History of Art


Moran Sheleg

Moran Sheleg


Moran completed her BA (with Hons) in the History of Art at the University of York in 2009. She also holds an MPhil from the University of Cambridge (awarded in 2010) and an MA from UCL (2011). Her PhD research is fully funded by the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (AHRC).


How to Make a Past: Painting since Reinhardt

Supervised by Professor Briony Fer

Looking beyond the polemical debates surrounding painting since the 1950s, particularly in America and Great Britain, my thesis offers a perspective on the practice viewed in relation to its own fraught past. Mining a transatlantic sub-history, How to Make a Past focuses on channels in painting opened up by a set of parallel practices in which the dichotomies still shaping its discussion today (such as abstraction/figuration, colore/designo, inside/outside and structure/pattern) are variously negated, complicated and remade. Taking into consideration exhibition design, artists' writings and other tangential aspects of art's production, I examine how painting, through its effects upon and place within the psycho-social space of perception, might come to constitute a form of past-making that abrogates as often as it corroborates the histories established for it.

Research Interests

20th-century art and theory; intergenerational dialogues in contemporary art

Research Activities

Moran has organised conferences, panels and artist talks including: 'Lifework', with Dr Rye Holmboe and Professor Briony Fer, at UCL; 'Holding Patterns', a panel held at the Association of Art Historians annual conference; and a two-part research forum co-convened with Dr Catherine Spencer (University of St Andrews) titled 'Extracurricular Activity: Undermining Histories of Contemporary Art' held at The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh and UCL. Moran also co-edited the current issue of Object: Graduate Research and Reviews in the History of Art and Visual Culture.

Research Groups

Board member, Centre for the Study of Contemporary Art, UCL



'A Girl Who Paints', Object: Graduate Research and Reviews in the History of Art and Visual Culture, no.17, 2015, pp.100-123


'Handmade Colour Pictures: Stuart Cumberland at the Approach', Journal of Contemporary Painting, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2018, pp. 219-222 (forthcoming)

'Painting 2.0: Expression in the Information Age', Journal of Contemporary Painting, Vol. 3, No. 1/2, 2017, pp. 246-250

Conference papers

'Interiority Complex', presented at 'Lifework', UCL, London, 10 June 2017

'Bridget Riley's Arabesquephilia', AAH Annual Conference 2017, Loughborough University, Loughborough, 6 April 2017

 'A Twentyish Mannerist: Patrick Caulfield and The New Generation', presented at 'Work in Progress' Symposium, UCL, London, 25 June 2016

'Turn About: Jo Baer's "Paradisiacal Spaces"', presented at 'Samuel Beckett: Performance/Art/Writing', Institute of English Studies, Senate House, London, 26-28 May 2016

'Fellow Persians: Bridget Riley and Ad Reinhardt', presented at 'Generation Painting: Abstraction and British Art, 1955-65', Downing College, University of Cambridge, 5 May 2016 

'Across Time: The In-Between Art of Emma Kunz', presented at 'Crossing the Space Between', 16th Annual Conference of the Space Between: Literature and Culture 1914-1945, Institute of English Studies, Senate House, London, 17-19 July 2014

'Gestures and Jesters: Abstract Painting as 'Old Gag' since 1970', presented at 'Art in the Age of Real Abstraction', UCL, 10 May 2014  

'Atomic Visions: From Bunk! to Ambit and Back Again', presented at 'BOOM! Growth, Form and Sustainable Bodies (1946-67)', UCL, 4-5 April 2014

Conference sessions chaired

Session 3: Traversing Space, Transcending Pace, 'Border Control: On the Edges of American Art', Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, May 2017

'Holding Patterns', AAH Annual Conference 2017, Loughborough University, Loughborough, 6 April 2017


Moran will be teaching an Art in London course in the Spring Term, 2017-2018, during which time she will also be the Undergraduate Dissertation Coordinator.

Course Tutor, Art in London, Spring Term, 2016

Teaching Assistant, First Year Foundation Course, Spring Term, 2015