February - June 2007
Darby English is assistant professor of art history at the University of Chicago, where he teaches postwar American art and visual and cultural studies. He is the author of the forthcoming How to See A Work of Art in Total Darkness (Cambridge, MA, 2006) and a co-editor of Kara Walker: Narratives of A Negress (Cambridge, MA, 2003). English co-curated Kara Walker: Narratives of a Negress, 1994-2003, a critical retrospective of the young artist’s work that showed at the Tang Teaching Museum and Williams College Museum of Art in 2002-03. English's project at the Clark will be an historiographic study of so-called "post-black" art, focusing on the peculiar convergence of racialism and formalism in this supposed "aesthetic turn." Among other questions, English's essay will ask how this turn will impact the historical positioning of those critical art practices, emergent in the 1980s and '90s, that opened up "post-black" as a possibility in the first place.