Roberto Conduru

Art History

Endowed Distinguished Professor of Art History




Professor Roberto Conduru was born in Brazil. He received a B.A. in architecture from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro and a Ph.D. in history from Universidade Federal Fluminense in Brazil. Before coming to SMU, he was professor of art history and theory at the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, and was visiting professor of art history in the Meadows School in 2014. Conduru has also served as Connecting Art History Scholar at the Getty Research Institute (2012), Florence Gould Foundation Fellow at the Clark Art Institute (2021), and president of the Brazilian Committee of Art History (2007–10).

Conduru’s research addresses modern and contemporary art and architecture in Brazil, with an emphasis on Afro-Brazilian art, as well as Constructivist art and architecture. His interests also encompass global art history and current debates in the arts of Latin America and the trans-Atlantic world.

Conduru’s published works include Art in Brazil in the 19th Century (Barléu, 2020; with A. Martin Chillón), Axé Bahia – The Power of Art in an Afro-Brazilian Metropolis (Fowler Museum UCLA, 2018; co-edited with P. Polk, R. Johnson, and S. Gledhill), Architecture Agouda au Bénin et au Togo (MRE, 2016; with M. Guran), Carl Einstein e a arte da África (EdUERJ, 2015; co-edited with E. O’Neill), Pérolas Negras – Primeiros Fios (EdUERJ, 2013), Arte Afro-Brasileira (C/Arte, 2007), and the monographs Frida Baranek (Barléu, 2014), Paulo Pasta (Barléu, 2013), Coleção Gilberto Chateaubriand, 1920-1950 (Barléu, 2011), Jorge Guinle (Barléu, 2009), Willys Castro (Cosac & Naify, 2005) and Vital Brazil (Cosac & Naify, 2000).

Among the exhibitions Conduru has curated are Quilombo do Rosário, Museu Bispo do Rosário Arte Contemporânea, Rio de Janeiro, 2018; Axé Bahia – The Power of Art in an Afro-Brazilian Metropolis (with P. Polk, R. Johnson, and S. Gledhill), Fowler Museum UCLA, Los Angeles, 2017-18; Black Indices – Performance Video Photography, Caixa Cultural, São Paulo, 2017; Constructive Will in the Fadel Collection (with P. Herkenhoff), Museu de Arte do Rio, Rio de Janeiro, 2013; Incorporations – Afro-Brazilian Contemporary Art, Centrale Electrique, Brussels, 2011-12; Perles de Liberté – Bijoux Afro-Brésiliens (with F. Foulon), Grand Hornu Images, Hornu, 2011-12.

Conduru’s current research considers art, slavery and the fight for freedom in Brazil since the sixteenth century. Conduru’s project addresses contemporary artworks that reflect on those historical processes that have affected sites, things, bodies and minds in Africa, Brazil and Latin America. His work also considers the body and material artifacts in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, in the practices and cultures of slavery in Brazil, and in the processes of resistance and emancipation by Africans and their Afro-Brazilian descendants.

Course list

Graduate Seminars:
Color: Art and Culture
Mixture: Art, Culture and Society
Beyond Borders: Globalization and Art Historiography
Seminar on Contemporary Art – Post-captivity Art
Between Slavery and the Art Canon
Undergraduate courses and seminars:
The Epic of Latin America
Art in the Fight for Freedom: Afro-Latin American Art
Seminar on Contemporary Art – World Art
Seminar on Modern Art – Global Modernisms
Seminar on Contemporary Art – Worldwide Africa
Roberto Conduru