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Robert Ayers

I am a British-born, Seattle-based artist and writer. I am a regular contributor to ARTnews and The Seattle Times, and I am New York correspondent to Total Theatre (London) and EIKON (Vienna).

I have been lucky enough to enjoy a splendid 35-year life in the arts, and I have managed to win a reputation not only as an artist and writer, but as a teacher, as a curator, as a producer and promoter, and as an enthusiastic advocate for the contemporary arts.

I have written on painting, sculpture, performance, dance, music, technology, and the interdisciplinary arts for Art + Auction, Art Monthly, ARTnews, Performance Magazine, Studio International, Artscribe (where I was a contributing editor), Live Art Magazine, Transcript, Dance Theatre Journal, Contemporary, Performance Research, and a range of books, exhibition catalogues, scholarly journals, and websites. Live Art, an Artist’s Newsletter handbook on all professional aspects of performance art came out in 1991. I co-edited it with David Butler, and it was described by one reviewer as “an inspiration”. I now work as an independent artist and writer: my exhibition reviews appear in every issue of ARTnews, and in 2005 I became New York correspondent for London’s Total Theatre magazine. I have written hundreds of articles, interviews, reviews, and auction reports for, and in 2008 I became New York correspondent to EIKON magazine (Vienna). In February 2009 I established this site,

I have worked more or less continuously as an artist since the early 1970s, and I’m recognized as a key figure in the development of performance art in Britain. I was one of the instigators of the NOW festival in Nottingham, England, and saw it become one of Europe’s best respected programs of live art, new theater, performance, music, dance, and technology.  I also developed the Powerhouse/Bonington Gallery network of spaces into one of the most important centers for contemporary interdisciplinary arts. In 1998 I was the first ever guest curator of the (British) National Review of Live Art, and in 2001 I was delighted to be made one of the first Honorary Associates of the National Review.

I work hard to share my enthusiasm for the contemporary arts, and I am recognized as a gifted teacher.  I have taught in universities, polytechnics, and art colleges throughout Britain, Europe, and the United States. Between 1989 and 1994 I was Head of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at The Nottingham Trent University in England, between 1994 and 2003 I was the university’s Artistic Director, and in 1995 I was installed there as Professor of the Contemporary Arts, which was a personal chair created in recognition of my reputation as an artist and academic.

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