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David Elliott is a cultural and art historian, writer, curator and museum director primarily concerned with modern and contemporary art. Elliott was Director of the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford, England from 1976-96, Director of Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden from 1996-2001, the founding Director of the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan from 2001-06, the first Director of Istanbul Modern, Turkey in 2007 and from 2016-2019, Vice-Director and Senior Curator of the Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art in Guangzhou. From 1998-2004, he was President of CIMAM (the International Committee of ICOM for Museums and Collections of Modern Art) and in 2008, the Rudolf Arnheim Guest Professor of Art History at Humboldt University, Berlin; from 2012 to 2017 he was a guest professor in curatorship at the Chinese University, Hong Kong.
He has worked extensively on modern and contemporary art from different parts of Africa and organised in Oxford Makonde in 1988 (with Moti Malde), Art from South Africa (1990) (with David Koalane) and, in Stockholm, Tokyo and other cities (with Simon Njami), Africa Remix (2003-06).
Since 2010, he has been the Artistic Director of biennales of contemporary art in Sydney, Kiev, Moscow and Belgrade and is currently working freelance as a writer and curator.