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Michael Corris

Professor of Art
Criticism and Foundations

Professor Michael Corris (Ph.D. History of Art, University College London; M.F.A. Painting/Media, MICA, Baltimore; B.A. Art with Honors, Brooklyn College/City University of New York) is an artist and writer on art whose work is most closely identified with the critical practices and attitudes of Conceptual art.

As a participant in the collective Art & Language in New York (1972-76), Corris exhibited and published internationally, was a founding editor of The Fox, engaged in the organization of artists, and contributed to the debate surrounding the conjunction of avant-garde art and political activism. Such issues and contingent practices — once contentious and divisive of the art world — have coalesced since the mid-1980s to form stable and manageable forms of art and social engagement. These attitudes and practices are familiar to us as “institutional critique,” “interventionist art” and “art & social practice,” among other terms. For Corris, these practices continue to function as cultural formations open to critical inquiry and productive destabilization.

Corris’s practice as an artist exemplifies versatility. His art utilizes a variety of discursive platforms — public exhibitions, essay writing, exhibition organizing, and historical research — that are essentially situational, self-managed and generated by collaborative and conversational encounters that take place within and outside the art world.

Corris’s work may be found in public and private collections internationally, including the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Le Consortium (Dijon), Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Tate Britain (London), Staatsgaleri (Stuttgart), Le Musée des Beaux-Arts (La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland), Progressive Art Collection (Cleveland and Tampa), Collection Ghislain Mollet-Viéville (Paris), Collection Phillippe Méaille/Château du Montsoreau-Museum of Contemporary Art (Montsoreau), and the Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles).

Corris’s writings on modern and contemporary art have been published widely in academic journals and the art media —Art-Language Journal, Art in America, Art Monthly, Artforum, Art Journal, Art History, art+text — and have been anthologized in Alex Alberro and Blake Stimson (eds.) Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology (MIT Press, 1999).

Recent publications include Leaving Skull City: Selected Writings on Art (Les Presses du Réel, 2016), Conceptual Art: Theory, Myth and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2004), Ad Reinhardt (Reaktion Books, London, 2008), Non-Relational Aesthetics (with Charlie Gere; London, 2008), Art, Word & Image: 2,000 Years of Textual/Visual Interaction (with John Dixon Hunt and David Lomas; Reaktion Books, London, 2010), a chapter on the New York School of Painting and Sculpture, 1940-70, in Steve Edwards and Paul Wood (eds.), Exploring Art and Visual Culture: The Twentieth Century (Tate Publishing, 2012), and a chapter in Philip Tinari (ed.), David Diao (Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, forthcoming 2018).

Corris is series editor for Art Since the ’80s (Reaktion Books, London) and has served as reviews editor for Art Journal (2013-16, College Art Association, New York). A study of art’s engagement with philosophy — An Artist’s Philosophical Lexicon — is forthcoming in 2018 from Reaktion Books, London.

Corris’s research and artistic practice has been supported by grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the British Academy, the Arts Council of England, the Sam Taylor Fellowship, the Gerald R. Ford Senior Research Fellowship, Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute, and the University Research Council (SMU).


Michael Corris website

Invisible College Conversations

Leaving Skull City

Ad Reinhardt

Conceptual Art: Theory, Myth & Practice

Blurting in Art & Language

Art, Word & Image

Proud to be Flesh: A MUTE Anthology

Free Museum of Dallas

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