Red All Over: Collectivism and Social Critique in the Art of Group Material


Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art


History of Art and Architecture


This dissertation is the first comprehensive study of Group Material, an influential New York City artists collective, active 1979-96. From the election of Ronald Reagan to the AIDS Crisis and the Culture Wars, their installations and public projects asked: What is the status of democracy in America? What is the role of the avantgarde? Examining Group Material’s work in terms of theories and histories of exhibition design, Conceptual art, historical representation and the public sphere, the dissertation develops a rigorous analysis of an often-cited but markedly under-researched touchstone in postwar American art. It helps measure the rise of collective art practice in the late-Cold War period, and the lasting impact of the Russian/Soviet avantgarde and the social movements of the 1960s.