Joseph Pulitzer, Jr. Professor of Modern Art
Maria Gough studied law, philosophy, and history of art at the University of Melbourne, before completing an MA in the History of Art at Johns Hopkins and a PhD in History of Art and Architecture at Harvard (1997). Before joining the Harvard faculty in 2009, she served as William Wilhartz Assistant Professor of the History of Art at the University of Michigan (1996-2003) and Associate Professor of Art History at Stanford University (2003-2009).
Gough’s primary area of research and teaching is early twentieth-century European art, with a particular emphasis on the Russian and Soviet avant-gardes, Weimar aesthetics, and French modernism.
Tackling problems in the history of abstraction, drawing, sculpture, para-architecture, photography, print media, propaganda, exhibition design, museology, and the relationship between aesthetics and politics, her research has appeared in journals such as October, New German Critique, RES: Journal of Anthropology and Aesthetics, Modernism/modernity, Parkett, Artforum, and the Cahiers du Musée national d'art moderne, and also many exhibition catalogues. Her book on the Constructivist debates of the 1920s, The Artist as Producer: Russian Constructivism in Revolution, was published by the University of California Press in 2005. She is currently completing two book manuscripts: The first is on the drawings of Gustavs Klucis (How to Make A Revolutionary Object, Inventory Press), for the publication of which she received a 2017 Graham Foundation Grant. The other manuscript concerns the photographic practices of foreign travelers in the Soviet Union during the 1930s, and is under contract with the University of Chicago Press. She also writes occasionally about post-war and contemporary art, including on such topics as the work of Tatiana Trouvé, Frank Stella, On Kawara, Buckminster Fuller, Josiah McElheny, and Monika Sosnowska.
From 2015-17 Gough was a scholarly consultant in the preparation of the Art Institute of Chicago’s centenary exhibition, “Revoliutsiia! Demonstratsiia! Soviet Art Put to the Test,” which opens in October 2017, and also contributed two essays to its accompanying catalogue edited by Matthew Witkovsky and Devin Fore. In 2017-18 she will be Mellon Visitor to the University of Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago, leading workshops for their Chicago Object Study Initiative (COSI).
Among her other recent publications are: “You Can Draw With Whatever You Like” (on Fernand Léger) in Harry Cooper, ed., The Cubism Seminars (Washington, DC: CASVA, 2017); “The Newsreader,” in On Kawara—Silence, ed. Jeffrey Weiss (Guggenheim Museum, 2015); “Lissitzky on Broadway,” in The Thomas Walther Collection (MoMA, 2014); “From Machine to Easel,” in Gustavs Klucis: Complete Catalogue of Works in the Latvian Museum of Art, ed. Iveta Derkusova (Latvijas Nacionālais mākslas muzejs, 2014); “Architecture as Such,” in Malevich, ed. Achim Borchardt-Hume (Tate Modern, 2014); “Model Exhibition,” in October (Fall 2014); and “Drawing between Reportage and Memory: Diego Rivera’s Moscow Sketchbook,” in October (Fall 2013).
Gough is a member of the Editorial Board of Modernism/modernity, the International Advisory Board of Art History, the Editorial Board of Power Publications, and the Advisory Board of Grey Room.
She is a recipient of the Paul Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship at CASVA (1992-1995), and fellowships from the Getty Grant Program (2000-2001), Clark Art Institute (2001), Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (2011-2012), Guggenheim Foundation (2015-2016), and Graham Foundation (2017).