Modern and Contemporary cluster


About the Modern and Contemporary Cluster

The History of Art Department of York has a large number of staff and students who work on modern and contemporary art, artistic practices and theories. We have particularly close links with colleagues in other departments at York through the Centre for Modern Studies. Staff also work closely with museums, galleries and institutions around the world.

Our research

We have research expertise in the following areas:

  • Film and film theory
  • Feminist art practices and theory
  • Contemporary art writing
  • Avant-gardes and neo-avant-gardes
  • Abstract art
  • Modern and contemporary sculpture
  • Postcoloniality, art and visual culture
  • Post-war American art
  • Queer theory







  • James Boaden
    Post-war American Art; experimental film
  • Whitney Davis
    Queer theory; theories of visual culture 
  • Jason Edwards
    Director of the Centre for Modern Studies; Queer Theory; Animal Theory; complex and other world systems
  • Cadence Kinsey

    Contemporary art; art and the Internet; digital media; histories of art and technology; live art and performance from the 1960s to today

  • Teresa Kittler

    Artistic practices from 1945 to the present day 

  • Michael White
    Interwar avant-gardes; theories of abstraction; sculpture in the twentieth century


Research students

Current students

  • Jung Gyun Chae
    Influence of Asian art on Abstract Expressionism in America since 1938
  • Isabelle Gapp
    Scandinavian art and North American art between 1912 and 1932
  • Helena Gaudekova
    British art and art criticism in Bohemia/Czech lands from 1848-1914
  • Ilaria Grando
    Visualizing AIDS: Re-codify the body to re-codify society
  • Marie-Helene Groll
    William Burrell, Thomas & Drake, and the Transatlantic Trade in Stained Glass 1900-1950 (AHRC funded CDA)
  • Louisa Lee
    Conceptual Art in Britain 1964–79 (AHRC funded CDA)
  • Kyveli Lignou-Tsamantani
    (In)visible Atrocity Images in Contemporary Art: Towards a Reconsideration of the Ethics of Photographing and Viewing Atrocities
  • Grace Linden
    The Work of the Bowery School in New York
  • Simon Marginson
    The Art of Picabia
  • Jiyi Ryu
    British Art at the Inter-War Imperial Exhibitions
  • Kostas Stasinopoulos
    Elsewhere: Women Artists in Exile and Protest since 1960
  • Robert Sutton
    The Educational Roots of Henry Moore's Public Works, 1939-1951 (AHRC funded CDA)
  • Philip Thomas
    John Coates Carter (1859-1927): architecture, Anglicanism and a sense of place in South Wales
  • Amy Tobin
    Working together, working apart: experimental feminist art practices 1970-1985
  • Sa (Leah) Xiao
    I.M.Pei’s museum architecture and Internationalism


Recent students:

  • Jasmine Allen
    Stained Glassworlds: Stained Glass and the International Exhibitions, c.1851-1900
  • Beatrice Bertram
    William Etty and the Royal Academy (AHRC funded CDA)
  • Kirsty Breedon
    Herbert Ward: Sculpture, Politics and Exploration in the Atlantic World, 1884 to the Present
  • Carolyn Conroy
    The life and work of Simeon Solomon after 1873
  • Kirstin Donaldson
    Experiment': A Reassessment of Surrealism in England 1928-1931
  • Imogen Hart
    Arts and crafts objects
  • Claire Hildreth
    Gothic Revival Sculpture
  • Claire Jones
    Between Art and Design: Sculptors and Design Reform in France, 1848-1895
  • Peter Martin
    The European stained glass trade, with Special Reference to the trade between the Rhineland and the United Kingdom 1820-1835
  • Elizabeth McCormick
    Casts, Catalogues, and Curators: Acquisition and Display of Early Medieval Sculpture in National Museums, c. 1850 to 1950
  • Ariane Mildenberg
    Marks, buttons and notes: phenomenology and creative production in Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein and Wallace Stevens
  • Dorothy Nott
    British Military Painting 1854-1914: Humanitarianism, Art and Popular Audiences
  • Lara Perry
    Facing femininities: women in the National Portrait Gallery, 1856-1900
  • Frances Sands
    Nostell Priory: The History of a House, 1730-1900
  • Chloe Sharpe
    Sculpture in Nineteenth-Century Spain
  • Kuang (Vivian) Sheng
    Female artists 'fantasy' of 'home-making' in the world: Mona Hatoum, Yin Xiuzhen and Nikki S. Lee
  • Samuel Shaw
    'Equivocal Positions': The Influence of William Rothenstein, c.1890-1910
  • Catherine Spencer
    Fieldwork: performing social science in North America, 1961-75
  • Katie Tyreman
    Between Women: Visualising Victorian Women Artists' Identities through Art Movements, Media and Scale
  • Michael Walsh
    The career and work of C R W Nevinson to 1924
  • Emma Watts
    British Art- Exhibition and Reception in late 19th Century Australia
  • Sean Willcock
    Consolidating the Colonies: Art and Unrest in the British Empire, c.1855-1880
  • Gabriel Williams
    Sculpture at the Victorian International Exhibitions (Part of the AHRC research project: 'Displaying Victorian Sculpture'



Courses run by staff associated with the Modern and Contemporary Cluster include:


  • Subjectivity and Sexuality in Art Since 1960
  • The Modernist Object
  • The Making of a Modern Style, 1889-1933
  • Theories of Abstraction
  • Modernism
  • Art in America, 1800-1913
  • Victorian Art
  • Mirrors and Screens: The World of Andy Warhol
  • Originality and Reproduction: Avant-Garde, Neo-Avant-Garde and After
  • Global Encounters: Art and the British Empire, c.1800-1950
  • Art in Nineteenth-Century Paris
  • The Cultures of Sculpture 1815-1918
  • Casts and Cultures: The Crystal Palace, Sydenham, c.1854



  • The Bauhaus and Weimar Culture
  • Visualising Conflict in the Twentieth Century
  • Encountering Modernism: Modern Art and Theory Since 1945
  • Contact Zones: Art and Culture in the British Empire, c. 1850-1900
  • Art on Show
  • Visuality and Painting in England and France, 1850-1914
  • Tate Britain Module: Art School Education: from Hockney to Hirst
  • Queering Theory: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
  • Fat Art, Thin Art: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick as Fibre Artist
  • Framing the Contemporary




Regular Events

  • Re-framing violence reading group

Meetings for the Autumn Term will take place 25 October ('On Terror'), 22 November ('On Cruelty'), 6 December ('On Screening'), 11 December (screening tbc). All meetings take place 6-8pm in BS/007. Please email Martha Cattell or Kyveli Lignou-Tsamantani for details.


Autumn 2017 Events

12 October 10:00-19:00

21 October 09:30-17:00

  • Visit to Hull Turner Prize 2017 and Turner & The Whale. Numbers are limited so please sign up on the sheet outside Michael White's office.

9 November 12:00-14:00

8 December 14:00


Past Events

24 Jan 14:00

  • Visit to Alive at York Art Gallery (meet at the gallery)

31 Jan, 7 & 14 Feb

10 Feb 17:00

15 February 08:45 
  • Visit to Robert Rauschenberg at Tate Modern with curator Fiontán Moran. Meet at staff entrance. Spaces are limited so please email Cadence Kinsey to register your interest.

7 March 10:00

  • Visit to Andy Warhol: ARTIST ROOMS at Whitworth Manchester (meet at the gallery)

13 March 16:30

22 March 10:00-17:30

  • MerzNorth4 Tree House, Berrick Saul Building

1-2 June



Past Events