Daniel Spaulding

Position title: Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art

Email: dmspaulding@wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 263.3830

Address:
212 Conrad A. Elvehjem Building
Virtual Office Hours: By appointment.

Education
B.A. University of California, Berkeley, 2008
M.A. Yale University, 2013
M.Phil. Yale University, 2013
Ph.D. Yale University, 2017

Research Interests
Global modern and contemporary art, critical theory, the history of art history.

Biography
I am a scholar of 20th and 21st century art, with a focus on Western Europe in the post-World War II era. In the broadest terms, my work addresses the entanglement of modern artistic strategies with the emergence of capitalism as a global economic and social order. I am interested in the ways in which race, class, gender, and sexuality function as “aesthetic” forms insofar as they constitute modes of appearance (of which art is another). My goal, then, is to write the history of art as the history of social form, and vice versa.

My first book project (forthcoming) is a study of the 20th century German artist Joseph Beuys. Here I argue that Beuys’s work represents a sustained though problematic working-through of transformations in the postwar West German welfare state at the cusp of the neoliberal era. My second book will expand upon these themes by considering a wider range of artists in postwar Germany whose serialized approaches to mark-making I correlate with gendered and racialized shifts in the Western European labor market in the 1960s and ’70s. Although my research is anchored in this period, I have a strong investment in tracing back genealogies of recent art to much earlier moments of crisis and critique. To this end, I am also presently co-editing a book of essays on Romanticism in the visual arts of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

A further area of my work is art historiography. I am a founding editor of Selva: A Journal of the History of Art, an online peer-reviewed publication dedicated to the study of past models of art interpretation, with a particular emphasis on “radical” approaches to art history and criticism. Our aim, per the journal’s mission statement, is to “channel the study of art towards a more urgent engagement with our current state of crisis, both within and without the academy.”

Articles of mine have appeared in Oxford Art Journal, October, Historical Materialism, and Art Journal, among other publications.

Teaching
AH 409: Interpreting Contemporary Art