Kaira M. Cabañas
Lecturer and Director of MA in Modern Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies (MODA)
Modern and Contemporary Art, Europe and the Americas
Ph.D., Princeton University, 2007
On leave for the 2012-13 academic year
Phone: (212) 854-5676
Office: 908 Schermerhorn
Kaira M. Cabañas received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2007. Her first book, The Myth of Nouveau Réalisme: Art and the Performative in Postwar France was published by Yale University Press in 2013. The work examines the group of artists commonly known under the banner of Nouveau Réalisme, including Raymond Hains, Yves Klein, Daniel Spoerri, and Jean Tinguely, and describes how their reformulations of avant-garde strategies (i.e., monochrome, collage, readymade) were developed in relation to the conventions of language and institutions.
Cabañas has engaged extensively with modern and contemporary art in international contexts, including as a contributor to Gego 1957–1988: Thinking the Line (2006); as an outside reader for Parachute's issue on Havana (2007); as author in the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona's presentation of its collection (2009) and in Consumato dal fuoco: il cinema di Guy Debord (2011). In 2012, she was guest curator, together with Frédéric Acquaviva, of the exhibition Specters of Artaud. Language and the Arts in the 1950s at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid.
Cabañas's writings have appeared in Grey Room, Les Cahiers du Musée national d'art moderne, Parachute, and Oxford Art Journal, as well as in various museum catalogues such as Yves Klein: Corps, couleur, immatériel (Centre Georges Pompidou, 2006), Gil J Wolman: I am Immortal and Alive (MACBA/Serralves, 2010), and Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers (Walker/Hirshhorn, 2010).
At present Cabañas is at work on a short history of Lettrist film titled, Off-Screen Cinema: Isidore Isou and the Lettrist Avant-Garde, and is researching the legacy of Antonin Artaud for a study on the entwinement of art and psychiatry in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Myth of Nouveau Réalisme: Art and the Performative in Postwar France. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2013.
Specters of Artaud. Language and the Arts in the 1950s (ed., introduction, and afterword). Madrid: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, 2012.
Common Love, Aesthetics of Becoming: Columbia University MFA Alumni (ed. and introduction). New York: Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, 2011. Essays by A.E. Benenson, Kristen Chappa, Donald Johnson-Montenegro, Tomoko Kanamitsu, and a roundtable discussion with Michael Hardt (Duke University).