Matthew Higgs

Artist, critic, curator and director of White Columns

Higgs could (possibly) be described as the insider’s outsider. The UK-born artist, critic and curator took over at New York’s White Columns in 2004, bringing to it (and New York) his intuitive grasp of how art can mix pop culture, subculture and every culture that doesn’t count as lifelessly institutional. So while he’s plugged in and sought after (he’s founding curatorial adviser to New York’s Independent art fair, and could place a curated section based on the life of legendary dealer Hudson at Frieze New York in May), his appreciation of the maverick reaches far from artworld epicentres – with painter Peter Doig, Higgs organised a show of the overlooked Grenada-born British painter Denzil Forrester, in the artist’s home of Cornwall. White Columns, meanwhile, ranges widely (having moved to bigger premises in April) – from a show about punk icon Richard Hell to shows by artists who live with mental illness and disability.