BA, magna cum laude, 2001, Harvard University; MA, 2006, PhD, 2011, Princeton University. Publications: An Art of Privacy?: Wilhelm Hausenstein on Paul Klee; Paul Klee: Making Visible; Picasso, Braque, and the Uses of the Print, 1910–1912; Picasso and Braque: The Cubist Experiment, 1910–12; "Radically Uncolorful Painting": Walter Benjamin and the Problem of Cubism; Grey Room; A Refuge for Script: Paul Klee's Square Pictures; Bauhaus Construct: Fashioning Identity, Discourse, and Modernism; A Speculative Tapestry: Gunta Stölzl's Slit-Tapestry Red-Green; Modell Bauhaus; Paul Klee: The Visible and the Legible. Awards: Residential Fellowship, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, Research Fellowship for postdoctoral researchers; Jane Faggen Dissertation Prize, Princeton; Dedalus Foundation Dissertation Fellowship; Fulbright-IIE Research Grant; Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies; German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Fellowship; Jean Goldman Book Prize; Robert Motherwell Book Award. 



Paul Klee: The Visible and the Legible (Chicago: University of Chicago Press 2015)

Selected published and forthcoming essays:

"Picture-architecture red yellow blue" and "High and brightly shining stands the moon." In Paul Klee. L'ironie à l'œuvre exhibition catalogue, ed. Angela Lampe, Centre Pompidou (forthcoming 2016)

"The Margins of the Angelus Novus." In R. H. Quaytman: Chapter 29, ed. Mark Godfrey, Tel Aviv Museum of Art (forthcoming 2015)

"Type/Face: Wassily Kandinsky and Walter Benjamin on Language and Perception." In German Expressionism: Der Blaue Reiter and Its Legacies, ed. Dorothy Rowe, pending review as the annual special issue of the journal Art History and as a book in Wiley-Blackwell's Art History Special Issue Book Series.

"An Art of Privacy?: Wilhelm Hausenstein on Paul Klee." In Paul Klee: Making Visible exhibition catalogue, ed. Matthew Gale, Tate Modern (London: Tate Publishing, 2013).

"Picasso, Braque, and the Uses of the Print, 19101912." In Picasso and Braque: The Cubist Experiment, 191012 exhibition catalogue, ed. Eik Kahng, Santa Barbara Museum of Art (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011).

"'Radically Uncolorful Painting': Walter Benjamin and the Problem of Cubism." In Grey Room 39 (Spring 2010), special issue on Walter Benjamin's Media Tactics: Optics, Perception, and the Work of Art, ed. Michael W. Jennings and Tobias Wilke.

"A Refuge for Script: Paul Klee's Square Pictures." In Bauhaus Construct: Fashioning Identity, Discourse, and Modernism, ed. Robin Schuldenfrei and Jeffrey Saletnik (London and New York: Routledge, 2009).

"A Speculative Tapestry: Gunta Stölzl's Slit-Tapestry Red-Green." In Modell Bauhaus exhibition catalogue, Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin, Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, and the Bauhaus-Museum der Klassik Stiftung Weimar (2009).

"Objects Transformed." Co-authored with Vanessa Rocco. In Modernist Photography: Selections from the Daniel Cowin Collection, ed. Christopher Phillips and Vanessa Rocco (New York: International Center of Photography/Steidl, 2005).

Personal Statement

My interests include twentieth and twenty-first century abstraction, the interplay of visual and textual media, avant-gardes, and questions of reception.

Two lines of questioning drive my work. The first is about relationships among media: How do media—"old" and "new," "mass" and "artistic"— mimic, contest, and transform one another? In particular, I am fascinated by the interface between visual and textual media, especially the relations among artworks and the words that surround them (titles, descriptions, narratives, interpretations, and so on).

The second is about the interactions, the give-and-take, that take place between a viewer and an artwork. What do people do with, or to, these things? And what do these particularly complex and cunning things do with, or to, their beholders, handlers, and users? What do these things make out of us? How can we see artworks as apparatuses that demand various forms of bodily and imaginative engagement (different kinds of looking, thinking, speculating, feeling, talking, moving, and so on).

I am particularly drawn to early twentieth-century modernist and avant-garde art as crucial objects with which to ask and answer these questions. I focus especially, but not exclusively, on German modernism because of the high stakes—aesthetic, political, cognitive, and ethical—accompanying questions about the capacities of various media, as well as the compelling articulations of those stakes, in that context. In early twentieth century Germany, the relationship between artwork and beholder, an enduring concern of German aesthetics, was rethought under the pressure of modernity experienced as crisis. More broadly, I see artistic modernism as a series of negotiations of the place of both artist and artwork in the terror and exhilaration of social, economic, and political modernity.

Thesis Advisees

  • Brit Erin Schulte (MA 2017): Queering the Weimar Archive: The Transgressive Bodies and Transgressive Performances of Anita Berber and Sebastian Droste
  • Lindsay Garbutt (MA 2017): "All Known Means of Design": Reproduction and Audience Engagement in Herbert Bayer's Bauhaus Exhibition Design at the Museum of Modern Art, 1938
  • Sarah Wheat (MA 2016): The Architect as Nomad: A Critical Examination of Bruno Taut's 'Theory Of Architecture'


Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.