Gary van Wyk

Image of Gary van Wyk, curator for the exhibition SHANGAA - Art of Tanzania

Dr. Gary Van Wyk was born in Zimbabwe, and completed graduate degrees in law, studio arts, and art history in South Africa. Active in the anti-apartheid Resistance Art Movement, he was exiled in 1986. He completed his Ph.D. in Art History at Columbia University, NY, as a Fulbright Scholar, and received a Rockefeller Award for his dissertation research in Africa.

He has published and edited numerous books and articles on African art and culture. His African Painted Houses was a New York Times Book Review Best Book in architecture for 1998; his accompanying photography exhibition was shown to critical acclaim in New York, Paris, and other venues in Europe and the United States. He commissioned and edited the 12-volume African Civilizations series for Franklin Watts, designed for young adults, and 42 volumes in the Heritage Library of African Peoples. His Apartheid: Calibrations of Color received a Notable Book Award from the African Studies Association.

He has curated many critically acclaimed exhibitions in South Africa and New York, working independently and as Curator for Axis Gallery, which he co-founded with his wife, Lisa Brittan, in New York in 1997. Axis Gallery has staged numerous exhibits on neglected aspects of African art, and debuted several contemporary artists and photographers from Africa.

Dr. Van Wyk has consulted extensively with museums on exhibitions and collection building, and he currently serves on the board of Alma On Dobbin, a foundation that promotes art from and artistic exchange between Africa, Eastern Europe, and the United States. His most recent publication Pop Art was published by Prestel in 2014.