Bibiana Obler

hand drawn sketch of bibiana obler by student
Title:
Associate Professor of Art History
Office:
Room 108
Email:
bobler@gwu.edu
Website:
Portfolio

Bio

Professor Obler's research and teaching interests include European and American art from the late nineteenth century to the present, with emphases on early twentieth-century avant-gardes, theories of gender and cross-cultural representation, photography, applied arts, and intellectual history. Her first book, Intimate Collaborations: Kandinsky and Münter, Arp and Taeuber (Yale University Press, 2014), investigates the role of artist couples in the emergence of abstract art. It received the support of a Millard Meiss Publication Fund grant in 2012. Her second book, currently titled The Anti-Craft Tradition, will examine the relation of art and craft in the late 20th century through a series of case studies: Al Loving’s fabric constructions, Rebecca Horn’s bodily extensions, Lynda Benglis’s ceramics, and El Anatsui’s work in wood.

Obler’s writing, on topics ranging from Dada cross-stitch to contemporary African art, has been featured in American Art, Art Bulletin, Artforum, caa.reviews, The Journal of Modern Craft, and Sculpture Journal. Prior to arriving at GW, Professor Obler held a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University, and in the spring of 2012, she was the James Renwick Fellow in American Craft at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

 


Current Research

Her second book, currently titled The Anti-Craft Tradition, will examine the relation of art and craft in the late 20th century through a series of case studies: Al Loving’s fabric constructions, Rebecca Horn’s bodily extensions, Lynda Benglis’s ceramics, and El Anatsui’s work in wood. Obler’s writing, on topics ranging from Dada cross-stitch to contemporary African art, has been featured in Art Bulletin, Artforum, caa.reviews, The Journal of Modern Craft, and Sculpture Journal.

 


Publications

Her first book, Intimate Collaborations: Kandinsky and Münter, Arp and Taeuber (Yale University Press, 2014), investigates the role of artist couples in the emergence of abstract art. It received the support of a Millard Meiss Publication Fund grant in 2012.

Articles include:

  • "Craft as a Response to War" in Nation Building: Craft and Contemporary American Culture, ed. Nicholas Bell. Bloomsbury, 2016.
  • Intimate Collaborations: Kandinsky and Münter, Arp and Taeuber. Yale University Press, 2014.
  • "Reflections on Lucy Lippard’s ‘Turning the Mirrors Around,’" invited contribution to 30th Anniversary Issue of American Art 31, no. 2 (Summer 2017): 10-12
  • "Taeuber, Arp, and the Politics of Cross-Stitch," The Art Bulletin 91, no. 2 (June 2009): 207–29
  • "Examining a Literal Genealogy: The Case of Kiki and Tony Smith," Sculpture Journal 15, no. 1 (Spring 2006): 68–91

 


Education

BA in Art History, Brown University
MA in Art History, University of California at Berkeley
PhD in Art History, University of California at Berkeley