The Royal College of Art has announced the appointment of Professor Juan Cruz as Dean of the School of Fine Art. Professor Cruz is currently Director, Liverpool School of Art & Design (Liverpool John Moores University), which comprises over 1,000 undergraduate, postgraduate and research students.
An artist as well as an educator, Juan Cruz’s own work has regularly concerned itself with text and translation as a metaphor for visual representation, and as an embodied and performative process. Recent exhibitions include Terminal Convention, Cork 2011, Mensch, Edinburgh International Festival 2009, Squatters (curated by Nicholas Bourriaud) Murcia, Spain 2008, solo shows at Galeria Elba Benitez, Madrid in November 2008, Remise Bludenz, Austria 2007 and Peer, London 2005. Juan Cruz is represented by Matt’s Gallery, London and by Galeria Elba Benitez, Madrid.
Born in Spain and educated at Chelsea College of Art & Design, Professor Cruz sits on the Council of Tate Liverpool, is a Trustee of the John Moores Painting Prize, a member of REF2014 sub-panel 34 (Art & Design History, Theory and Practice) and a co-opted member of the CHEAD executive (Council for Higher Education in Art and Design).
Professor Cruz has also developed successful international research links including collaboration with the University of Shanghai over themes involving painting, critical writing and interactivity applications in interactive arts, as well as membership in the €2.5 million five-year European Union funded project ‘The Uses of Art’. Closer to home, Professor Cruz has led Liverpool School of Art & Design in successful grant bids with the AHRC, Arts Council and NESTA as well as establishing an innovative model of research in partnership with leading arts organisations in Liverpool. In 2012, Professor Cruz brokered the School of Art & Design’s close partnership and involvement with the Liverpool Biennial.
'We are very excited by the prospect of Juan joining the RCA,' Professor Naren Barfield, Pro-Rector (Academic) said when announcing the appointment. 'His track record as an artist and academic leader speaks for itself. I believe that under Professor Cruz’s leadership, the School of Fine Art at the RCA will continue to develop as an international leader in practice and research, and the best environment for the study of fine art at Master's and Doctoral level.'
Professor Cruz commented: 'I am extremely honoured to be appointed Dean of such a prestigious and influential School. I particularly look forward to working with Fine Art faculty, staff and students, as well as collaborating with colleagues from within the wider College community. The RCA is a world-leading university, with a very significant role to play in the advancement of debate and practice at the highest level, and a responsibility to contribute to a broader understanding of the value of art and education. A truly unique institution, the RCA is one that I admire greatly.'