Goldabelle McComb Finn Distinguished Professor of Art History and Chair, Art History, Theory and Criticism (2005); BA with Highest Honors, 1995, Oberlin College; PhD, 2002, Northwestern University. Books: Rodin: Sex and the Making of Modern Sculpture (2010); Body Doubles: Sculpture in Britain, 1877–1905 (2004); ed., Scott Burton: Collected Writings on Art and Performance, 1965–1975 (2012); ed., From Diversion to Subversion: Games, Play, and Twentieth-Century Art (2011); ed., Sculpture and the Pursuit of a Modern Ideal in Britain, c.1880–1930 (2004). Awards: Clark Fellowship, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute; Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellowship, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts; Honorary Visiting Professorship, University of York; Getty Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship; Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship (Dartmouth College); Paul Mellon Centre Postdoctoral Fellowship; Kress Fellowship (Courtauld Institute of Art); SAIC Faculty Member of the Year (2007). Concurrent Position: Chair of the Editorial Board of The Art Bulletin.


See personal website for further publications, PDFs, and full c.v. Further downloads can also be found on

Books Forthcoming in 2015–2016:

  1. Abstract Bodies: Sixties Sculpture in the Expanded Field of Gender (Yale University Press, forthcoming October 2015)
  2. Queer, Whitechapel Documents of Contemporary Art Series (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, forthcoming Spring 2016)

Books Published and Edited Collections/Volumes:

  1. (co-ed.) Trans Cultural Production, special issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly 1.4 (November 2014), co-edited with Julian B. Carter and Trish Salah
  2. (ed.) Scott Burton: Collected Writings on Art and Performance, 1965–1975 (Soberscove Press, 2012). Introduction [PDF]
  3. (ed.) From Diversion to Subversion: Games, Play, and Twentieth Century Art (Penn State University Press, 2011)
  4. Rodin: Sex and the Making of Modern Sculpture (Yale University Press, 2010)
  5. Body Doubles: Sculpture in Britain, 1877–1905 (Yale University Press, 2004)
  6. (ed.) Sculpture and the Pursuit of a Modern Ideal in Britain, c.1880–1930 (Ashgate, 2004)

Selected published and forthcoming essays:

  1. "Acts of Stillness: Statues, Performativity, and Passive Resistance, " Criticism 56.1 (Spring 2014)
  2. "Queer Formalisms: Jennifer Doyle and David Getsy in Conversation, " Art Journal 73.4 (Winter 2013)
  3. "Laying it Down: Heroic Reclining Men and Other Tactical Inversions," in Eugenie Tsai, et al., eds., Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic, exh. cat. (Brooklyn: Brooklyn Museum of Art, 2015), 94–99
  4. "Capacity," TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly 1.1, special issue: "Post-posttransexual: Terms for a 21st Century Transgender Studies" (Spring 2014): 47–49.
  5. "Sculpture Since 1960" in M. Kelly, ed., The Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, second edition (Oxford University Press, 2014), 5:529–34.
  6. "Catherine Opie, Portraiture, and the Decoy of the Iconographic," in Confronting the Abject: Catherine Opie, Stephanie Sick Distinguished Visiting Professorship Monograph Series (Chicago: School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2014), 15–37.
  7. "Making Faces," in William J. O'Brien: Ceramic Heads (Los Angeles: Wood Kusaka Studios, 2014), 1–12
  8. "Queer Exercises: Amber Hawk Swanson's Performances of Self-Realization," GLQ 19.4 (Fall 2013): 465–85
  9. "Preposterous Parts: Nancy Grossman's Relief Assemblages, 1965–1967," in I. Berry, ed., Nancy Grossman: Tough Life Diary, exh. cat (Prestel Verlag and Tang Museum of Art, 2012), 52–65.
  10. "John Chamberlain's Pliability: The New Monumental Aluminum Works," The Burlington Magazine 153.1304 (November 2011): 738–44.
  11. "Playing in the Sand with Picasso: Relief Sculpture as Game in the Summer of 1930," in D. Getsy, ed., From Diversion to Subversion: Games, Play, and Twentieth Century Art (Penn State Univ. Press, 2011), 80–93.
  12. "Immoderate Couplings: Transformations and Genders in John Chamberlain's Work," in D. Tompkins, ed., It's All in the Fit: The Work of John Chamberlain (Chinati Foundation, 2009), 166–211.
  13. "Mourning, Yearning, Cruising: Ernesto Pujol's Memorial Gestures," PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art 90 (September 2008): 11–24.
  14. "Tactility or Opticality, Henry Moore or David Smith: Herbert Read and Clement Greenberg on the Art of Sculpture, 1956," Sculpture Journal 17.2 (2008) reprinted in R. Peabody, ed., Anglo-American Exchange in Postwar Sculpture, 1945–1975 (Getty Museum, 2011).
  15. "Recognizing the Homoerotic: The Uses of Intersubjectivity in John Addington Symonds's 1887 Essays on Art," Visual Culture in Britain 8.1 (Spring 2007): 37–57.
  16. "Fallen Women: The Gender of Horizontality and the Abandonment of the Pedestal by Giacometti and Epstein," in A. Gerstein, ed., Display and Displacement (Holberton, 2007), 114–29.
  17. "Privileging the Object of Sculpture: Actuality and Harry Bates's Pandora of 1890," Art History 28.1 (February 2005): 74–95.

Journal leadership:

The Art Bulletin, Editorial Board, 2012–2016 (Chair 2013–2015)
Queer Visualities, Founding Editorial Board, (starting 2016)

Exhibitions curated:

  1. Making Do, online exhibition for Visual AIDS art archive, 2011
  2. Co-curator, Everyday People, Estudiotres Gallery, Chicago, 2008
  3. Action! AIDS Activism through Art, Film, and Video, film and video art series, Center on Halsted and Chicago History Museum, 2007
  4. Co-curator, The Cult of the Statuette in Late-Victorian Britain, Leeds City Art Galleries, 2000
  5. Presence in Minimal and Postminimal Art, Allen Memorial Art Museum, 1995


  1. Named New City's "Best of Chicago 2014" issue as "Best Advocate for Queer Theory in Art"
  2. Single-question interview for Chicago Magazine (March 2014)
  3. Art's Hit Makers: The C Notes Power List 2013, by Jason Foumberg, Chicago Magazine (February 2013).
  4. Featured in the documentary HEAARTBEAT: John Chamberlain, dir. Alexandra Fairweather (2012)
  5. Fresh For(u)ms, by Karen L. Rooney, Brooklyn Rail (July 2012)
  6. Garden Parts/Arts, by Whitney Kimball, (May 2013)
  7. Lecture on Scott Burton given at the symposium accompanying the National Portrait Gallery exhibition Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, 2011
  8. Review of Rodin: Sex and the Making of Modern Sculpture on
  9. Interview with WBEZ-Chicago Public Radio on seeing homosexuality in art for the "Eight Forty-Eight" newsmagazine, aired 12 September 2011
  10. CASVA's David Getsy, Washington Post (11 April 2010)
  11. Conversation with Gregg Bordowitz on queer theory and art, Bad At Sports weekly arts digest, Episode #91 (broadcast May 2007

Personal Statement

My research critically engages with the narratives of modern art from the perspectives of derided or ignored alternatives: sculpture, "academic" art, queer sexualities, transforming genders, camp, and non-seriousness. The questions I ask of the history of art are developed from engagements with the interdisciplinary fields of transgender studies, queer studies, game studies, and performance studies, and I have focused on the history of modern sculpture from its nineteenth-century origins to its legacies in contemporary art practice. My current projects deal with abstraction and transgender capacity as part of a larger inquiry into the changing status of the human figure in modern and contemporary art.

From my work on 19th-century sculptors such as Auguste Rodin to my research on contemporary art and performance, a central concern has been the ways in which artists have used sexuality as a resource in their development of public modes of practice, pluralistic accounts of sociality, and accessible artistic vocabularies. Similarly, my research draws from transgender studies as a means to excavate the competing accounts of personhood that underwrote histories of figuration and abstraction.


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.