve-Alain Bois; on the aims of Brett's art writing. See summary on Track 4 page for details.

[Brett Track 5] complete audio track including an account of becoming more politicized in the 1970s; on becoming a freelance writer; stories about travel and meeting Latin American artists. See summary on Track 5 page for details.

Selected Further Reading

Brett, G., (1968) Kinetic Art, the Language of Movement, London and New York: Studio Vista/Reinhold

Brett, G., (1986) Through Our Own Eyes: Popular Art & Modern History, London:Baltimore, GMP/Hereti/ New Society Publishers

Brett, G.(1990) Transcontinental: 9 Latin American Artists, London: Verson

Brett, G., (1995) Exploding Galaxies: The Art of David Medalla, London:Kala Press

Brett, G., (2001) Li Yuan-chia: Tell me what is not yet said, London: inIVA

Brett, G., (2004) Carnival of Perception: selected writings on art, with a preface by Yve-Alain Bois, London: inIVA, London

Brett, G., (2005) Brasil Experimental: Arte/Vida Proposições e Paradoxos, Rio de Janeiro:Contracapa

Brett, G. & Figueiredo, L. (Eds.) (2007) Oiticica in London, London: Tate Publishers