Blair French completed a Bachelor of Arts in English and Art History at the University of Canterbury (Christchurch, NZ) in 1988, a Masters in the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Sydney in 1995 and a PhD in the Department of Art History & Theory at the University of Sydney in 2003.
French has worked in Art Galleries and Museums in New Zealand and the United Kingdom and since arriving in Sydney from New Zealand in 1995 has developed a dual career as a writer/curator in the field of contemporary art and photography. He was Program Manager and for a short period Acting Director at Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney (1996 – 1999) and Associate Director at Performance Space, Sydney (2002 – 2005). He is currently Executive Director of Artspace Visual Arts Centre, Sydney; and is curatorial convener for the 6th (2010/11) and 7th (2013) editions of SCAPE: Christchurch Biennial of Art in Public Space.
A selection of his essays were published in book form as 'Out of Time: Essays Between Photography and Art' (2006), and a further book on Australian photo-based contemporary art –'Twelve Australian Photo Artists' – co-authored with Daniel Palmer was published by Piper Press, Sydney in 2009. Blair contributed the major essay to the book accompanying Shaun Gladwell’s project for the Australian Pavilion at the 2009 Venice Biennale. French has edited a range of publications, including recent monographic publications in association with Artspace projects by Shaun Gladwell, André Stitt, Rose Nolan, Michael Goldberg, Bruce Barber and Paul Saint as well as the major 1999 book 'Photo Files: An Australian Photography Reader' (published by Power Publications and the Australian Centre for Photography). French co-founded and acts as co-managing editor of the periodical 'Column', published by Artspace.
French has lectured in New Zealand Art History at the University of Waikato, NZ; in Art History and Theory at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales; and in Visual Communications at the University of Western Sydney. He frequently acts as an examiner for postgraduate degrees.