Timothy Persons is a professor, curator, writer and artist based in Berlin and Helsinki.
He was born in 1954 in Narvik (town), Norway and grew up in Claremont-Pomona (Los Angeles), USA. He studied under the ceramic artist Paul Soldner who he worked as his teaching assistant for 2 years. Persons also worked with numerous guest lectures at the time, James Turrell, Betty Woodman and Lewis Baltz. His graduate studies in Southern California were part of the joint cooperation between John Baldessari’s Cal Arts program and the Claremont Graduates Universities concept of the Open Studio as a platform to teach from. He returned to Europe after completing his Master of Fine Arts, at Claremont Graduate School in California in 1982. Currently Timothy Persons is Adjunct Professor at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Design and Architecture in Helsinki, Finland. He is also the co-founder of the Persons Projects (former Gallery Taik Persons) in Berlin.
Timothy Persons has acted as curatorial advisor to The House of Culture (Stockholm), Stockholm, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki and National Museum of Photography (Denmark)|The National Museum of Photography – The Royal Library, Copenhagen. Furthermore, he is a senior member of the Paris Photo selection committee since 2006. Moreover he had a position as senior advisor to the Borås Art Museum and was a head of the jury for the Hasselblad "Young Artist" Award, Gothenburg, SE between 2003-05.
He has lectured widely at art and educational institutions, museums and universities, including Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, National Museum of Photography (Denmark), Copenhagen, universities: New York University, Pratt Institute, Columbia University, Yale University, US, Beaux-Art de Paris. As a lecturer he took part at cultural events such as the European Month of Photography 2020 in Berlin, participating at panel discussions about topics like the future of photography education.
He has curated many international exhibitions, including The Helsinki School, Landskrona Museum (2017), The Decade of Revolts, Kulturhuset, Stockholm, (2014), Grażyna Kulczyk Collection. Everybody Is Nobody for Somebody, Fundación Banco Santander, Madrid (2014), New Wave Finland: Contemporary Photography from Finland, Scandinavia House, New York (2013), Katarzyna Kozyra, Kulturhuset, Stockholm (2012), Nuevas Historias: A new View of Spanish Photography and Video Art, Kulturhuset Stockholm (2008/09), Rose Boréal, Beaux-Arts de Paris and Beaux-Arts de Lille (2008), Nan Goldin, Kulturhuset, Stockholm (2008), Photo Finnish – The Helsinki School, Stenersen Museum, Oslo (2007), The Helsinki School – A New Approach, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2005).
1981 MFA, Master of Fine Arts, Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, California, US
2017 Lecture, Landskrona Museum, Helsinki, FI
2014 Lecture, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, ES
2013 Lecture, Complutense University, Madrid, ES
Lecture, Danish National Museum of Photography, Copenhagen, DK
Lecture, NYU, Pratt, Columbia, Yale, US
2012 Lecturer for the Juthbacka foundation in the Ostrobothnia area, FI
related lectures in Paris, Stockholm, Vaasa, FI
2011 Visiting Lecturer and Jury Member Swiss Photo Award, Zurich, CH
2010 Lecture, Daegu-Biennale, Daegu, KR
Lecture, Haus der Kunst, Munich, DE
Lecture, Rogaland Art Museum Stavanger, NO
2009 Lecture, Shiseido Gallery Tokyo, JP
2008 Senior Curatorial Advisor the Royal Library Denmark, National Museum of Photography Copenhagen, DK
Lecture, Beaux-art de Paris, FR
Senior Curatorial Advisor to the Director KIASMA, Museum of Contemporary Art Helsinki, FI (2008-10)
2006 Artistic Leader of ViPS (Video Photography Stockholm), Kulturhuset, Stockholm, SE
Advisor of the Board of Claremont Museum of Art, California, US
since 2004 Member of the selection committee of Paris Photo fair, FR
2003-2005 Head of the jury for the Hasselblad "Young Artist" Award, Gothenburg, SE
since 1999 Professor/Director of Professional Studies, University of Art and Design, Helsinki, FI
1994-1999 Senior Lecturer, professional studies, University of Art and Design, Helsinki, FI
1988-1991 Managing Director of Persons and Lindell Gallery, Helsinki, FI
1984-1988 Lecturer / Director of Ceramic Sculpture, National Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, FI
1983-1986 Ceramic Director, Västra Nylands Folkhögskola, Karjaa, FI
1983 Instructor, Konstfack, Stockholm, SE
1982-1983 Instructor, University of Art and Design, Helsinki, FI
1981-1982 Ceramic Instructor, La Verne College, La Verne, California, US
1980 Ceramic Instructor, summer session, Rhode Island School of Design, Nantucket, Massachusetts, US
1978 Art Consultant, Claremont Unified School District, California, US
1977 Visiting Artist in Residence, Farollones Institute, Occidental, California, US
Curatorial experience (selected)
2017 View: Finland, Landskrona Photo Festival, Landskrona Museum, SE
2016 Joakim Eskildsen. A World I Can Believe in, Black Diamond, Royal Danish Library, Copenhagen, DK
2014 Grażyna Kulczyk Collection. Everybody Is Nobody for Somebody, Fundación Banco Santander, Madrid, ES
The Decade of Revolts, Kulturhuset, Stockholm, SE
2013 New Wave Finland: Contemporary Photography from Finland, Scandinavia House, New York, US (curated)
Nelli Palomäki: Breathing the Same Air, Ordrupgaard, Copenhagen, DK (curated)
At the End of the Rainbow, Felleshus of the Nordic Embassies, Berlin, DE (curated)
2012 Katarzyna Kozyra, Kulturhuset, Stockholm, SE
Nordlichtbilder – Vier junge Positionen der Helsinki School, Kunstverein Augsburg, Augsburg, DE
2011 The Helsinki School – A Female View, Fotoraum, Vienna, AT (curated)
Nelli Palomäki: As Time Consumes Us, Kulturhuset, Stockholm, SE
Helsinki School, Christophe Guye Galerie, Zurich, CH (curated)
Touching Dreams, National Museum of Photography, Copenhagen, DK (curated)
2010 Helsinki School - Photography and video NOW, Helsinki City Art Museum Meilahti, Helsinki, FI
The Helsinki School at Daegu Photo Biennale: tru(E)motion, Bongsan Culture& Art Center, Daegu, KR
2009 Ola Kolehmainen, A Building is not a Building, New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, UK
Ola Kolehmainen, A Building is not a Building, The National Museum of Photography, Copenhagen, DK
The Helsinki School – New Art Photography from Finland, Loft Project ETAGE, St. Petersburg, RU
Internal and External Landscapes, Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo, JP
2008 Nuevas Historias: A new View of Spanish Photography and Video Art, Kulturhuset, Stockholm, SE
Nan Goldin, Kulturhuset, Stockholm, SE
Nan Goldin, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, FI
Dialogue entre 4 générations, Gallery Baudoin Lebon, Paris, FR
Rose Boréal, Beaux-Arts de Paris, FR
Rose Boréal, Beaux-Arts de Lille, FR
2007 Photo Finnish – The Helsinki School, Stenersen Museum, Oslo, NO
Joakim Eskildsen. The Roma Journeys, Kulturhuset, Stockholm, SE
2006 Vad är fotografi? The Helsinki School, Borås Konstmuseum, Borås, SE
Nordic Cut, Art Pavilion, Zagreb, HR
Dialog - The Helsinki School, Langhans Galerie, Prague, CZ
The Helsinki School - Finnish Photography from the 21st century, Brussels City Hall, BE
Reflections, Kulturhuset, Stockholm, SE
2005 The Helsinki School - A New Approach, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, DE
The Fourth Generation - The Helsinki School, PPS Hamburg, Hamburg, DE
Finnish Versions - The Helsinki School, CFF Centrum för fotografi, Stockholm, SE
Personally - Photographs from The Helsinki School, Kulturhuset Stockholm, SE
2004 30 by TaiK - The Helsinki School, Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, FI
The Helsinki School, Museet for Fotokunst Brandts Klaedefabrik, Odense, DK
2002 Masters of Arts, Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, FI
Masters of Arts, Museum of Art and Design, Helsinki, FI
New Photography, Helsinki City Museum, Helsinki, FI
Northern Spell, Finnish Embassy, Washington DC, US
2001 Northern Spell, Toronto University Art Center, Toronto, CN
2000 Magnetic North, New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, UK
Think: Millennium Exhibition, University of Art and Design Helsinki, Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki, FI
Book contributions (selected)
2020 Eeva Karhu, Shadows Within, Hatje Cantz
2019 Helsinki School (Vol. 6), Hatje Cantz
Santeri Tuori, Time is no Longer Round, Hatje Cantz
2018 Grey Crawford, El Mirage, Hatje Cantz
2017 Grey Crawford, Finding Bones, Kehrer Verlag
Petri Juntunen, At The Heart Of It All, Hatje Cantz
Ville Kumpulainen, Out of sight, self-published
Landskrona Foto 2017: Finland at 100, Historiska Media
Gabriela Torres Ruiz, Silence, Hatje Cantz
Pernilla Zetterman, Turn down center line, Kerber Verlag
2016 Judith Stenneken, If We Experience an Emergency the Lights in the Cabin Will Illuminate, self-published
Anni Hanén, Just Small Hiccups, Kehrer Verlag
2014 Helsinki School (Vol. 5), Hatje Cantz
Dominik Lejman, Painting with Timecode, Hatje Cantz
Pedagogy of Teaching Photography in the 21st Century. Michelle Bogre interviews head figures of
international photography faculties, Taylor and Francis
Grażyna Kulczyk Collection. Everybody Is Nobody for Somebody, Fundación Banco Santander, exh. cat.
Timo Kelaranta, House of Poets, Kehrer Verlag
Jouko Lehtola, Hatje Cantz
2013 Nelli Palomäki, Breathing the Same Air, Hatje Cantz
Nordic Now (collaboration between the Filter, Objektiv and Photo Raw Magazine)
2012 Niko Luoma, And Time Is No Longer an Obstacle, Hatje Cantz
Stefan Heyne, Speak to Me, Hatje Cantz
The Helsinki School: A Female View (Vol. 4), Hatje Cantz
POLISH!: Contemporary Art from Poland, Hatje Cantz
Sandra Kantanen, Landscapes, Hatje Cantz
2011 Henrik Saxgren, Unintended Sculptures, Hatje Cantz
2010 Helsinki 10, Rogaland Kunstmuseum Stavanger, Statoil Collection, exh. cat.
Daegu Photo Biennale 2010. The Helsinki School, Daegu Photo Biennale Organising Committee, exh. cat.
2009 Ola Kolehmainen, A Building Is Not a Building, Hatje Cantz
Nuevas Historias: Contemporary Photography from Spain, Hatje Catz
The Helsinki School: Young Photography by TaiK (Vol. 3), Hatje Cantz
Photography Matters: The Helsinki School, Statoil, exh. cat.
Internal and External Landscapes. Helsinki School, Shiseido Gallery, exh. cat.
Helsinki School - Neue Fotografie aus Finnland, Wolfsburg Kunstmuseum/Hatje Cantz
Ville Lenkkeri, The Place of No Roads, Hatje Cantz
Jorma Puranen, Icy Prospect, Hatje Cantz
Riitta Päiväläinen, Imaginary Meetings, Kehrer Verlag
2008 Rose Boréal. Photographies de l’Ecole d’Helsinki, Beaux-Arts de Paris les éditions
2007 Junge Finnische Fotografie, Ludwig Museum Koblenz/Druckverlag Kettler
The Helsinki School: New Photography by TaiK (Vol. 2), Hatje Cantz
Ola Kolehmainen, Fraction Abstraction Recreation, Hatje Cantz
2006 Nordic Cut - The Helsinki School, Croatian Photographic Union
Ville Lenkkeri, Reality in the Making, Hatje Cantz
2005 The Helsinki School: Photography by TaiK (Vol. 1), Hatje Cantz
Personligt - Fotografier från The Helsinki School, Kulturhuset, Stockholm, exh. cat.
Die Vierte Generation – The Helsinki School, Hamburg, exh. cat.
2004 30 by TaiK, Finnish Museum of Photography, exh. cat.
The Helsinki School, Brandts Museet for Fotokunst, Odense, exh. cat.
2003 Nanna Hänninen, Fear and Security, Forlaget Bjergaard
- "Guest-Room | Timothy Persons".
- "Aalto University | People: Timothy Persons".
- Timothy Persons. "History | The Helsinki School: Introduction".
- "About | Persons Projects".
- Marja-Terttu, Kivirinta. "Helsingin Sanomat | Kulttuuri".
- "Contemporary Lynx | THE CURATOR TIMOTHY PERSONS ABOUT PRESENTATION OF KULCZYK COLLECTION IN MADRID".
- "Paris Photo: Selection Committee - Timothy Persons".
- "NYC Arts | On the Helsinki School-Curator Timothy Persons and Helsinki School Artists in Conversation".
- "EMOP Berlin | Opening Days 2020".
- "kunstleben berlin | Persons Projects".
- "Hatje Cantz | Timothy Persons".
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