History of Art Research Seminar
In this event hosted by the Modern and Contemporary Research Cluster within the Department of History of Art, Dr Catherine Grant (Courtauld Institute of Art) will be in conversation with James Boaden about her new book A Time of One’s Own (Duke University Press, 2022).
In the book Grant examines how contemporary feminist artists are turning to broad histories of feminism ranging from political organizing and artworks from the 1970s to queer art and activism in the 1990s. Exploring artworks from 2002 to 2017 by artists including Sharon Hayes, Mary Kelly, Allyson Mitchell, Deirdre Logue, Lubaina Himid, Pauline Boudry, and Renate Lorenz, Grant maps a revival of feminism that takes up the creative and political implications of forging feminist communities across time and space. Grant characterizes these artists’ engagement with feminism as a fannish, autodidactic, and collective form of learning from history. This fandom of feminism allows artists to build relationships with previous feminist ideas, artworks, and communities that reject a generational model and embrace aspects of feminism that might be seen as embarrassing, queer, or anachronistic. Accounting for the growing interest in feminist art, politics, and ideas across generations, Grant demonstrates that for many contemporary feminist artists, the present moment can only be understood through an embodied engagement with history in which feminist pasts are reinhabited and reimagined.
Catherine Grant co-edited two influential special issues of the journal Art History ‘Creative Writing and Art History’ with Patricia Rubin in 2012 and ‘Decolonising Art History’ with Dorothy Price in 2020. She was the editor of Fandom as Methodology: A Sourcebook for Artists and Writers (MIT Press, 2019) with Kate Random Love and Girls! Girls! Girls! In Contemporary Art (Intellect, 2011) with Lori Waxman. In 2021 her innovative methodology was celebrated by the Paul Mellon Centre podcast Experiments in Art Writing.