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BA (London), MA (Essex), PhD (London)
Jo is a senior lecturer in modern and contemporary art, currently on leave as the recipient of a Philip Leverhulme Prize. She is the author of two books, Eccentric Objects: Rethinking Sculpture in 1960s America (Yale University Press, 2012) and Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Room—Phalli’s Field (Afterall and MIT Press, 2012).
Eccentric Objects offers an account of the development of sculpture in America during the 1960s, a time when the object in art underwent a series of radical transformations. It argues that work made at this time challenged established categories and criteria for thinking about sculpture, paying particular attention to writing by contemporary critics and artists including Donald Judd, Lucy Lippard, and Mel Bochner and the work of artists including Lee Bontecou, Claes Oldenburg, Lucas Samaras, H.C. Westermann, and Bruce Nauman.
Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Room—Phalli’s Field examines Kusama’s room-sized sculptural installation that she made in New York City in 1965. The book discusses Kusama's relationship to her contemporaries, particularly those working with environments, abstract-erotic sculpture, and mirrors, and focuses on issues such as abstraction, eroticism, sexuality, and softness.
Jo has also published articles on artists including Claes Oldenburg, Lee Bontecou, Yayoi Kusama, Lee Lozano, Eva Lofdahl, HC Westermann, Liliane Lijn, Jan De Cock, Bridget Riley, and Bruce McLean in journals such as Art History, Art Journal, Tate Papers, Sculpture Journal, Source, and Parallax, and her essays have appeared in exhibition catalogues published by Tate Modern, Moderna Museet, Victoria Miro Gallery, Firstsite, Fondazione Prada, and the Yale Center for British Art.
Her reviews and criticism have appeared in Artforum, Oxford Art Journal, Modernism/Modernity, Sculpture Journal, and Map. She is a member of the editorial boards of ARTMargins and Oxford Art Journal.
Jo is currently working on an exhibition with York City Art Gallery on the subject of ‘flesh’, editing a collection of essays about the London art world in the 1960s and 1970s and completing a new book titled Not Working: Lee Lozano versus the Art World.
Jo came to York from UCL, where she was Henry Moore Post-Doctoral Fellow (2004-2005). She has been a Visiting Scholar in the School of Visual Arts at the University of North Texas (2007) and a Research Associate at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal (2009). Jo is the recipient of a Philip Leverhulme Prize (2013-2015).
Jo is currently working on a new book focusing on the work of Lee Lozano, titled Not Working: Lee Lozano versus the Art World 1961-1971. An essay on Lozano’s tool drawings was published in 2010 in the catalogue accompanying the major Lozano retrospective at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm. In 2010 Jo was awarded a year long Anniversary Lectureship from the University of York to develop this project.
Louisa Lee, 'Conceptual Art in Britain, 1965-1979.' Co-supervised by Dr. Andrew Wilson, Tate Britain.
Helen Shaw, 'Modern Alchemists: Sculptural Objects, Ceramics and their makers (1959 - 1979).'
Kuang (Vivian) Sheng, ‘Female artists’ fantasy of ‘home-making’ in the world: Mona Hatoum, Yin Xiuzhen and Nikki S. Lee.’
Kostas Stasinopoulos, ‘Turning Tables: Interrogating Silence and Violence in War-Related Artistic Practice since 1980.’
Amy Tobin, ‘Working Together, Working Apart: Feminism, Art and Collaboration in Britain and America (1974-1981).’
Catherine Spencer, ‘Fieldwork: performing social science in North America, 1959-71.’
Eccentric Objects: Rethinking Sculpture in 1960s America (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012)
Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Room-Phalli’s Field (London and Cambridge, Mass: Afterall and MIT Press, 2012)
Yayoi Kusama (London: Victoria Miro Gallery, 2008; reprinted 2012; two volumes, author of volume one ‘Resisting Infinity’)
‘On Drawing’, Jo Applin, Jennifer Mundy and Michael White (eds) Tate Papers, 14 (Autumn 2010)
‘Assemblage, Bricolage and the Obsolete’, Jo Applin, Anna Dezeuze and Julia Kelly (eds) Art Journal, 67:1 (Spring 2008)
'Mobile Subjects: Abstraction, the Body and Science in the Work of Liliane Lijn and Bridget Riley', Konsthistorisk Tidskrift/Journal of Art History, 83:2 (May 2014), pp.98-111.
‘Strange Encounters: Claes Oldenburg’s Proposed Monuments for New York and London’, Art History, 34:4, (September 2011), pp. 838-857.
‘Surviving Reality: Lee Bontecou’s Worldscapes’, Tate Papers, 14 (Autumn 2010).
‘Death Ships’, parallax, 15:1 (January-March 2009), pp. 102-115.
‘There's a Sculpture on My Shoulder: Bruce McLean and the Anxiety of Influence’, Sculpture Journal, 17:2 (Winter 2008), pp. 102-115.
‘Bric-a-Brac: The Everyday Work of Tom Friedman’, Art Journal, 67:1 (Spring 2008), pp. 69-81.
‘Alberto Burri and Niki de Saint-Phalle: Relief Sculpture and Violence in the Sixties’, Source: Notes in the History of Art, 27:2 (Winter 2008), pp. 77-81.
‘This threatening, and possibly functioning object: Lee Bontecou and the Sculptural Void’, Art History, 29:3 (June 2006), pp. 476-502.
‘Small-Scale Boxes: Lucas Samaras and Eva Hesse’, Object, 4 (2002), pp. 5-24.
Chapters in Books
‘Homesick’ in Adeline de Monseignat (London: Ronchini Gallery, 2014)
'Optical Noise: The Sound of Sculpture in the 1960s' in Chiara Costa and Germano Celant (eds), Art or Sound (Venice: Fondazione Prada, 2014).
'Rendez-vous' in Jan De Cock: Everything for You (Brussels: Atelier Jan De Cock, 2014), pp. 1-7.
'C-Clamp Blues: Eva Hesse’s Relief Work’, in Barry Rosen ed., Eva Hesse 1965 (London: Yale University Press, 2013), pp. 40-49.
‘When Attitudes Became Formless: Art and Antagonism in the Sixties’ in Dana Arnold and David Peters Corbett (eds), A Companion to British Art (Oxford: Blackwell, 2013), pp. 180-198.
‘Strange Encounters: Claes Oldenburg’s Proposed Monuments for New York and London’ in David Peters Corbett and Sarah Monks (eds), Anglo-American: Artistic Exchange between Britain and the USA (Oxford: Blackwell, 2012), pp. 76-89. Reprinted version of article in Art History, 2011.
‘I’m Here but Nothing: Yayoi Kusama’s Environments’, in Frances Morris (ed), Yayoi Kusama (London: Tate Publishing, 2012), pp. 176-186.
'There's a Sculpture on My Shoulder: Bruce McLean and the Anxiety of Influence’, in Rebecca Peabody (ed), Anglo-American Exchange in Post-War Sculpture (Los Angeles: Getty Publishing, 2011), pp. 76-89. Reprinted version of article in Sculpture Journal, 2008. Shortlisted for the ARIAH Online Essay Prize, 2012.
‘Productive Fictions: Eva Löfdahl’ in Ann-Sofi Noring (ed), Eva Löfdahl (Stockholm: Moderna Museet, 2011), pp. 255-263.
‘Looking Back: Prints in the Lurie Collection’ in Angus Trumble and Eleanor Hughes (eds), The Lurie Collection: British Modern Art at the Yale Center for British Art (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010), pp.54-60.
‘Lozano's Labor’ in Iris Müller-Westermann (ed), Lee Lozano (Stockholm: Moderna Museet/Hatje Cantz, 2010), pp. 116-127.
‘Towards a Haunted Art History?’ in Jennifer Fisher (ed), Technologies of Intuition (Toronto: YYZ Books, 2006), pp. 247-260.
‘The Silent Stuff of Sculpture’ in Neat Stuff: Leo Fitzmaurice (Colchester: Firstsite and the Arts Council, 2005), np.
Reviews and Shorter Pieces
'Judith Bernstein', Artforum (November 2014)
'The Luminous and the Grey', West 86th, Fall 2014
'Lynn Chadwick', Times Literary Supplement, 5 September, 2014, 26.
‘Marina Abramovic: 512 Hours, Serpentine Gallery, London’, Times Literary Supplement, 18 July 2014, pp. 17-18.
'Al Taylor', Artforum (May 2014)
'Dennis Oppenheim', Artforum (March 2014)
'Found Sculpture and Photography', Modernism/Modernity, 21:1 (Spring 2014)
'Sarah Lucas', Artforum (February 2014)
'Liz Deschenes', Artforum (January 2014)
'Pauline Boty', Artforum (December 2013)
'Geraldo de Barros', Artforum (March 2013)
‘The Artist’s Placement Group’, Artforum (January 2013)
‘Keith Coventry’, Artforum (January 2013)
‘Lindsay Seers: Nowhere Less Now’, Artforum (December 2012)
‘The Bruce Lacey Experience’, Critic’s Pick, Artforum.com (August 2012)
'Hanne Darboven', Artforum (June 2012)
‘The Disappearance of Objects’, Sculpture Journal (2011)
‘Since 1950: Art and its Criticism’, Modernism / Modernity, 17:3 (September 2010)
‘Discrepancies: Expo ‘67’, Scholar’s Choice, Canadian Centre for Architecture (2010)
‘Katy Moran: Paintings’, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, Map, 17 (Spring 2009)
‘Tom Friedman: Monsters and Stuff’, The Art Book, 16: 2 (May 2009)
‘The Blind Spot: An Essay on the Relations between Painting and Sculpture in the Modern Age’, The Art Book, 16: 2 (May 2009)
‘Gallery in Focus: mima’, The Art Book, 16:2 (August 2009)
‘You are the measure: Gordon Matta Clark’ The Art Book, 15: 3 (August 2008)
‘Modern Sculpture Reader’, The Art Book, 15: 1 (February 2008)
‘Eva Hesse: Sculpture’ and ‘Eva Hesse: Drawing’, The Art Book, 14: 4 (November 2007)
‘Carl Andre, Cuts: Texts 1959-2004’, The Art Book, 13: 2 (May 2006)
‘All at Sea’, Oxford Art Journal, 29:3 (October 2006)
‘Dan Flavin: A Retrospective’, The Art Book, 12: 3 (August 2005).
‘A Minimal Future? Art as Object 1958-1965’, The Art Book, 12: 2 (May 2005)
‘With Hidden Noise: Sculpture, Video, Ventriloquism’, The Art Book, 12:1 (February 2005)
‘Minimalism: Art and Polemics in the Sixties’, Object, 5 (2002)
Jo on a field trip with her final year undergraduates
Jo with her PhD students Kuang Sheng and Helen Shaw
Jo has presented invited lectures at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2014), Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University (2014), University of Essex (2014, 2002), UCL (2014, 2011), Institute for Contemporary Art, London (2013), Edinburgh University (2012), Tate Liverpool (2012), Central Saint Martins, London (2012), Nottingham Contemporary (2012), Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2012, 2009), Princeton University (2010), Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (2010), Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2010), University of Sussex (2010), The Getty Center, Los Angeles (2008), McGill University (2008), University of California, Berkeley (2007), Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2007), University of North Texas (2007), University of Nottingham (2006), The Courtauld Institute of Art, London (2007), Slade School of Fine Art, London (2003).
She also regularly presents papers and convenes panels at international conferences including the annual meetings of the Association of Art Historians (AAH) and the College Art Association (CAA).
Reader of manuscripts for journals and presses including: Yale University Press, Getty Publications, Art History, American Art, Liverpool University Press, I.B. Tauris, Tate Papers, Immediations, Phaidon Press, Oxford University Press, Object.
Grants, Awards, and Prizes