Riason Naidoo (b.1970) is director of South African National Gallery & Old Town House Museums, part of Iziko Museums of South Africa. He is co-curator with Tessa Jackson of a retrospective show on veteran artist Peter Clarke entitled Wind Blowing on the Cape Flats taking place from 15 January – 9 March 2013 at the Institute of International Visual Arts (INIVA), Rivington Place, London. In 2012 he was one of three curators of the 10th edition of the Dak’art biennale of contemporary African art, in Senegal. In 2010 he curated 1910-2010: From Pierneef to Gugulective, an extensive exhibition of almost 600 artworks, that showcased a century of South African art shown at the SANG. He curated The Indian in DRUM magazine in the 1950s in 2006, a photographic exhibition from the Bailey’s African History Archive, that toured South Africa and in 2008 he published a book by the same name. Between 2004-2007 he curated several exhibitions on the work of veteran photographer Ranjith Kally (b.1925), that was in Johannesburg and Durban and that travelled to Mali, Austria, Spain and France.
Riason previously directed the South African-Mali: Timbuktu Manuscripts project for the South African Presidency and the Department of Arts & Culture, also NEPAD’s first cultural project. He has previously been in charge of artistic projects at the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) in Johannesburg; taught drawing, painting and art history at the University of Witwatersrand; and worked as education officer at the Durban Art Gallery.
He has BA and MA in Fine Art from University of the Witwatersrand and has been on a scholarship to the MS University of Baroda in India (1997) and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Bordeaux in France (2001).