Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Dr Maja Fowkes

Research Centre: Post-socialist Art Centre

Dr Maja Fowkes is an art historian, curator and co-director of the Post-socialist Art Centre (PACT) at the Institute of Advanced Studies, UCL. She is co-founder of the Translocal Institute for Contemporary Art, an independent research centre focussing on the art history of Central Europe and contemporary ecological practices. She is a member of the Environmental Arts and Humanities Initiative (EAH) at Central European University.

She is the joint head of the programme Confrontations: Sessions in East European Art History (2018-20), which investigates the entangled histories of East European art through a series of itinerant symposia held across and beyond the region. This Getty Foundation Connecting Art Histories supported project aims to facilitate the collective research of an international group of emerging scholars engaged with art movements and phenomena that have yet to be given substantive comparative treatment, focusing in particular on the under-researched periods before and after the neo-avant-garde.

Recent and forthcoming publications include The Green Bloc: Neo-Avant-Garde and Ecology under Socialism and a Thames & Hudson World of Art series book on Central and Eastern European Art Since 1950.  She has written numerous chapters and journal articles on topics such as performative re-enactments, de-schooling the art curriculum and the ecological entanglements of deviant democracy.  These include a chapter in Art and Theory of Post-1989 Central and Eastern Europe: A Critical Anthology (Museum of Modern Art: New York, 2018), an article on 'Placing Bookmarks: The Institutionalisation and De-Institutionalisation of Hungarian Neo-Avant-Garde and Contemporary Art' in the journal Tate Papers, and 'Towards a Planetary History of East European Art' in East Central European Art from Global Perspectives: Past and Present (Routledge, 2018).

She is the author of texts for exhibition publications for institutions such as Ludwig Museum for Contemporary Art Vienna, Bozar Brussels, ZKM Karlsruhe, Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz and Kunsthalle Bratislava.  She has given lectures and led workshops in prominent contemporary art venues such as MoMA New York, ICA London, Whitechapel Gallery, Pérez Art Museum Miami and MACBA Barcelona.  Her curatorial projects include the Anthropocene Experimental Reading Room, the Danube River School, the conference on Vegetal Mediations, as well as the exhibition Walking without Footprints.