Charlotte Cotton

Curator/Writer/Creative Consultant

Charlotte Cotton is a curator, writer and creative consultant who has explored photographic culture for over twenty years. She has held positions including curator of photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum, head of programming at The Photographers’ Gallery in London and the curator, head of the Wallis Annenberg Department of Photography at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and curator-in-residence at Katonah Museum of Art, NY, International Center of Photography, NY, and Metabolic Studio, LA. Her book, The Photograph as Contemporary Art, is published in ten languages and has been a key text in its charting of the rise of photography as an undisputed art form in the 21st century. Cotton is also author and lead essayist for numerous fashion photography publications, including Imperfect Beauty (2000) and Guy Bourdin (2003), both of which accompanied critically acclaimed exhibitions curated by her for the Victoria and Albert Museum. She has also written extensive essays for books including Nick Knight (2009), Viviane Sassen: In and Out (2013), and Louis Vuitton Fashion Photography (2014). She has curated photography and contemporary art exhibitions for museums, international art festivals and biennials, including in the UK, US, mainland Europe, Israel and South Korea. Cotton also contributes feature essays to magazines including Aperture, IMA, and Artforum and is the founder of two photography discussion websites – Words Without Pictures (2008-9, summary book published in 2010) and (2012-15, summary book published in 2017). Her book, Photography is Magic, was published by Aperture in September 2015 and surveys over eighty artists whose photographic practices shape the possibilities of our contemporary image environment.

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