New Acquisitions Committee Members 2020/21

30 July 2020

The Arts Council Collection is pleased to announce three new members of the 2020–21 Acquisitions Committee. James Green, Director of Newlyn Art Gallery, Martha Barratt, writer and editor and Dr. Zoé Whitley, Director of Chisenhale Gallery.

James Green joined Newlyn Art Gallery as Director in July 2006 and oversaw its capital expansion and the opening of The Exchange, a new public contemporary art gallery in Penzance in July 2007. James commissioned a major temporary public work by Imran Qureshi for the nave of Truro Cathedral (2015) and was responsible for bringing Janet Cardiff’s acclaimed work Motet for Forty Voices to the South West (2018). In 2019 Newlyn Art Gallery joined the Arts Council Collection’s National Partners Programme. James sits on the advisory groups for the FEAST and Cultivator funding programmes and is a Trustee and Chair of the Selection Committee of the Borlase Smart John Wells Trust, responsible for artists’ studio provision in West Cornwall. He is also a Trustee of the Truro & Penwith Academy Trusts, which is responsible for 29 primary and secondary schools across Cornwall, one of England’s largest academy trusts. 

Martha Barratt is a writer and editor based in London. From 2014 to 2020 she worked as editor for Modern and Contemporary Art at the Burlington Magazine. In 2018 she launched Burlington Contemporary (BC), an online platform for critical writing and research that supports new forms and audiences of contemporary art history. Her academic research focuses on performance and sound art, with a particular interest in text-based practices. In addition to reviews of contemporary art, her publications include academic writing on archives and performance in the work of Carolee Schneemann.

Dr. Zoé Whitley is Director of London’s Chisenhale Gallery, prior to which she served as Senior Curator at the Hayward Gallery. As Curator of Contemporary British Art at Tate Britain and Curator of International Art at Tate Modern, she has conceived numerous site-specific artist commissions, film screenings and special projects. Exhibitions to her credit include the 2019 British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale and co-curating the acclaimed Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power (Tate Modern, 2017; touring USA through 2020). Author of The Graphic World of Paul Peter Piech and children's book Meet the Artist: Frank Bowling, she has also authored exhibition catalogues, essays and interviews on Grace Wales-Bonner, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Lubaina Himid, Alexander McQueen, and Jack Whitten, among others. Dr. Whitley was named one of Apollo Magazine’s 40 Under 40 Thinkers in Europe, and one of the most influential curators of the decade. 

Recommendations on purchasing innovative works of art that reflect artistic practice in Britain today are made by a changing group of external advisors to the Arts Council Collection Acquisitions Committee.

Acquisitions are made through a committee of eight individuals. James, Martha and Zoé join the other external member, artist Ryan Gander. The internal members of the Acquisitions Committee are the Director of the Arts Council Collection, Ralph Rugoff (Director, Hayward Gallery), and Peter Heslip (Director, Visual Arts, Arts Council England). Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England, acts as Chair to the Committee.

Explore works acquired for the nation through our 2019–20 Acquisitions.




The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

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