"What do you mean by Jewish Art?": Art and Identity in the 1990s
My research investigates the reappraisal of the category of Jewish art during the 1990s in Britain and the United States. In 1966 Harold Rosenberg opened a lecture at New York’s Jewish Museum by asking “Is there a Jewish art”. Yet, as quickly as it was uttered, the question's entire premise was discredited. For Rosenberg, such a question could only elicit an unsatisfactory answer, a response he characterised as “gentile”. To answer positively would force a classification whereby all art by Jews is necessarily Jewish; meanwhile a flat negation would rehearse the well-trodden (antisemitic) trope that Jews have no art. The Jewish response, Rosenberg countered, would be to answer with another question: “What do you mean by Jewish art?” It is my contention that the question “Is there a Jewish art?” reappeared in the 1990s. During this period, artists and art historians began to re-examine Jewishness, asking whether a new Jewish art be reformulated under the terms set by contemporary critical discourse. This dissertation will represent the Rosenbergian response to these 1990s explorations, to whom the question will be directed: “What do you mean by Jewish art?”
This PhD project is fully funded by the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (AHRC) and supervised by Professor Tamar Garb.
'Reading on the Monitor: Text in No Other Symptoms… Time Travelling with Rosalind Brodsky (1999)', Association for Art History New Voices: Art and Text, University of Nottingham, 6 November 2019
'Laughter and Holocaust Memory: Humour in No Other Symptoms: Time Travelling with Rosalind Brodsky', On Laughter, UCL, 12-13 July 2019
'On Celebrating Women Artists: The Long View on Tate Britain’s Sixty Years Display and Richard Saltoun’s 100% Women Programme', Object, 21 (2019) [forthcoming]
Critical Studies BFA 1 & 3, The Slade School of Fine Art (2019-2020)
MA in History of Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art, 2014-2015 (Distinction)
BA in History of Art and French, University of Manchester, 2009-2013 (First)
Research Coordinator, Tate Research Centre: Asia (2015-2018)
Co-organiser of the Clement Greenberg reading group, which meets every Wednesday 4-6pm in Senate House, Room G2. Please email for further details.