Mohn Family Professor of Contemporary Art History (2000). Chair, Sculpture (2013–14; 2015–2016). Chair, Art History (2010–13). BA, 1990, Brown University; MA, 1994, Stony Brook University; PhD, 1999, University of Texas at Austin. Concurrent Position: Editor-in-Chief, Books: Author, Donald Judd; Midwestern Unlike You and Me: New Zealand's Julian Dashper. Publications: Art History; Art Journal; Art in America; New Art Examiner; Arte Al Dia International; Art Criticism; Art History Versus Aesthetics; Ludwig Museum, Cologne; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Tate Modern; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, 2nd ed. Awards: NEH Fellowship; Smithsonian Institution Predoctoral Fellowship; Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship; DAAD; Whitney Museum Helena S. Rubenstein Fellowship; Wyeth Foundation/CAA publication Grant; Fellow: United States Study Centre, University of Sydney.

Experience at SAIC

SAIC is a wonderful place to practice art history. I am part of a large department of specialists in modern and contemporary art with diverse perspectives and areas of expertise. The wider art school community is a vibrant place where artists, critics, and scholars mix together to ask the same question when confronted both by masterpieces from history and the work inside their own studios: why does art matter now?

Personal Statement

When teaching, my main goal is to have lively conversation in which the entire class looks at the art we are studying and uses it to debate broader social, political, and philosophical issues.


David Raskin's work as an art historian pursues the stakes of modern and contemporary art produced in relation to earlier artistic developments and contemporary practices. Raskin's scholarly work asks how and why the ambitions and debates of the 1960s continue to be relevant. Of particular concern to him is the question: what makes art credible?

Raskin has been a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago since 2000. He has served as the Chair of the Art History, Theory, and Criticism department from 2010–13 and as the Chair of the Sculpture department from 2013–14. He teaches seminars on Minimalism, Pop, Postminimalism, Vito Acconci, Rosalind Krauss, Jackson Pollock, Michael Fried, Andy Warhol, and "feedback" in installation, performance, and video art. Raskin's scholarly work and research has been acknowledged by many institutions, including fellowships awarded by the Smithsonian Institution, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, American Council of Learned Societies, and the Whitney Museum. In 2009, Raskin was honored with the SAIC Class of 2009 Faculty Member of The Year award for excellence in teaching.

Raskin's book Donald Judd was published by Yale in 2010 and has been reviewed in more than a dozen publications. Raskin's other writings are widely read and he has contributed essays to catalogs of exhibitions at the Tate Modern, London; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Ludwig Museum, Cologne; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

Raskin received his PhD from the University of Texas in Austin in Art History, his MA in Art History and Criticism from SUNY at Stony Brook, and his BA from Brown University in the Visual Arts and Psychology.

Current Interests

My goal is to write a type of art history where my prose captures something of the complexity, excitement, conflict, and structure of the art I am considering. The two books that have most excited me in the last decade and have helped in this ambition are Terry Eagleton's After Theory and Giorgio Agamben's The Open. My current book project looks at the photographs of Hiroshi Sugimoto (b. 1948), asks about the nature of these strange objects, addresses issues of time, feeling, and belief, and seeks to exist at the edge of academic scholarship and nonfiction memoir.

Thesis Advisees

  • Elisabeth Holland Rose Smith (Dual 2015): The Dynaton's "New Vision": Possibilities for Abstraction from the Bay Area, 1948-1951
  • Katherine E. Waddell (Dual 2015): More Than a Feeling: Performativity, Sincerity, and Sociality in the Art of the Affective Turn
  • Katrina Mohn (Dual 2014): H.C. Westermann and the American Absurd
  • Meri Rose Ekberg (MA 2014): Inventing A Future Through History: The Layering of Time at Mildred's Lane


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.