After studying Fine Art at Leeds Metropolitan University, where he was “more interested in what everyone else was doing” rather than making work himself, Matt Williams took the curating course at the Royal College of Art and worked as an independent curator for several years. On moving to London in 2002, Matt set up a temporary artist-run space called The Mission in a friend’s living room with artist Anthea Hamilton. There they spent 12 months presenting inventive exhibitions like Fuelling Your Bourgeois Lifestyle from Bad Hair and Bad Teeth, before closing with Hasta La Vista, which featured over 60 artists in a room filled with fake snow, Christmas trees and a smoke machine. After a stint at International Project Space in Birmingham and co-editing the publication NOVEL, he was appointed as curator of exhibitions at the ICA, where he has brought innovative new art to a wider audience. He has worked with many artists in early stages of their careers, including Dazed favourites Ed Atkins and Simon Denny, and is always on the hunt for talented new artists.
What grabs Matt’s attention is “an ambition to challenge the conventional aesthetics of displaying work and the architecture of contemporary art galleries.” He will be looking for “good solid work that is honest and has a sense of permanence.”