Daniel R. Quiles is an art critic as well as an Associate Professor of Art History, Theory and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His academic research has focused on Argentinean conceptualism as well as broader questions related to new media and politics in Latin American art. He received his Ph.D. from the City of New York Graduate Center in 2010. He was a 2003-2004 Critical Studies Fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program, received a 2013 Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, and was the 2013-2014 Artlas Post-Doctoral Fellow at École Normale Supérieure in Paris. He is currently an Associate Professor of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he teaches courses on the theory and history of postwar art of the Americas. His research has appeared in academic journals such as Art Journal, ARTMargins, and Caiana. He is also an art critic who has written for Artforum, Art in America, and DIS Magazine, among other publications. In 2017 he published a book-length conversation with Jaime Davidovich as part of Fundación Cisneros' interview series with Latin American artists.
My primary focus as an art historian is postwar Argentina, but I do not consider myself a traditional “Latin Americanist” exclusively interested in the region as a bounded and isolated locality. Instead, I attend to transnational networks that link Latin America to other contexts, tracing connections between artists, institutions and political struggles. I am interested in exchanges of ideas and strategies—both from other parts of the world to Latin America, and vice versa—that have helped produce new approaches to art engaged with the mass media and politics. As I see it, this purview matches the ambitions of the avant-garde in Latin America from its origins in the 1920s through the contemporary moment: to converse across the region, and with the rest of the world, on equal terms. My historical investigations are ultimately united by a fascination with international collaboration and communication. I am curious about how artists work together, in some cases across borders, to evaluate the political and aesthetic potentialities of technology in different eras and contexts.
My educational philosophy has been shaped by my ten years at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. SAIC’s unique student body, resources, and curricular flexibility have allowed me to develop my pedagogical approach, which is founded upon the idea that art forces divergent strategies, places, and histories into confrontation. As a teacher, my goal is to provoke curiosity about art’s role across location and time, while refusing the idea that it is temporally and culturally immutable. Rather, I endorse the historicist notion that art can be a consistent lens into highly specific cultural and social histories. My approach begins with formal analysis and gradually opens out, through an emphasis on student writing, to hermeneutics, historiography, and artistic and critical practice in the present. I regard art history as a form of practice that intersects with the work of artists, whose presence in my classes is not just welcome but actively encouraged. My task as a teacher is not to dictate viewpoints or deliver information in bulk, but to serve as a model in my own commitment to sustained aesthetic engagement, openness to ideas and cultures, and willingness to converse across disciplinary and geographical boundaries.
“From Sacrilegious Black to Chromatic System: The Argentinean Monochrome,” in New Geographies of Abstract Art in Postwar Latin America, eds. Mariola V. Alvarez and Ana M. Franco (New York and London: Routledge, 2018), 191-207.
“Double Binds: Technology in Argentine Art, 1965-1975,” in Sighting Technology in Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art, ed. María Fernández (Ithaca, NY: Institute for Comparative Modernities, 2018), 235-264.
Recent Thesis Advisees
- Irena Frumkin (2021), “Emotional Space: Soviet Spatial Politics and the Collective Actions Group”
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.