BA (London), MA, PhD (Essex)
Michael White is a Reader in History of Art working chiefly on the interwar avant-gardes: Constructivism, Dada and Surrealism. He wrote his doctoral thesis on Theo van Doesburg and has a special interest in De Stijl and modernism in the Netherlands.
Michael has published widely on abstract art and modernist design, including his book De Stijl and Dutch Modernism, published by Manchester University Press in 2003 and reprinted in 2009. His interest has been in testing the predominant theoretical paradigms for describing the avant-garde by exploring the meanings attached to abstract art and their relationship to parallel modernising projects such as urban planning, interior design reform and the development of consumer culture.
He was the Consultant Curator of the Tate Modern exhibition Van Doesburg and the International Avant-Garde: Constructing a New World, which considers the career of Theo van Doesburg not merely as an artist but a propagandist for cultural renewal in fields as diverse as architecture, graphic design, publishing, film and music. Van Doesburg's role in proselytising the new and coordinating a large network of fellow artists are important themes explored in the exhibition and its accompanying catalogue.
With his long-standing involvement with the career of Theo van Doesburg, Michael has always had an interest in Dada. He has published a collection of translations he has made of Van Doesburg's dada writings and is currently engaged in a major research project on Berlin Dada, exploring issues of identity. Some of this work has been presented as papers, at the major conference 'Dada in Debate' he co-convened at Tate Modern in November 2005, at the conference 'Raoul Hausmann and the Avant-gardes' at INHA in Paris in 2008 and next at the College Art Association conference in Chicago 2010.
Michael would welcome proposals for doctoral research on abstract art, theory of the avant-garde, modernist design, Dada, Constructivism and related groups.
Selected Conference Papers and Talks
except for weeks 4, 8 and 9 when they will be
Please sign up for an appointment on the sign-up sheet on Michael’s office