Alexander Alberro

Virginia Bloedel Wright Professor of Art History and Department Chair at Barnard College

Modern and Contemporary Art; History of Photography
Ph.D., Northwestern, 1996

Contact Information

Phone: (212) 854-0311
Office: 503C Diana
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:30-3:30


Alexander Alberro's courses and graduate advising is in the area of modern and contemporary European, U.S., and Latin American art, as well as in the history of photography. Recent courses include: "Contemporary Art"; "Histories of Photography"; "Early Modernism and the Crisis of Representation"; "Twentieth Century Art"; seminars on "Contemporary Photography"; "Spectatorship, Participation and Interaction in Contemporary Art"; "Contemporary Art and Contemporaneity"; and "Abstract Art and its Legacies in Latin America." Professor Alberro's essays and books have been translated into French, German, Spanish, Catalan, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Polish, Hungarian, and Dutch, and his writing has appeared in a wide variety of journals and exhibition catalogues. He is also the author of Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity (MIT, 2003), and has edited a number of books on contemporary art including What is Contemporary Art Today? (University of Navarra, 2012), The Ruin of Exchange (JRP/Ringier, 2012), Institutional Critique: An Anthology of Artists Writings; Art After Conceptual Art (MIT, 2009); Museum Highlights (MIT, 2005), Recording Conceptual Art (University of California, 2001), Two-Way Mirror Power (MIT 1999); and Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology (MIT, 1999).

Professor Alberro is a recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment of the Humanities, the George A. and Eliza Howard Foundation, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, and has taught at the University of Florida and the University of California at Berkeley. His current book project is "Abstraction in Reverse," a study of the emergence and development of abstract art in Latin America. He is also at work on a volume that explores new forms of art and spectatorship that have crystallized in the past two decades. Since 2000, Prof. Alberro has been a featured speaker at over eighty universities and cultural institutions throughout the world, and has appeared in several documentary films on contemporary art, including Conceptual Paradise (dir. Stefan Römer, 2005). His essay "Periodising Contemporary Art" was featured in the Monthly Guest Author (October and November) section of the website of Hans Belting's exhibition "Global Art Museum" for ZKM | Centre for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany in 2011, and his essay "Life Models" was featured in the 2012 summer issue of Frieze Magazine.

Selected Publications

Institutional Critique: An Anthology of Artists' Writings, co-edited with Blake Stimson MIT Press, 2009.

Art after Conceptual Art, co-edited with Sabeth Buchmann, MIT Press, 2006. German language version published by General Foundation, 2006.

Museum Highlights: The Collected Writings of Andrea Fraser, edited, MIT Press, 2006.

Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity, MIT Press, 2004.