John Calcutt

Job Title:

Programme leader, MFA and MLitt Fine Art Practice


School of Fine Art


John Calcutt
MFA programme leader

John Calcutt


John Calcutt

When all is said and done, when push comes to shove, when the time for talking is done, when the fat lady has stopped singing, when the last hurrah has died, when the final curtain closes… When the chips are down, my main interest, the thing that often preoccupies my thoughts as dark night draws long and silence beckons, is the exploration, directly, and, if truth be told, indirectly, of some of the implications, both practical, and, dare I say, theoretical, of Michael Baxandall’s claim: “Most of the better things that we can think or say about pictures stand in a slightly peripheral relation to the picture itself.” What more is there to be said, I wonder?

John Calcutt has been Acting Programme Leader for the MFA since 2007, and Programme Leader for the MLitt in Fine Art Practice since its inception in 2011. He has been a full-time member of staff at Glasgow School of Art since 1987. He is not an artist, but he knows lots of them and he has written extensively on art for many years. He was, for a while, an art critic for Scotland On Sunday and The Guardian. For a spell he was Associate Curator at the CCA in Glasgow. In his time he has served on a variety of panels, committees and boards in the art world. In 2006 he was one of the nominator-researchers for the Beck’s Futures prize. It is a largely unknown fact that in 2009 he was also one of the vetting panel for BBC 2’s School of Saatchi. To some he may be more familiar as the judge for the Miss Space Lab contest in Ciudad Jardin, Majorca, 1985. He has Masters degrees from Edinburgh University and the Courtauld Institute of Art. He is a qualified supervisor for research degrees.

He would like to be known as an essayist who can call upon a relatively wide range of references in his bid to write about art in a serious, thoughtful and occasionally unexpected manner. His stuff can be found in exhibition catalogues, magazines and journals, books, pamphlets, recycling bins, and online. His most recent published work is to be found in “Michael Fullerton: Pleasure in Nonsense”.

John Calcutt on RADAR

You Can't Always Get What You Want

You Can't Always Get What You Want Calcutt, John (2016...

13/04/16 10:23

Look At Us

Look At Us Calcutt, John (2014) Look At Us. Castelfie...

13/04/16 10:10

School of Design on RADAR

School of Design on RADAR |

Research papers from design staff listed on RADAR