Catherine Wood, Senior Curator, International Art (Performance)

Work at Tate

Curator Catherine Wood installing the A Bigger Splash: Painting after Performance exhibition with the Tate Art Handling team
Senior Curator Catherine Wood installing the A Bigger Splash: Painting after Performance exhibition with the Tate Art Handling team

Catherine Wood works on performance projects, exhibitions, collection acquisitions and displays at Tate Modern, as well as being actively engaged in research. Catherine was instrumental in founding the performance programme at Tate in 2003 and since then has programmed more than two hundred live works by artists including Mark Leckey, Tania Bruguera, Trisha Brown, Katerina Šedá, Bojana Cvejić, Ei Arakawa and others, both at Tate and within the online space Performance Room that she initiated in 2011. In the exhibition A Bigger Splash: Painting after Performance that she curated in 2012, Catherine Wood traced a dynamic relationship between painting and performance emerging in the post-1945 period, working back from contemporary artists’ perspectives. As a contributor to the International Monitoring Group specialising in strategies for collecting performance art, Catherine Wood has worked on acquisitions of works by artists including by Joan Jonas, Tino Sehgal and Suzanne Lacy. 

Professional expertise

Catherine Wood is a member of the Editorial Board of Afterall and has been a Trustee for Studio Voltaire in London since 2007. She has served on the juries for various prizes including the Victor Pinchuk Foundation’s Future Generation Art Prize (2013), the Ernst Schering Foundation Art Award at KW Berlin (2013) and the Belgian Art Prize (2014–15).

Research interests

Catherine Wood’s curatorial and research interests centre on the significance of performance within the fields of post-1945 and contemporary art. She has a special interest in the relationship between visual art and choreography, and is the author of Yvonne Rainer: The Mind is a Muscle (London and Cambridge, Massachusetts 2007) as well as curator of Yvonne Rainer: Dance Works 1961–72 at Raven Row in London in 2014. She has also written on the work of Michael Clark, Boris Charmatz and Tino Sehgal. Catherine Wood is a co-investigator on a major research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council entitled ‘Performance at Tate: Collecting, Archiving and Sharing Performance and the Performative’ (2014–16), in partnership with Exeter University.

Selected publications

  • Performance in Contemporary Art, London (forthcoming).
  • ‘Spirit Moves: The Art of Simone Forti’, Artforum, vol.35, no.5, January 2015, 184–87.
  • ‘Boris Charmatz: An Architecture of Attention’, Afterall, no.37, Autumn 2014, pp.123–32.
  • ‘Push and Pull: The Artwork Enacted Through Time’, in Beatrice von Bismarck, Rike Frank, Benjamin Meyer-Krahmer and others (eds.), Cultures of the Curatorial 2: Timing: On the Temporal Dimension of Exhibiting, Berlin 2012, pp.219–38.
  • ‘People and Things in the Museum’, in Mathieu Copeland (ed.), Choreographing Exhibitions, Paris 2013, pp.113–­­22.
  • ‘Out of Body: Ei Arakawa’, Artforum International, vol.51, no.6, February 2013, pp.172–81.
  • A Bigger Splash: Painting after Performance, exhibition catalogue, Tate Modern, London 2012, 128pp.
  • ‘Rules of Engagement: Robert Morris’s 1971 Tate Gallery exhibition’, in Anna Dezeuze (ed.), The ‘Do-It-Yourself’ Artwork: Participation from Fluxus to New Media, Manchester 2010, pp.115–31.
  • ‘Fixed Explosive: Catherine Sullivan’s Choreography of Stasis’, Afterall, no.26, Spring 2011, pp.103–9. 
  • Yvonne Rainer: The Mind is a Muscle, London and Cambridge, Massachusetts 2007, 112pp.

Selected exhibitions and displays

Last updated March 2017.