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Dr Anthony Gardner

Fellow in Fine Art

Associate Professor, Contemporary Art History and Theory, Ruskin School of Art


I was born and educated in Australia, studying art history, French and law (among other deviations and fabulous detours) at the University of Melbourne. I then completed my PhD in 2009 at the Centre for Contemporary Art and Politics at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Before moving to Oxford in 2012, I was an Andrew Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, working with Boris Groys and Sarah Wilson (2010-2011), and an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow through the University of Melbourne (2011-2012).


Most of my teaching takes place at the Ruskin School of Art, on the other side of the High Street. I teach at all year levels, mainly in the Ruskin’s Contemporary Art History and Theory programme, but always trying to bridge the making and presentation of contemporary art. I am also the Ruskin’s Director of Graduate Studies, overseeing its MFA and DPhil in contemporary art making and contemporary art history.


My research explores the fascinating intersections of contemporary art and politics, with particular emphasis on installation, performance, exhibitions and cultural infrastructures, especially in Central and Eastern Europe, in Australasia and across decolonial worlds. I’m currently working on a new project, exploring biennials and other curatorial and exhibition histories amid the post-war politics of the non-aligned movement and the decolonising south. I am also one of the editors of the MIT Press journal, ARTMargins:


Among my recent books are Politically Unbecoming: Postsocialist Art against Democracy (MIT Press, 2015); NSK: From Kapital to Capital (MIT Press and Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana, 2015; co-edited with Zdenka Badovinac and Eda Čufer); Mapping South (Melbourne, 2013) and, with Charles Green, Biennials, Triennials and Documenta: The Exhibitions That Made Contemporary Art (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016).

You can find out more about my other essays and talks on contemporary art and exhibitions on my academia page: