Symposium Participation Details



Alex Bacon Alex Bacon is a Curatorial Associate at the Princeton University Art Museum. He is an art historian based in New York City who regularly writes criticism and organizes exhibitions of both contemporary and historical art. Among his publications Bacon is co-editor, with Hal Foster, of a collection of essays on Richard Hamilton (MIT Press, 2010), as well as the author of texts in various exhibition catalogs and edited volumes on artists such as Francis Alÿs, Mary Corse, Josiah McElheny, Ad Reinhardt, Niele Toroni, and Stanley Whitney. He is currently completing his PhD in art history at Princeton, with a dissertation on the first decade of Frank Stella’s career.
Kirsty Baker Kirsty Baker is a writer and art historian based in Wellington, Aotearoa. She is a current doctoral candidate in Victoria University of Wellington’s Art History department. Her interests are shaped by the overlapping spaces that exist across disciplines, and the interlinked nature of the political and the creative. Influenced by an enduring engagement with feminism, her PhD thesis will present a critical historiography on the written discourse surrounding women artists in Aotearoa. She has written for Art New Zealand, The Pantograph Punch and n.paradoxa international feminist art journal, among others.
James Cousins James Cousins graduated from Canterbury’s Ilam art school in 1990 before travelling to Europe and living in the UK. After returning to New Zealand, Cousins continued his study, graduating with a Master of Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland. In 2000, Cousins was the recipient of the Christchurch-based Olivia Spencer-Bower Award Fellowship and works created during his residency are now part of the Christchurch Art Gallery collection. Cousins has since been selected for inclusion in numerous award exhibitions, including: The Wallace Art Awards, 2005; Waikato National Art Awards, 2002 and the Visa Gold Awards, 1998 and 1966. In 2004, Cousins was selected for inclusion in ‘Code NZ’ at Canvas International in the Netherlands, which resulted in participation in Art Rotterdam 2005. During 2007, Cousins was included in the contemporary painting exhibition PX: A Purposeless Production/A Necessary Praxis at ST Paul St Gallery, Auckland, curated by Leonhard Emmerling. In 2015/16, Restless Idiom a survey exhibition of Cousins’ work, curated by Ioana Gordon-Smith was held at Te Uru, Waitakere Contemporary Gallery. Cousins’ works were included in the 2015/16 exhibition Necessary Disatraction, A Painting Show, Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tāmaki, currated by Natasha Conland.
Wystan Curnow

Wystan Curnow  is Professor Emeritus at the University of Auckland. The Critic’s Part, his selected art criticism, was published by Victoria University Press. He co-editsReading Room for Auckland Art Gallery. With Robert Leonard at Wellington City Gallery, he recently curated On Going Out with the Tide, the first exhibition to focus on Colin McCahon’s work on Maori themes and subjects. He is currently writing a book on McCahon.

Leonhard Emmerling Studies in art history, musicology, German literature and Byzantine art history, PhD at the University of Heidelberg on the art theory of Jean Dubuffet in 1996; worked as a curator at the Museum Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern, at the Krefelder Kunstmuseen and the Kunstverein Ludwigsburg, before he moved to Auckland in 2006, to take the position of the director of ST PAUL St gallery of AUT. In 2010, Leonhard took on the position as head of Visual Arts at the Goethe Institute’s head office in Munich. Since 2015 he works in Delhi as the director of programs for the Goethe-Institut South Asia. Recent publications: Politik der Kunst, Bielefeld 2013; Kunst der Entzweiung, Wien 2017; Fremdsein. Wien 2018.
Julian Hooper

Julian Hooper was born in Auckland, New Zealand, where he continues to live and work. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Auckland 1989, and a Master of Fine Arts from RMIT, Melbourne in 1999. His work often engages with Pacific narratives through research into his family history. In 2000, he took up a six-month residency position at the ISCP in New York City, and continued working in New York for three years. Hooper has exhibited extensively in New Zealand and Australia since 1990. His paintings have recently been included in Turangawaewae: Art and New Zealand at The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (2018) and Necessary Distraction: A Painting Show at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki ( 2015). Hooper is represented in major art and museum collections throughout New Zealand and Australia including the Queensland Art Gallery who acquired his work Liliu, an installation of 36 paintings exploring his Tongan and Hungarian ancestry in 2008. He is represented by Ivan Anthony Gallery Auckland, Gallery9 Sydney and Reading Room Melbourne.

Suzanne Hudson Suzanne Hudson received her Ph.D. from Princeton University and is currently Associate Professor of Art History and Fine Arts at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. She is an art historian and critic who writes on modern and contemporary art, with an emphasis on abstraction, painting, and American philosophy. A regular contributor to Artforum since 2004, she is the author of books including Robert Ryman: Used Paint (MIT Press, 2009; 2011), Painting Now (Thames & Hudson, 2015), and Agnes Martin: Night Sea (Afterall/MIT Press, 2017).
Simon Ingram Simon Ingram teaches at Elam at The University of Auckland. He is interested in the potential for painting’s objective character to embody an affective response to the technologically framed milieu of the culture from which it emerges, and in so doing, say something about the relationship between human subjectivity and technologies contemporaneous with it. Notable exhibition projects have been at ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Frankfurter Kunsterein, Kunstverein Medienturm, PS1 MoMA, Artspace in Sydney.


David Joselit David Joselit is a Distinguished Professor of Art History at The Graduate Center (CUNY), author of key texts on modern and contemporary art (After Art, Princeton University Press; Infinite Regress, MIT; Feedback, MIT press) and is a contributing author to October (also at MIT).


Helen Johnson Helen Johnson is a Melbourne artist whose primary interest is painting’s potential to open up and destabilise its imagery. Recent exhibitions include Artspace (Sydney), New Museum (New York), Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), Basel Statements (Basel) and Glasgow International.
Hugo Koha Lindsay Hugo Koha Lindsay is an award-winning young New Zealand painter. His work is represented by Gow Langsford Gallery, and he lives and works in Auckland.
Gregory Minissale Gregory Minissale is Associate Professor in Art History at the University of Auckland. He completed his PhD in Art History at SOAS, University of London, 2000. He has published several essays on Deleuzoguattarian approaches to art, and is author of Images of Thought, Visuality in Islamic India 1550-1750 (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2006; 2009); Framing Consciousness in Art: Transcultural Perspectives (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi Press, 2009), and The Psychology of Contemporary Art (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013). Rhythm Matter, Art: A Neuromaterialist Approach is forthcoming 2019.


Julian McKinnon Julian McKinnon is a painter, writer and PhD candidate at Elam School of Fine Arts. He is a regular feature writer for Art News New Zealand magazine.
Sebastian Muehl Sebastian Mühl is a researcher in contemporary art and visual culture based in Berlin. His research focuses on the political dimensions of contemporary art and on the politico-aesthetic implications of artistic perceptions of modernity. His PhD thesis was on the revival of utopian thought in contemporary art. The project was a critical research into modernolocical, participatory and art activist strategies since the early 1990s. Sebastian is currently working on a postdoc research project on the aesthetics and narration of crises in contemporary visual arts. Further research interests: Critical Theory, Aesthetics, Cultural Theory, Visual Culture, Theories of Democracy.
Shannon Novak New Zealand artist Shannon Novak works with sound and explores contemporary gay issues. Novak graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Applied Information Systems from the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki, New Plymouth (New Zealand), and later gained a Master of Education (Hons) from Massey University, Palmerston North (New Zealand) in 2009. He then graduated MFA (Hons) from the University of Auckland (New Zealand) in 2014. Novak has completed a number of artist residencies including a residency at Altes Spital (Solothurn, Switzerland) in 2018, and has been engaged in public commissions in Auckland (New Zealand), New Plymouth (New Zealand), and Denver (Colorado, USA).Novak’s installations and exhibitions have been seen in national and international institutions, festivals, and public spaces, including the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (Auckland, New Zealand); Dunedin Public Art Gallery (Dunedin, New Zealand); McKinney Avenue Contemporary (Dallas, Texas, USA); Ningbo Museum of Art (Ningbo, China); and Georgia Museum of Art (Athens, Georgia, USA).


Laurence Simmons Laurence Simmons is Professor of Film Studies in Media and Communication at The University of Auckland. His most recent book-length publication is on the artist William Hodges, Tuhutuhi, William Hodges Cook’s Painter in the South Pacific (Otago University Press, 2011). He has just co-curated the travelling exhibition Gordon Walters: New Vision and co-edited the accompanying catalogue.


Allan Smith Allan Smith teaches at Elam School of Fine Arts. He has worked as Curator at City Gallery, Wellington; and Curator, Contemporary Art at Auckland Art Gallery. In 2012, he curated Running on Pebbles: through-lines with incidents and increments, for the artist-run space Snakepit and, in 2018, co-curated Paul Cullen: Building Structures + with Marcus Moore at St. Paul St. His writing on painting includes “Shining and Vanishing: Seen and Unseen in the Art of Leigh Martin”, Junctures, December 2010, and “Little by Little, Soon a Rich Cloth: Painting Everywhere and Everytime,” in Natasha Conland’s 2016 Auckland Art Gallery exhibition catalogue Necessary Distraction: A Painting Show.


Luke Smythe I am a lecturer in art history and theory at Monash University. My recent research has focussed on the passage of analogue media into the digital era, the fate of modernism since the 1980s and the impact of increasing individualism on art since the 1960s. My book Gretchen Albrecht: Between Gesture and Geometry was published this year by Auckland University Press, and a second book, Gerhard Richter: Freedom and Belonging is forthcoming.


Raymond Spiteri Raymond Spiteri teaches art history at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. His research and publications focus on the interface of culture and politics in the history of surrealism. He is the co-editor (with Don LaCoss) of Surrealism, Politics and Culture (2003), and has contributed essays to Surrealism: Key Concepts (2016), A Companion to Dada and Surrealism (2016), Aesthetic Revolutions and Twentieth-Century Avant-Garde Movements (2015), Modernist Magazines: A Critical and Cultural History (2013). His current research is focused on surrealism and modernism circa 1930.


Imogen Taylor Imogen Taylor is currently residing in Dunedin as the Frances Hodgkins Fellow. Taylor graduated from the University of Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Arts in 2007 with a BFA and a Post-Graduate Diploma of Fine Arts in 2010. Taylor regularly exhibits with Michael Lett gallery in Auckland, as well as throughout New Zealand and internationally. In 2018 Taylor was named the Paramount award winner of the Wallace Art Awards, allowing her a 6-month residency at the ISCP in New York in 2020. Taylor was also the recipient of the McCahon house residency in 2017. As well as painting, Taylor co-publishes Femisphere zine with Judy Darragh, a long-term publication project interested in encouraging inclusivity and visibility of women’s practices in the visual arts sector of Aotearoa. Recent painting shows include Betwixt and Between at Michael Lett gallery in Auckland, 2019 (solo), Spit Roast at Art Basel Hong Kong ‘Discoveries’ with Michael Lett gallery, 2019 (solo), Social Studies at The Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt, 2018 (solo) and Pocket Histories at Te Uru Contemporary Art Gallery in Titirangi, 2018 (group).


Tracey Tawhaio Born in 1967, of Ngãi Te Rangi, Tuwharetoa and Whakatõhea descent.  She lives in Piha, New Zealand. Education: Bachelor of Arts (BA) Classical Studies major: Otago University, Dunedin, and Bachelor of Laws (LLB) Otago University and Auckland University. Master of Philosophy (MPHIL) AUT. Tracey is a multi-disciplined contemporary artist who has studied and works in a variety of creative fields.  She is a writer, published poet, visual artist, moving image artist, qualified lawyer and last but not least, a Mãori artist.


Ane Tonga Ane Tonga is an independent curator and artist. She is from the villages of Vaini and Kolofo’ou in the Kingdom of Tonga and was born and raised in Auckland. Ane has worked in curatorial roles across several gallery and museum institutions in New Zealand including the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and was formerly the Lead Exhibition Curator at Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa. She has written for numerous art publications and catalogues with a particular focus on female artists of Maori and Pacific descent such as Fiona Pardington, The Pacific Sisters and recently published the monograph Te Ringa Rehe – The Legacy of Emily Schuster.


Caroline Vercoe Caroline teaches Global Art Histories and Maori and Pacific art history and visual culture. She specialises in contemporary Pacific art and performance art, with a particular interest in issues of race, gender and representation, and has been teaching, curating and researching in these areas for over twenty years. She has published in the Journal of New Zealand and Pacific Studies, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art, the Journal of Pacific History, as well as in many publications including In Pursuit of Venus, Gauguin in Polynesia, Pacific Art Niu Sila and One Day Sculpture. She recently published an online bibliography Contemporary Pacific Art for Oxford Bibliographies.


Helen Westgeest Helen Westgeest is associate professor of modern and contemporary art history and photography theory at Leiden University, the Netherlands. Her most recent book publication is Video Art Theory: A Comparative Approach published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2016. Her next book Slow Painting: Contemplation and Critique in the Digital Age will be published by I.B.Tauris/Bloomsbury Academic in Autumn 2019. Concepts and debates from the field of photography and video art are part of the theoretical framework of her arguments about the selected contemporary paintings.


Victoria Wynne-Jones Victoria Wynne-Jones is an Auckland-based art historian, curator and writer. She currently lectures in the disciplinary areas of Art History, Fine Arts and Dance Studies. Her research focuses on the intersections between dance studies and performance art as well as curatorial practice, feminisms, contemporary art theory and philosophy. Her monograph “Choreographing Intersubjectivity in Contemporary Art” will be a forthcoming publication from Palgrave MacMillan as part of their series “New World Choreographies.”