Revising Minimal Art in the AIDS Crisis, 1984-1998


Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art


Art History Department


Concentrating on the years 1984-1998 and addressing the work of Robert Gober, Félix González-Torres, and Tom Burr, this dissertation investigates how American artists revisited the formal devices of 1960s minimal sculpture in the midst of the AIDS crisis in New York. While the influence of minimalism has been cited in monographic accounts of these artists, this study approaches the redeployment of minimal art comparatively across a rapidly changing political landscape, as a particular strategy of representation in the realm of art informed by AIDS. By analyzing this tendency within the legacy of feminist art and the critical discourse around AIDS practices, this project reconsiders art historical debates on abstract art and politics in the final decades of the twentieth century.