Professor Michael Tucker curated and taught at Brighton from the mid-1980s, before retiring in 2012.

Tucker’s academic background was in the cross-disciplinary history of ideas, with an emphasis on nineteenth and twentieth century studies. He developed several unique undergraduate elements of study at Brighton, including multi-media courses in Primitivism; Scandinavian Studies c1850 – Now; Jazz Studies; Image, Music, Meaning and Nada Brahma: The World Is Sound. His interests also focussed on the idea of shamanism as a means of revisioning the critical import and creative potentiality of the arts.

Tucker curated extensively and published widely in the fields of visual art, music and poetry. He was invited to lecture at many universities and major arts institutions e.g. Oxford, Cambridge, London, Leeds, St Andrews, Manchester, Dundee; Royal Academy of Arts, Tate St Ives, Schumacher College, Berlinische Galerie, Oslo Kunstakademi and in 1998 he was awarded the (examined) Degree of Doctor of Letters by the University of Sussex, for ‘distinguished contributions to the advancement of learning’. In 2012 he was also honoured by the Royal Norwegian Government and His Majesty King Harald of Norway who bestowed him with the honour of Knight: First Class in recognition for his ‘outstanding service in the interest of Norway.’ This came from many years supporting the arts that emerged from the country including its jazz drumming tradition.

Tucker’s exhibitions and curatorship for the University of Brighton Gallery included:

  • Frans Widerberg: A Retrospective 1986-87
  • Landscapes From A High Latitude: Icelandic Art 1909-1989′
  • Alan Davie: The Quest for the Miraculous – Paintings, Gouaches & Drawings 1959-1993
  • Ian McKeever: Works on Paper 1981-1996
  • Alan Davie: Drawings (1939-1996)
  • Harvey Daniels: Ten Years – Painting and Prints
  • Paul Benjamins: Light Years
  • ECM: Selected Signs’ (exhibition of graphic art, painting & photography in celebration of the 30th anniversary of ECM Records, 1999)
  • Alan Davie: Small Paintings 1949-2000
  • Brian Rice: Retrospective Exhibition
  • Mayo Bucher: Open Sign
  • Jan Jedlicka: Maremma 1980-2001
  • Dream Traces: A Celebration of Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art
  • Radical Art: The Legacy of Thomas Paine: Works Selected From The Aldrich Collection At The University of Brighton’, Lewes Museum & Art Gallery, Lewes 2003

Essays by Michael Tucker can be found in Alan Davie’s Drawings, Brendan Neiland’s New Paintings and On ReflectionHarvey Daniels’ 10 Years, Paul Benjamins’ Light Years and Ian McKeever’s In Praise of Painting.