Graham Bader

Associate Professor of Art History
Department Chair
Ph.D. Harvard University
A.M. Harvard University
M.A. Williams College
B.A. Yale University
115 Herring Hall

Research Areas

Twentieth-century European and American art

Graham Bader's research and teaching focuses on postwar European and American art and the interwar avant-gardes of Germany and Russia. In addition to his book Hall of Mirrors: Roy Lichtenstein and the Face of Painting in the 1960s (October Books, 2010), his published work includes essays on artists including Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter, Jeff Koons, and Kazimir Malevich, and on topics including Neue Sachlichkeit painting in 1920s Germany, the legacy of iconoclasm in twentieth-century art, and American reception of contemporary German painting.  He also writes regularly as a critic for Artforum

Bader is currently completing his second book, Poisoned Abstraction: Kurt Schwitters Between Revolution and Exile, which examines the art and design work of one of German Dada’s central figures.  Paying renewed attention to Schwitters’ works as both material and historical constructs, the book attempts to reframe our understanding of both his individual practice and the semantic and political operations of collage more broadly.   

Uniting Professor Bader's work on these topics is a desire to better understand the complex interrelations between works of art and the social and political fields in which they take shape: to ask why aesthetic objects come to look how they do when they do, and what this process can tell us about art and history alike. Seeing works of art as a kind of "materialized theory" rooted in specific historical conditions, Professor Bader seeks to ground his work equally in formal analysis, historical research and theoretical inquiry, understanding these three to be inseparable from one another.