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Prof Jon Bird - Emeritus Professor of Art and Critical Theory

Professor Jon Bird

Emeritus Professor of Art and Critical Theory

Jon Bird is a member of the Visual Culture and Curating Research Cluster.

Dropped out of university to attend art college. Made sculpture in the 1960/70s (exhibitions at Museum of Modern Art, Oxford and Serpentine Gallery, London) then, under the influence of Conceptual Art and the politics of the period, work took an academic turn - critical/cultural theory: Marxism, Structuralism, Semiotics and the 'new' art history. Co-founded the journal BLOCK (1979-89) and the Block/Tate conferences and publications on visual culture. Teaching, writing and curating for the next two decades: a dozen or so books authored, edited or contributed to; exhibitons include Nancy Spero, Institute of Contemporary Arts (1987); the Leon Golub retrospective, Dublin, London, Buffalo and New York (2000-01); Nancy Spero and Kiki Smith at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2003-04); 'Gradiva: Willaim Cobbing' at the Freud Museum, London (2007-08); Leon Golub retrospective, Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid (2011) Returned to studio practice (painting) after completing a postgraduate drawing year at the Princes Drawing School (2006-7). Group Exhibitions in London (Tea Building,2007), New York (Sideshow Gallery Brooklyn, 2009), C2 Gallery (Milton Keynes, 2012), 2-person exhibition, Sideshow Gallery (2012).

Prof Bird has continued to extend his research on American artist Leon Golub with a range of outputs for 2015-2016. Most recently he contributed to the exhibition The Nakeds at The Drawing Room in London and was speaker at the symposium organized to accompany the exhibition. He is collaborating with the Serpentine Galleries on their forthcoming exhibition on Leon Golub and he is co-organizing and he is the keynote speaker for a conference on the work of the artist. The exhibition opens early March and the conference is late April 2015. Simultaneously he is co-organizer (Prof Mignon Nixon) and contributor to a symposium on Golub to be held March 2015 at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Prof Bird is curator of an exhibition of Golub’s political portraits (Portraits of Power) for the National Portrait Gallery which will open in February 2016. He is also editor and co-author to a book accompanying the exhibition to be published by Reaktion Books in 2016. He is currently writing an essay on the early paintings of Golub (1950s-60s) for an exhibition of the Chicago Monster Roster Group to be held at the Smart Museum, University of Chicago, early 2016.
Prof Bird is contributing to an exhibition of the work of the American artist Nancy Spero located at the Punta della Dogana in Venice opening in April 2015. He is also writing a chapter on Nancy Spero’s War Paintings for Joanna Bourke (ed.) A Global History of Art in Modern Warfare to be published by Reaktion late 2016.
He is co-organizer (with Dr Luke Skrebowski) of a conference on the American artist Hans Haacke on the occasion of the unveiling of his sculpture for the 4th Plinth in Trafalgar Square, to be held at London Institute of Contemporary Art, March 2015.

 

Key Publications

  • Leon Golub: Echoes of the Real (2010)
  • Rewriting Conceptual Art (co-editor with Michael Newman, 2000)
  • Otherworlds: The Art of Nancy Spero and Kiki Smith (2003)
  • Hans Haacke (co-author, 2004)
  • Nancy Spero (co-author, 1996)
     

PhD supervisions:

Robin Bale: The art object/performer and the audience as Polity.
Andrew Graves: Very abstract and not so abstract painting: New and Contemporary British Abstraction.
Kevina Labonne: The Model of Artifice.
Gudrun Filipska: Fin de siècle trajectories and industrial heritage trails.1850-2000 Representation of the mine from Poland to England, An aesthetic and inter discursive history.
Oliver Rees: Drawing as Tragedy: The comparative architecture of Joseph Gandy, 1771-1843.
Nikos Tsiaparas: Picturing the Child.

Jon Bird�s research outputs in the University Repository

Leon Golub - chapters in two exhibition catalogues

Bird, Jon (2015) Leon Golub - chapters in two exhibition catalogues. [Portfolio/Project/Collection] ...

Leon Golub Powerplay : The Political Portraits

Bird, Jon (2016) Leon Golub Powerplay : The Political Portraits. [Show/Exhibition] ...

Leon Golub selected works [Curator]

Bird, Jon (2015) Leon Golub selected works [Curator]. [Show/Exhibition] ...

A New York story. In: Leon Golub: Bite your tongue [Exhibition Catalogue]. Enderby, Emma, Blanchflower, Melissa and Larner, Melissa, eds. Serpentine Galleries | Koenig Books, London. pbk-ISBN 9781908617262, pbk-ISBN 9783863357184.

Bird, Jon (2015) A New York story. In: Leon Golub: Bite your tongue [Exhibition Catalogue]. Enderby, Emma, Blanchflower, Melissa and Larner, Melissa, eds. Serpentine Galleries | Koenig Books, Lond...

Under erasure: Jenny Holzer's war paintings

Bird, Jon (2017) Under erasure: Jenny Holzer's war paintings. Journal of Contemporary Painting , 3 (1-2). pp. 177-193. ISSN 2052-6695 ...

I do (not) challenge: Nancy Spero's war series

Bird, Jon (2017) I do (not) challenge: Nancy Spero's war series. In: War and art - a visual history of modern conflict. Bourke, Joanna , ed. Reaktion Books, London, UK. ISBN 9781780238463 ...

Between the window and the screen: hiding in the light: Leon Golub's transparencies [Essay in retrospective exhibition catalogue]

Bird, Jon (2017) Between the window and the screen: hiding in the light: Leon Golub's transparencies [Essay in retrospective exhibition catalogue]. [Artefact] ...

Desperately seeking Cy: Mary Jacobus' reading Cy Twombly: poetry in paint, 2016 [Book review]

Bird, Jon (2017) Desperately seeking Cy: Mary Jacobus' reading Cy Twombly: poetry in paint, 2016 [Book review]. The Cambridge Humanities Review (14). ...

Myth and transformation in the art of Leon Golub. In: Monster Roster: existentialist art in postwar Chicago [Exhibition catalogue]. Corbett, John, Dempsey, Jim, Moss, Jessica and Born, Richard A., eds. Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. ISBN 9780935573480

Bird, Jon (2016) Myth and transformation in the art of Leon Golub. In: Monster Roster: existentialist art in postwar Chicago [Exhibition catalogue]. Corbett, John, Dempsey, Jim, Moss, Jessica and ...

Leon Golub: Raw nerve [Consultant / Curator]

Bird, Jon (2018) Leon Golub: Raw nerve [Consultant / Curator]. [Show/Exhibition] ...

Leon Golub powerplay: the political portraits

Bird, Jon (2016) Leon Golub powerplay: the political portraits. Reaktion Books, London, UK. ISBN 9781780235820 ...

Inside out, outside in [Review article]

Bird, Jon (2017) Inside out, outside in [Review article]. Le Monde diplomatique . ISSN 0026-9395 ...

Leon Golub powerplay: the political portraits [Lead Curator]

Bird, Jon (2016) Leon Golub powerplay: the political portraits [Lead Curator]. [Show/Exhibition] ...

Leon Golub: bite your tongue [Consultant / Curator]

Bird, Jon (2015) Leon Golub: bite your tongue [Consultant / Curator]. [Show/Exhibition] ...

If you go down to the woods today...Alfredo Jaar's sites of resistance

Bird, Jon (2019) If you go down to the woods today...Alfredo Jaar's sites of resistance. In: Alfredo Jaar: The Garden of Good and Evil [Exhibition Catalogue]. Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Unite...

Alfredo Jaar: Towards a culture of resistance [Curator]

Bird, Jon (2019) Alfredo Jaar: Towards a culture of resistance [Curator]. [Show/Exhibition] ...

Delete A & insert R

Bird, Jon and Cleaver, Phil (2016) Delete A & insert R. Impress, London. ISBN 9780957540583 ...

Leon Golub [retrospective catalogue]

Bird, Jon (2011) Leon Golub [retrospective catalogue]. Turner Ediciones. ISBN 9788475069753 ...

Mutual dependencies

Akerman, Jeremy and Bartram, Ang and Bauer, Diann and Bird, Jon and Boyce, Sonia and Coutts, Nicky and Press, Gefn and Holmwood, Sigrid and Johanknecht, Susan and Meynell, Katharine and Mo...

Leon Golub [retrospective exhibition]

Bird, Jon (2011) Leon Golub [retrospective exhibition]. [Show/Exhibition] ...