Larne Abse Gogarty is Lecturer in History and Theory of Art at the Slade School of Fine Art. Larne’s primary research interests lie in modern and contemporary art, as well as theories relating to Marxism, race and gender. Previously, she was the Terra Foundation for American Art Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institut für Kunst- und Bildgeschichte at the Humboldt University, Berlin (20016-2018). She has also taught in the History of Art Department, UCL, Chelsea College of Fine Art and Goldsmiths College. Larne completed her PhD in the History of Art department at University College London in 2015, which was a comparative history of social practice art during the 1990s, and cultural work produced within the proletarian avant-garde during the 1930s in the United States. This research led to my first book, Usable Pasts: Social Practice and State Formation in American Art with the Historical Materialism book series (Brill 2022). She completed an MA at UCL in 2010, and a BA at SOAS in 2008. Between 2008-2015, Larne worked freelance as a Production Assistant for Artangel, on projects by artists including Oreet Ashery, Sarah Cole and Noor Afshan Mirza and Brad Butler, and she also worked for no.w.here between 2010-2012. She frequently works collaboratively, and is in the organising group for the Marxism in Culture seminar. In 2018, Larne organised the conference “Eccentric, realist, populist, procedural: The Politics of Figuration in American Art”, which took place in May at the Humboldt Universität. In 2016 she co-organised ‘Reality Check: a symposium on art, psycho-politics and the limits of community’ (University College London) and in 2011, co-organised the conference ‘Performance and Labour’ (UCL and Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Kingston) She is in the editorial collective for Cesura//Acceso, a journal for music, politics and poetics. She regularly writes criticism, mainly for Art Monthly.
My research broadly concerns the relationship between art and politics. I recently published my first book, Usable Pasts: Social Practice and State Formation in American Art (Brill 2022). This book addresses the mythic and material afterlives of the New Deal in order to write a new history of social practice in the United States. I analyse projects by Suzanne Lacy, Rick Lowe and Martha Rosler in relation to experimental theatre, modern dance, and photography produced within the leftist Cultural Front of the 1930s. The book’s comparative methodology allows for a multi-temporal approach to contemporary art history that avoids nostalgia, or an excessive valorisation of the present. This also relates to my other major interest in theories of history, and how these inform art history and theory.
I am also in the final stages of completing my second book, entitled What we do is Secret: Contemporary Art and the Antinomies of Conspiracy. Written in the wake of the far-right populist turn in Europe, the US, and beyond, this book addresses aesthetic and intellectual affinities between recent art and conspiracy, proposing a theory of conspiracy that is not primarily concerned with conspiracy theory. Here, conspiracy is not used pejoratively but is instead examined as an accusation levelled at varying modes of political thought and action, from often opposing quarters, because it is seen as undermining “common sense” and reasonable behaviour. This inquiry take shape across chapters on the politics of post-internet art aesthetics; the sublime and possessive individualism in recent “critical” art; Cady Noland's security fences and silkscreens of the Symbionese Liberation Army and mutuality, secrecy and improvisation in the work of Ima Abasi Okon. Across these chapters, I explore the relationship between culture and contemporary liberalism, following on from David Lloyd's proposition that through its compensatory qualities, the aesthetic sphere naturalizes forms of life lived under the rule of property. What kind of art can work against this? Can art exist as a conspiracy capable of corroding that rule?
Other topics I have written on include an essay on usefulness in contemporary art and politics for Third Text; an essay on Mark Bradford’s work in the American Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale for the Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, and I recently contributed to a roundtable on contemporary culture and neo-fascism for Third Text. I have written catalogue essays on Sam Gilliam, Alice Neel and for the exhibition "Constructing the World: Art and Economy 1919-1939." I sometimes write about non-art related matters, most recently the essay "Communist Feelings" for the New Socialist, co-authored with Hannah Proctor. I also regularly write criticism, mainly for Art Monthly.
- American Art and the Stakes of Criticism, 1933-1980
- Blackness in American Art and Visual Culture
- Utopia and Dystopia in California Art and Culture
- Performance and Social Transformation
- Modernism and the Avant-Gardes
This inquiry takes shape across chapters on the politics of post-internet art aesthetics; the sublime and possessive individualism in recent “critical” art; Cady Noland’s security fences and silkscreens of the Symbionese Liberation ...
Usable Pasts addresses projects dating to two periods in the United States that saw increased financial support from the state for socially engaged culture. By analysing artworks dating to the 1990s by Suzanne Lacy, Rick Lowe and Martha Rosler in relation to experimental theatre, modern dance, and photography produced within the leftist Cultural Front of the 1930s, this book unpicks the mythic and material afterlives of the New Deal in American cultural politics in order to write a new history of social practice art in the United States. From teenage mothers organising exhibitions that challenged welfare reform, to communist dance troupes choreographing their struggles as domestic workers, Usable Pasts addresses the aesthetics and politics of these attempts to transform society through art in relation to questions of state formation.
: Humboldt, Empire, and Humanity in the Anthropocene / Alan C. Braddock -- The Inhumanity of the Mass Subject / Michael Leja -- "Monsters of Mutilation, Death and Decay" : The Tragic Figures of Monster Roster / Larne Abse Gogarty -- Follow ...
"The liberal capitalist world order that prevailed after 1989 is today in a stage of advanced disintegration.
Following the artist from her first works in the 1920s to her final evocative self-portrait, made shortly before her death, this is the defining treatise on Alice Neel.
While the artist himself rarely comments on political issues, the works in his Martin Luther King series and Jail Jungle reflect the 1968 race riots and the highly polarized debate over black art and abstract painting in 1960s and 1970s ...
From the Weimar Republic, to the United States, to the Soviet Union: Between 1919 and 1939, the visual arts of these three great powers suddenly developed along similar lines.In its exhibition Constructing the World, the Kunsthalle Mannheim ...
Many have subsequently benefitted from the example set. This timely book celebrates the contribution of this artist-run initiative to London.
This article examines Sharon Hayes’s video work Ricerche: three 2013 and the way it represents and mediates the often-painful psychic processes of group formation, in this case propelled by internal and external social pressures. Drawing upon the work of British psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion and the philosopher Iris Marion Young, the essay analyses the artwork’s exploration of ‘womanhood’ as the locus of collective subjectivity and political agency.
This thesis aims to historicise and theorise art works that are community based, collectively produced and politically critical. I seek to challenge the de-historicised character of the recent discourse on what has been variously labelled socially engaged art, dialogical art, or participatory art through a comparative methodology that analyses such practices dating to the 1930s and the 1990s in the U.S.A. The rationale for considering the 1930s and 1990s together arises from continuities in the artworks I discuss and as a path towards an alternative history. However, I also engage these two periods as a way of testing the relationship between the flourishing of such practices, processes of state formation in the USA, and social change. Marxism, feminism, and theories of racialisation inform my approach. Through this, I seek to explore how the ‘subject-participant’ at the forefront of socialised art practice has shifted between these two periods, what this can tell us about the relationship between capital and labour, and how the works under discussion mediate processes of domination and exploitation. By analysing a range of practices that include experimental theatre, performance, dance and photography, my intention is to connect the conditions that underpinned and propelled these works with the relationships they are able to engender through their production and circulation. This is necessarily approached as an interdisciplinary problem, and underpins my emphasis on making connections over a longer period, in order to provide a more complex history of the present.
Steve Edwards’s book, Martha Rosler: The Bowery in Two Inadequate Descriptive Systems, is a close study of Rosler’s 1976 artwork. The book takes up the social and political coordinates of the work’s production, focusing on the San Diego Group of which Rosler was a member, New York City during the fiscal crisis, and the broader contribution Rosler makes to what Edwards calls ‘second-wave political modernism’. This review considers Edwards’s analyses of the work, and locates its importance within the discussion around Rosler, as well as the broader history of radical American art.