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Assimina Kaniari

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

I received my doctorate from the Department of Art History, University of Oxford under Martin Kemp, on the notion of the decorative in 19th century science and aesthetic theory. 

I am currently an Assistant Professor in Art History at the Athens School of Fine Arts. 

In Fall 2017, I was a Seeger Fellow at Princeton University looking at transfers from avant garde art practice into art publishing from late 1960s in relation to pop art and the ‘print aesthetic’, in the light of David Hockney and Nikos Stangos collaborations, conducting research in the Stangos Papers kept at Princeton. Following up on this research, during the Spring Break of 2018, I travelled to Los Angeles on a Getty Library research grant and conducted research in the special collections on Hockney and Kasmin, looking at the 1960s avant garde print in the context of the London art market. 

Prior to my return to Greece and following completion of my doctorate, I was Academic Visitor at the Department of Art History, University of Oxford, with Faculty Member status, between 2006 and 2010, the postdoctoral focus of my research being concerned with 1950s experimental art practice in Britain, with regard to The Independent Group and their uses of scientific and technical imagery, having undertaken research at the Nigel Henderson papers kept at the Tate Archive with a special emphasis on Nigel Henderson’s photography. In September 2009, as a Scaliger Fellow at the University of Leiden, I conducted research on Dutch photographer Emmy Andriesse. 

I have co-edited Martin Kemp’s Festschrift Acts of Seeing. Artists, scientists and the history of the visual. (London, 2009) and more recently I edited a collection of essays on bio art with contributions, among others, by Martin Kemp, Robert Zwijnenberg and Ellen K. Levy Institutional Critique to Hospitality: Bio art practice now (Athens, 2017). 

I have also 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], as well as 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, and also one of the speakers in the ‘Questioning the Object of Art History’ session of CIHA, Νurenmberg 2012, co-organised by Horst Bredekamp, my paper 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.

My doctoral and current work focuses in particular on entanglements between art practice, especially drawing and the mediation of lenses, and the historiography of art history, from the long 19th century to now, the place of scientific imagery in art practice and the histories of exhibitions and art institutions (including the museum, the gallery but also the laboratory) in their connection to alternative spaces for the display of art, already in place from the 1960s, such as the book, the limited edition print and art publishing.

I have given talks to the US and Europe, have published on aspects of 19th century and contemporary art and have been part of advisory boards and expert committees.

Most recent talks

  24th and 26th April 2018, ‘Ways in and out of Flatness: Nature as Décor from Broodthaers to Bio art’, Media Theory, Adgewandte, Vienna, in the context of Erasmus+.

  31st January 2017, ‘Hair in Motion: Victorian Affect and Biological Persistence in Walter Pater’s Studies in the History of the Renaissance’, Victorian Persistence seminar, Paris 7.

  8th December 2017, ‘Erosion, Collage, Diaspora: Operations of the Portrait in the 1966 Stangos and Hockney Animation of Cavafy’, Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, Princeton University.

  1st October 2017, ‘The Bio art image’, NY LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous), Leonardo/ISAST’s LEAF (Leonardo Education and Art Forum).

location: ATHENS, Greece