CFP Oct 3, 2019

2 Sessions at AAH (Newcastle, 1-3 Apr 20)

AAH 2020 Newcastle, Apr 1–03, 2020
Deadline: Oct 21, 2019

ArtHist Redaktion

[1] Exploring the Plurality of Artists’ Practices: Artists as Dealers and Agents
[2] Art, Obscurity, and the Politics of Rescue

[1] Exploring the Plurality of Artists’ Practices: Artists as Dealers and Agents

From: Marie Tavinor
Date: 30 September 19

Tropes from the Romantic era depicted artistic practice as an expression of the artists’ ‘isolated genius’ which, in sociological terms, translated into the ‘autonomisation of intellectual and artistic production’, as a form of ‘auto-normativity’. This session, however, aims to subvert such compartmentalisation of artistic activities and think about artistic practices- in the plural- which extend beyond the intellectualisation of ‘disegno’. In particular, we would invite papers which seek to bridge seemingly disparate areas of artistic practice and explore the activities of artists as commercial agents.

Artists were involved in negotiating the complex art worlds of their day, cultivating patrons, creating support networks or supplementing their incomes through dealing in art. From the Renaissance, artists often acted for the patrons in both the primary and secondary market for collecting, shaping the taste and opportunities for artists other than themselves. Indeed, their knowledge and experience as artists was highly valued as Giovanni Maria Sasso or Gavin Hamilton operated simultaneously as restorers, dealers, agents or collectors.

This session thus invites papers covering all periods of art history and exploring plural notion of ‘artistic practices’ as means to expanding its meaning and application. We are particularly interested in how artists’ shaped taste and collections, acted as dealers, or revised their own practices in response to an increasingly international art market.

Session Co-Convenors:
Adriana Turpin (IESA, Paris)
Marie Tavinor (Christie’s Education, London)

To Submit a Paper:
Your proposal should be submitted at: by Monday 21 October 2019, using the "Proposal Form" available on the Association for Art History website.

Please make sure that your proposal contains a title, and abstract (max. 250 words), your name and affiliation (if applicable).

The Proposal Form may be downloaded at:

[2] Art, Obscurity, and the Politics of Rescue

From: Flora Dunster
Date: 2 October 2019

Over recent years artists little known in mainstream art histories have welcomed new attention from academics, institutions and publishers. Although long overdue, this often comes with the burden of being cast as novelty, undiscovered, or hidden treasure. Value resides in obscurity overthrown, and attends not just to the artist but to the curator, institution or writer who is seen to be doing the ‘good work’ of rescue, or worse, discovery. While this narrative may help introduce an artist to new and larger audiences, does it indemnify the calamities of such an approach? For instance, as Ariel Goldberg writes of the photographer Donna Gottschalk: ‘To frame Gottschalk as ‘unsung’ or finally achieving ‘fame’… fails to admit her resistance to normative culture. The commercial art world’s appetite for ‘queer images’ in the service of the market’s relentless feasting on the new has already led to Gottschalk being labelled as a ‘discovery’.’

We are interested in the material repercussions and conceptual barriers this situation presents. If support is contingent on novelty than how can an artist’s work or art historical research continue following first exposure? How can the condition of so-called obscurity be re-thought beyond its potential as a space outside the mainstream waiting to be mined? How does this logic of discovery intersect with Otherness, normativity, displacement and gentrification? Does it operate differently between historical and contemporary sites? How do we define obscurity? How has this designation been resisted? How can support exceed marketisation? This panel seeks contributions that critically engage with these circumstances, and welcomes feminist, queer, indigenous, and post-colonial perspectives. We are open to papers considering material from any period.

Please email your proposals to:
Amy Tobin (University of Cambridge / Kettle’s Yard):
Flora Dunster (University of Sussex):

CFP: 2 Sessions at AAH (Newcastle, 1-3 Apr 20). In:, Oct 3, 2019 (accessed Jul 18, 2024), <>.