David W. Norman
Position title: Henry John Drewal Postdoctoral Fellow
208 Conrad A. Elvehjem Building
Office Hours: Tuesdays 4:00–5:00pm, and by appointment.
B.A. University of Oslo, 2014
M.A. University of British Columbia, 2016
Ph.D. University of Copenhagen, 2021
I am an art historian specializing in Indigenous modern and contemporary art with a focus on the circumpolar regions, particularly Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland), the easternmost region of Inuit Nunaat (Inuit homeland). Broadly, my research and teaching consider how Native artists—working in Europe, the Americas, and globally—have reflected on and advanced movements for Indigenous self-determination through strategies often associated with conceptual art.
My current book project, provisionally titled Home Rule Contemporary, traces the development of experimental practices and alternative arts institutions in Kalaallit Nunaat during the home rule period (1979–2009). The book documents Inuit and Iivit artists’ earliest explorations of “postmedium” formats such as video art, land art, and installation, showing how artists such as Pia Arke, Jessie Kleemann, and Isle Hessner developed a conceptual language that reflected the period’s expanding possibilities for self-definition while resisting more insidious forms of colonialism that developed in ensuing years.
I am also developing a number of new projects on topics including intersections between monochrome painting and Fourth World activism, earthworks and settler colonialism, and land-based political collectives.
“A Monochrome at Ukkusissaq: Pia Arke’s Home Rule Earthworks.” October 184 (2023):115–48 (in-press; forthcoming June 2023).
“Primary Colors for the Fourth World: The Sovereign Abstraction of Synnøve Persen and Frederik Kunngi Kristensen.” Konsthistorisk Tidskrift—Journal of Art History 92:1 (2023).
“Jessie Kleemann’s Art of Survival.” Peripeti 37 (2022):30–43.
“My Body Lies Over the Ocean.” In Atlantikumi—Jessie Kleemann, Jeannette Ehlers, Pia Arke, exh. cat. (Nuuk: Nuuk Art Museum, 2021).
“En luktende diskurs – Jessie Kleemann og grønlandsk kunsthistorie mellom spekk og terpentin.” Kunst og Kultur 101:3 (2018):149–65.
“Sonya Kelliher Combs: Iñupiaq-Athabascan Interdisciplinary Artist.” First American Art Magazine 14 (2017): 58–63.
ART HIST 303: Introduction to Indigenous Art in North America