Gavin Butt

Gavin Butt is a scholar of modern and contemporary art whose work contributes to the fields of art history & visual culture, performance and queer studies, and popular music studies. Trained as a fine artist and art historian, he is a writer, curator and filmmaker. 

Butt is completing a book ‘Being in a Band: When the Leeds Art Experiment Went Pop’ which explores artists’ turn towards collectivism in the 1970s and early 1980s. Based on extensive original interviews, including with members of Scritti Politti, Gang of Four, Fad Gadget, Delta 5, Three Johns and Soft Cell the book considers the potential of art school education when access to higher education was free to all. Material from this research was featured in exhibitions Bauhaus Imaginista (Haus der Kulturen Der Welt) and Still Undead: Popular Culture in Britain Beyond the Bauhaus (Nottingham Contemporary) in 2019.

Butt has worked collaboratively on creative research projects, as co-director of Performance Matters (2009-2013) which brought together artists, curators, activists, performance organizers and academics to investigate the cultural value of performance, and as co-director of This is Not A Dream (2013) a feature-length documentary film exploring artists’ DIY use of moving image technology.