See public background info on Katy Siegel

Thomas Keenan, Katy Siegel, Christiane Meyer-Stoll, Greg Lynn, Fabian Marcaccio

Since '45: America and the Making of Contemporary Art

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  • Art historian Katy Siegel discusses her recent exhibition at the Rose Art Museum and publication “The heroine Paint”: After Frankenthaler with Gagosian’s Alison McDonald.

    KATY SIEGEL, Professor and Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Endowed Chair in Modern American Art
    Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin
    Office: Staller 4217

  • Katy Siegel is the inaugural Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Endowed Chair in Modern American Art. Previously she was Professor of Art History and Chief Curator of the galleries at Hunter College, CUNY; she has also taught at Princeton and Yale universities. Siegel’s primary interests include the relation between postwar and contemporary art, and scholarship that accounts for both material and social being/making. Her most recent book is an edited volume, (2015); she is the author of Since ’45: America and the Making of Contemporary Art (reviewed in the ), which details the collision of American social history and European modernism (2011), as well as the editor and sole essayist of Abstract Expressionism (2011). Her other books include Since ’45: America and the Making of Contemporary Art (Reaktion, 2011). She has written criticism and historical essays on contemporary and modern art for numerous institutions internationally, on artists including Wols, Georg Baselitz, Mark Bradford, Mary Weatherford, Al Loving, Sharon Lockhart, Alex Katz, and Frank Stella. Siegel is a Contributing Editor at Artforum and a Consulting Editor at The Brooklyn Rail; from 2010-2013 she was the Editor in Chief of Art Journal.

    Art histories of the recent past usually depict art after World War II as wrested from a ravaged Europe by a triumphant United States, or in formal terms, floating free of social meaning. These histories fail to describe how the particularities of American culture shaped contemporary art. Without the European triumvirate of academy, aristocracy, and avant-garde, American artists instead responded to social issues native to the country: race, mass culture, individual success, suburbia, and the atomic bomb, which revived the Puritanical tradition of the apocalyptic imaginary. Katy Siegel examines how these issues came to find their place in art ranging from the works of Norman Lewis, Joan Mitchell, and Robert Rauschenberg to Kerry James Marshall and Mike Kelley, situating them amidst an American literary and political discourse that includes Herman Melville, Ralph Ellison, and Frederick Exley. Since '45 explores how U.S. culture not only shaped American art, but, given the political and economic dominance of the U.S., has continued to affect contemporary art worldwide, even as the American century fades.

    When: Tuesday, April 1 5:00 pm
    Where: Rose Art Museum
    Description: Curator at Large Katy Siegel discusses her curatorial practice and how it relates to the first iteration of the Rose Projects series, The Matter That Surrounds Us: Wols and Charline von Heyl.
    Cost: Free.

  • Katy Siegel is a Visiting Associate Professor of Visual Arts in the Lewis Center for the Arts who is teaching Issues in Contemporary Art this semester. Ms. Siegel is an associate professor of art history and criticism at Hunter College, CUNY, and a contributing editor to Artforum. She is the co-author of Art Works: Money (2004), and the author of numerous catalogs and essays on contemporary art and artists, including Takashi Murakami, Richard Tuttle, and Lisa Yuskavage. Most recently she authored a major essay on Jeff Koons for his new monograph, forthcoming this fall.

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Katy Siegel’s new three-part exhibition series, Rose Projects, at Brandeis University’s Rose Art Museum, focuses on seemingly disparate connections between artists. The first part, Rose Projects 01A: The Matter That Surrounds Us, featuring Wols and Charline von Heyl, German contemporary abstract artists from different time periods, united in their profound resistance to categorization of any kind, is now closed; the second part, currently on view through December 2014, is Rose Projects 1B: 1914: Magnus Plessen, which shows Plessens’s work alongside related artifacts. The third, Rose Projects 1C: Painting Blind, opens in February 2015 and will present work by Willem de Kooning, Frank Auerbach, Maria Lassnig, and Georg Baselitz.