Goldabelle McComb Finn Distinguished Professor of Art History (2005); BA with Highest Honors, 1995, Oberlin College; PhD, 2002, Northwestern University. Awards: Dedalus Foundation Senior Fellowship; Terra Foundation Visiting Professorship at Freie Universität Berlin; Distinguished Visiting Fellow of Queen Mary University of London; Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts Fellowship (2018, 2015); Clark Art Institute Fellowship; Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellowship from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts; Honorary Visiting Professorship at University of York (2017, 2010); Getty Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship; Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Leslie Center for the Humanities at Dartmouth College; Paul Mellon Centre Postdoctoral Fellowship; Kress Foundation Fellowship at the Courtauld Institute of Art; Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies. SAIC Awards: Faculty Member of the Year (2007), SAIC Jean Goldman Book Prize (2015).
Books and Edited Collections/Volumes:
- Abstract Bodies: Sixties Sculpture in the Expanded Field of Gender (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2015). Introduction.
- (ed.) Queer, Whitechapel Documents of Contemporary Art Series (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2016). Introduction. [29th Annual Lambda Literary Awards finalist for "Best LGBTQ Anthology”]
- (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
- (ed.) Scott Burton: Collected Writings on Art and Performance, 1965–1975 (Soberscove Press, 2012). Introduction. Winner of SAIC's 2015 Jean Goldman Book Prize
- (ed.) From Diversion to Subversion: Games, Play, and Twentieth Century Art (Penn State University Press, 2011). Introduction.
- Rodin: Sex and the Making of Modern Sculpture (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2010). Introduction.
- Body Doubles: Sculpture in Britain, 1877–1905 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2004). Introduction.
- (ed.) Sculpture and the Pursuit of a Modern Ideal in Britain, c.1880–1930 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004). Introduction.
Selected journal articles and catalogue essays:
- “Ten Queer Theses on Abstraction,” in Jared Ledesma, ed., Queer Abstraction, exh. cat. (Des Moines: Des Moines Art Center, 2019), 65-75.
- “Scott Burton, Two-Part Chair, 1986,” in Jonathan Weinberg, et al., eds., Art After Stonewall, 1969–1989 (Columbus: Columbus Museum of Art, 2019), 132–33.
- “Queer Figurations in the Sculpture of Elmgreen & Dragset,” in Leigh Arnold, ed., Elmgreen & Dragset: Sculpture, exh. cat. (Dallas: Nasher Sculpture Center, 2019), 154–93.
- “A Sight to Withhold: David J. Getsy on Cassils,” Artforum (February 2018): 57–60
- “Stephen Varble’s Xerographic Dreams,” in Stephen Varble: An Antidote to Nature’s Ruin on this Heavenly Globe, Prints and Video from the Early 1980s, exh. cat. (Lexington: Institute 193, 2018), 3–28
- "Abstract Bodies and Otherwise: A Conversation with Amelia Jones and David Getsy on Gender and Sexuality in the Writing of Art History,” caa.reviews (posted 16 February 2018)
- “Queer History and the Archive, a response to Alexander Nemerov’s ‘Art is Not the Archive’,” Archives of American Art Journal 57.2 (Fall 2018): 71–72.
- "Queer Relations," ASAP/Journal 2.2, special issue: "Queer Form" (May 2017): 254–57
- "Seeing Commitments: Jonah Groeneboer's Ethics of Discernment," Temporary Art Review (8 March 2016)
- "Histories for the Future: Visionary Identification in the Work of Carlos Motta," Carlos Motta: Deviations, exh. cat. (New York: P.P.O.W., 2016)
- "Generativity: On Michelle Grabner's Recent Sculpture," in Michelle Grabner: Bronze (New York: James Cohan Gallery, 2016), 4–11
- "Appearing Differently: Abstraction's Transgender and Queer Capacities, David J. Getsy in conversation with William J. Simmons," in Dietmar Schwärzler, et al., eds., Pink Labour on Golden Streets: Queer Art Practices (Vienna: Schriftenreihe of the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, and Sternberg Press, 2015), 38–55.
- "Acts of Stillness: Statues, Performativity, and Passive Resistance," Criticism 56.1 (Spring 2014), 1–20.
- "Exalting the Unremarkable: Van Gogh's Poet's Garden and Gauguin's Bedroom," in Gloria Groom, ed., Van Gogh's Bedrooms, exh. cat., Art Institute of Chicago (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2016), 36–49.
- "The Image of Becoming: Cassils's Allegories of Transformation," in Cassils, exh. cat. (Eindhoven: MU Eindhoven, 2015), 6–19.
- "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
- "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, 2015), 15–37.
- "Capacity," TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly 1.1, special issue: "Post-posttransexual: Terms for a 21st Century Transgender Studies" (Spring 2014): 47–49.
- "Queer Formalisms: Jennifer Doyle and David Getsy in Conversation," Art Journal 73.4 (Winter 2013)
- "Queer Exercises: Amber Hawk Swanson's Performances of Self-Realization," GLQ 19.4 (Fall 2013): 465–85.
- "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.
- "Mourning, Yearning, Cruising: Ernesto Pujol's Memorial Gestures," PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art 90 (September 2008): 11–24.
- "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).
- "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.
- "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.
- "Privileging the Object of Sculpture: Actuality and Harry Bates's Pandora of 1890," Art History 28.1 (February 2005): 74–95.
Recent Curatorial Projects
- Rubbish and Dreams: The Genderqueer Performance Art of Stephen Varble, retrospective exhibition, Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, New York, 29 September 2018–27 January 2019. [NYTimes review] [T Magazine feature]
- The Gutter Art of Stephen Varble: Genderqueer Performance Art in the 1970s, Photographs by Greg Day, ONE Archives Foundation Museum & Gallery, West Hollywood, 1 March–17 May 2019; travelled to the Horse Hospital, London, 25 October–December 2019. [Hyperallergic review]
- Stephen Varble, An Antidote to Nature’s Ruin on this Heavenly Globe: Prints and Video from the Early 1980s, Institute 193, Lexington, Kentucky, 20 October–1 December 2018
- Jared Buckhiester: Love Me Tender, Bureau of General Services—Queer Division, New York, 15 September–12 November 2017
Recent and Upcoming Lectures
Des Moines Art Institute (2019), Museum of Modern Art, New York (2018), New York University (2018), Swiss Institute (2018), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2018), Wadsworth Atheneum (2018), Virginia Commonwealth University (2018), Brandeis University (2018), Hallwalls/University at Buffalo (2018), Gene Siskel Film Center (2018), Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University (2018), Rodin Centenary Lecture at the Rodin Museum/Philadelphia Museum of Art (2017), Institute for LGBT Studies, University of Arizona (2017), University of Chicago (2017), Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago (2017), University of Arizona (2017), University of York (2017), University of Sussex (2017), Queen Mary University of London (2017), Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College (2017), University of Kentucky (2017), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2017), Elizabeth Allen Lecture at Northern Illinois University (2017), University of Wisconsin at Madison (2016), Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art (2016), Bard Center for Curatorial Studies (2016), Whitechapel Gallery, London (2016), Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (2016), Rice University (2016), the Edwin Weisl Lecture in the Arts at Carleton College (2016).
- Review of Abstract Bodies: Sixties Sculpture in the Expanded Field of Gender in TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly (Nov 2018)
- Review of Rubbish and Dreams: The Genderqueer Performance Art of Stephen Varble by Holland Cotter in New York Times (11 Jan 2019)
- Interview on curating Rubbish and Dreams for them magazine (3 Oct 2018)
- Interview on curating Stephen Varble Prints and Video from the Early 1980s for Under Main (21 Nov 2018)
- Review of Abstract Bodies: Sixties Sculpture in the Expanded Field of Gender in Oxford Art Journal (Dec 2018)
- "Beyond the Wall: Body, Gender, Sexuality, and Art. A Conversation with David Getsy" [English translation], Exibart (Mar 2017). Originally published in Italian.
- "Spotlight: David Getsy," Lvl3 Media (28 Mar 2017)
- "An Anthology of Queer Art Theory Puts Artists First," Hyperallergic.com (26 May 2016)
- "Transgender Studies Joins Forces with Art History in New Book from Chicagoan," Windy City Times (2 Mar 2016)
- "The Best Thing We Saw At Art Basel Was This Transgender Visibility Panel with Juliana Huxtable," Vice.com (15 Dec 2015)
- Named Newcity's "Best of Chicago 2014" issue as "Best Advocate for Queer Theory in Art"
- Single-question interview for Chicago Magazine (Mar 2014), which in turn became the basis for a 2015 group exhibition at the gallery Western Exhibitions in Chicago.
- Art's Hit Makers: The C Notes Power List 2013, by Jason Foumberg, Chicago Magazine (Feb 2013).
My scholarly work has been informed by teaching at SAIC in a research-oriented academic department in an art school context. I teach and write about modern and contemporary art in Europe and America from the late nineteenth century to the present with a focus on histories of sculpture and performance. 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.
My current research focuses on archive-based recoveries of queer and genderqueer performance art practices in 1970s New York, with two major projects: (1) the first scholarly monograph on artist-critic Scott Burton, focusing on his queer performance art of the 1970s, preliminarily titled Queer Behavior: Scott Burton’s Postminimalism and Performance in the 1970s, (2) a book based on my 2018–2019 retrospective exhibition of Stephen Varble of the same name: Rubbish and Dreams: The Genderqueer Performance Art of Stephen Varble (under contract with Intellect Books).
In addition to my historical work, I also write about and curate exhibitions of contemporary artists who address transgender, queer, or feminist issues, with interests ranging from abstraction to performance to realism. Recent or forthcoming publications include writings on Cassils, Ron Athey, Carlos Motta, Gordon Hall, Jared Buckhiester, Lynda Benglis, Yan Xing, Elmgreen & Dragset, Christina Quarles, and a polemic on the potentials of queer abstraction.
In my time at SAIC, I have served as Interim Director of the Low-Residency MFA Program (2018–2019), Interim Dean of Graduate Studies (2015–2016), and Chair of the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism (2013–2015). I am on the Board of Directors of the Historians of British Art (2005–12, 2017–present), the Advisory Board of OTV: Open Television (2017–present), and am past Chair of the Editorial Board of The Art Bulletin (2013–15, member 2012–16).
Note: Professor Getsy will be on leave in the 2020–2021 academic year, during which time he will be the Terra Foundation Visiting Professor of American Art at the Freie Universität, Berlin.
Examples of Thesis Advisees
- Graham Feyl (2020), “Artificial Nature/Total Indulgence: The Materiality of Works by Arch Connelly, Nicolas Moufarrge and Greer Lankton”
- Brian T. Leahy (MA 2015): Art Without Work: Tehching Hsieh's No Art Piece and the Ethics of Laziness
- Julie Warchol (MA 2015): "Modeling with Light": Clarence Kennedy's Photographic Sculpture, 1924–1940
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.