Assimina / Asimina Kaniari

Asimina Kaniari / Assimina Kaniari D.Phil Oxford, Assistant Professor in Art History, Athens School of Fine Arts

I received my doctorate under Martin Kemp from the Department of Art History, University of Oxford on 19th century overlaps between decorative aesthetics and scientific drawing with an emphasis on the early depiction of Palaeolithic art as a geo-technological entanglement.

I am currently an Assistant Professor in Art History at the Athens School of Fine Arts in Greece where I have taught art history and theory to artists and art historians, modern to contemporary, since 2010.

Research Interests:

I am interested in transfers between experimental art practice and theory in modern and contemporary art with an emphasis on overlaps between the drawing, the graphic image and art writing.

Current Project:

My current research project explores the work and writing of art editor Nikos Stangos in the light of his collaborations with artist David Hockney from late 1960s onwards in London, Europe but also the US, in the context of art publishing, exhibitions and the avant garde art print, in particular.

As a Visiting Research Fellow at Princeton University (Seeger Fellow for Fall 2017), I had the opportunity to conduct research in the Stangos Papers kept at Princeton University Library Special Collections.

In the context of the same project, during the Spring Break of 2018, as a Getty Library research grant holder, I undertook research in the special collections of the Getty Research Institute on Hockney, Stangos and Kasmin.

Recent work:

My recent research project has been concerned with contemporary artists’ writing and rhetoric of living media, examined in comparison with their art practices and practices of display against notions of critique, and in particular institutional critique, but also more recently against discourses on hospitality. In 2017, I edited a collection with artists’ and art historians’ writings on the living Institutional Critique to Hospitality: Bio art practice now (Athens, 2017) with contributions, among others, by Martin Kemp, Robert Zwijnenberg, Ellen K. Levy and Suzanne Anker. For a review in Leonardo journal see

Recent talks:

‘The Bio art image’, LASER, ΝΥ, 1.10.2017

‘Εrosion, Collage, Diaspora: Οperations of the Portrait in the 1966 Hockney and Stangos animation of Cavafy’, Seeger Center, Princeton University, 8.12.2017.

‘Hair in Motion: Victorian Affect and Biological Persistence in Walter Pater’s Studies in the History of the Renaissance’, Paris 7, 31.01.2018.

‘Ways in and out of Flatness: Nature as Décor from Broodthaers to Bio art’. Media Theory, Adgewandte, Vienna, 24.04 and 26.04.2018.

Past research:

As an Academic Visitor at the Department of Art History, University of Oxford between 2006 and 2010 I explored experimental art practice in Britain in the 1950s with a particular emphasis on The Independent Group and artists’ uses and writing on scientific process and technical imagery, focusing on Nigel Henderson’s experimental photographic practices and prints, as documented by the Henderson papers at the Tate Archive.

Parallel to this project, as a Scaliger Fellow at the University of Leiden (September 2009) I conducted research on Dutch photographer Emmy Andriesse looking at her early fashion photography but also portraits of artists.

Select publications:

I have co-edited Martin Kemp’s Festschrift Acts of Seeing. Artists, scientists and the history of the visual (London, 2009).

I have been a contributing author to the Sir John Evans Centenary volume published by the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University and edited by Arthur MacGregor, Sir John Evans 1823-1908: Antiquity, Commerce and Natural Science in the Age of Darwin (Oxford, 2008), the title of my essay being ‘Evans’s sketches from the human antiquity controversy: epistemological proxies in the making’ [based on archival research and prior unpublished material from the C. Lyell-J. Evans correspondence kept among the Lyell papers at the University of Edinburgh].

I was also contributing author to Arthur MacGregor’s Festschrift Excalibur: Essays on Antiquity and the History of Collecting in Honour of Arthur MacGregor edited by Hildegard Wiegel and Michael Vickers (Oxford, 2013), the title of my essay being ‘Wonder after modernity: 16th century visual sources, 20th century ethnographic collections and ‘transition’ [based on research among the collections and archives of the Pitt Rivers Museum at Oxford with regard to the Bellucci collection of amulets]. 

I was one of the participants-experts in the US Academy of Science on line symposium organized for the Darwin year [ and author in the proceedings Visual Culture and Evolution: An Online Symposium, Issues in Cultural Theory No. 16 March 31, 2012.

I was also one of the speakers in the ‘Questioning the Object of Art History’ session of CIHA, Nurenmberg 2012, co-organised by Horst Bredekamp, my paper being entitled ‘Material Objects as impossible things: Panofsky, Kubler and Abstraction’ published in the proceedings ‘Questioning the Object of Art History’, The Challenge of the Object / Die Herausforderung des Objekts, Congress Proceedings G. Ulrich Großmann/Petra Krutisch (eds.) T. 1-3. Nuremberg 2013 in T. 1: 46-49.

Assistant Professor in Art History
Athens School of Fine Arts
ATHENS, Greece
Focus area: Art History, Theory, Philosophy, Sculpture, Spacial, Biology, Bio Art, Bio Engineering, Body, Anatomy, Self, Cultural Practices, Social Practice, STEAM, Pedagogy, Education, Design, Public Art, Placemaking, Site Specific, Writing, Literature, Poetry, Performance Art, Theater, Culture, Sociology