faces to watch 6. James Lingwood

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
Finder, fixer, freelance curator and director of the Artangel Trust, James Lingwood has helped wake the British public up to contemporary art. It's him we must thank for Rachel Whiteread's "House", the Hayward's "The Epic and the Everyday" exhibition and rampant Romanian grannies

From Gerhard Richter's paintings of the Red Army Faction, to Rachel Whiteread's House, from Matthew Barney's testicular biker movie Crem after 4, to "The Epic and the Everyday" at the Hayward, James Lingwood had a hand in bringing them all before a British audience. The 36-year- old is a fixer, a freelance curator and director of the Artangel Trust. Artangel commissions, fund-raises and facilitates works by artists outside the confines of the gallery - "public art" in the loosest sense.

It was Artangel - co-directed by Lingwood and Michael Morris - which organised Whiteread's House and had to deal with all the flak that went with it. Artangel have also commissioned works by dancer Michael Clarke, Matthew Barney's film, and a curious performance (devised with Bethan Huws) in which a troupe of Romanian grandmothers sang to the North Sea on a beach in Northumberland.

After Oxford, Lingwood worked first at Plymouth Art Centre, then at the ICA. There, he made his mark showing Richter, Craigie Horsfield and the little known Russian artist, Ilya Kabakov. Lingwood has gone on to establish himself as a leading curator of artists' photography, he has just organised a show of the highly influential German photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher at IVAM, in Valencia. He is also working on a project with Kabakov and creating a show of sculptor Juan Munoz in Madrid.

Currently developing an Artangel project with the hyperactive, multi- talented Robert Wilson, Lingwood breaks out in a sweat mentioning Wilson's punishing schedules, global commitments and florid rushes of inspiration. "He's just done Hamlet as a solo show, starring himself in all the roles. This autumn, he's doing an installation about time travel with us in the Clink Street Vaults - 130,000sqft of basement space owned by Railtrack."

Finding the spaces, dealing with crazy artists, fundraising, curating ... isn't it all a bit much? Somewhat wistfully, Lingwood talks of going back to his art historical roots - he fantasises about curating a Delacroix show. But Artangel and the needs of living artists would seem to have first call on Lingwood's energies.