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.
Current Major Projects
Ghost Messages: Argentine Conceptualism, 1965–1972. Book manuscript, to be completed 2016.
Jaime Daviddovich in Conversation with Daniel R. Quiles (New York: Cisneros Foundation, forthcoming 2016).
Catalogue Essays and Contributions to Scholarly Journals
Chapter contribution, edited volume in addition to exhibition catalogue for Getty Pacific Standard Time exhibition David Lamelas: A Life of Their Own (forthcoming 2017, intended publisher University of California Press).
“Between Chaos and the Furnaces: Argentine Conceptualism,” in A Companion To Modern and Contemporary Latin American and Latino Art, eds. Robin Greeley and Megan Sullivan (Boston: Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming 2016).
“Black Box / Clear Box: Luis Benedit and Cybernetics,” in Luis Benedit, ed. Maria Torres (Buenos Aires: Fundación Espigas, forthcoming 2016).
“Double Bind: Technology in Argentine Art, 1965-1975,” in Sighting Technology in Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art. María Fernández, ed. (Ithaca, NY: Institute for Comparative Modernities, forthcoming 2016).
"Dead Boars, Viruses, and Zombies: Roberto Jacoby's Art History," Art Journal (Winter 2015): 38-55.
“Mediate Media: Buenos Aires Conceptualism,” exhibition essay for Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960-1980, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2015, https://www.moma.org/d/pdfs/W1siZiIsIjIwMTUvMTIvMTcvODg0aGN1dmd3cV9tcDAxOTA2M19xdWlsZXNfZmluYWxfMTJfMTcucGRmIl1d/mp019063_quiles_final_12_17.pdf?sha=e47b5fcdea912909.
“S(h)ifters: Overidentification in Latin America, 1966-1989,” in From Kapital to Capital: Neue Slowenische Kunst: An Event of the Final Decade of Yugoslavia, exh. cat. Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2015), 426-435.
Outreach: Jaime Davidovich, 1974-1984, exh. cat. (Chicago: Threewalls: Contemporary Art Chicago, 2015).
“Pedro Cabrita Reis: Five Terms,” in Pablo Cabrita Reis, exh. cat. (Chicago: Arts Club of Chicago, 2015).
Introduction and guest-edited special issue, “Highways of the South: Latin American Art Networks,” Artl@s Bulletin, Vol. 3, Issue 2 (Fall 2014).
"Sifters: Overidentification in Latin American Conceptualism," in exhibition catalogue for Neue Slovenische Kunst retrospective, Moderna galerija / Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana, 2014.
"Exhibition as Network, Network as Curator: Canonizing Art from 'Latin America,'" Artlas Bulletin, July 2014.
"Between Organism and Sky: Oscar Bony, 1965–1976," Caiana Journal, Summer 2014.
"My Reference is Prejudiced: David Lamelas's Publication," Art Margins, Fall 2013, pp. 31–62.
"Architectural History as Medium," in Osvaldo Romberg, Translocations: Mies and Melnikov, exh. cat. Plano, IL: National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2013.
"Distress," in Dimensional Lines: Art + Dress, exh. cat. (Chicago: Evanston Art Center, 2012).
"Conrad Freiburg: Out of Time," in Conrad Freiburg: It Is What It Isn't, exh. cat. (Chicago: Hyde Park Art Center, 2011).
"Response to Philip Derbyshire's 'Who Was Oscar Masotta?'" Radical Philosophy (Fall 2010).
"Contra-," Ramona (Buenos Aires) (Summer 2010).
"Mixed Fortunes," in Mariliana Arvelo: Mixed Fortunes, ed. José Guillermo Fantoni, exh. cat. (Cambridge, MA: David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University, 2009).
"Deciding the Best of Given Choices," in Carla Herrera-Prats: Prep Materials: Art in General New Commissions Program Vol. XIX, exh. cat., ed. Anne J. Barlow and Eva Diaz (New York: Art in General, 2008), 21–37.
"Interview with Roberto Jacoby," Americas Society Quarterly (November 2007), 323–330.
"Burn Out My Identity: Destruction and Collectivity in Greco and Minujín," in Beginning With A Bang! From Confrontation To Intimacy: An Exhibition of Argentine Contemporary Artists, exh. cat., ed. Gabriela Rangel Mantilla (Boston: Harvard University Press and Americas Society, 2007), 69–80.
Criticism and reviews
Other:ArtNexusArte al Dia InternationalBurlington MagazineDis MagazineVisual Resources
- Carmen Lombana (2020), “The End of Times: Sindicato del Terror. The Second Wave of Performance in Mexico City”
- Lauren Makholm (2020), “Imperative Images: Nirma Zárate's Early Screenprints”
- Emilia Nicholson-Fajardo (2020), “Power Play: Subculture and Sadomasochism in the Works of ektor garcía and Tamara Santibañez”
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.