UC Berkeley History of Art Department

People / Faculty


  • Julia Bryan-Wilson


    Modern and Contemporary Art

    Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2004, History of Art

    M.A. University of California, Berkeley, 1999, History of Art

    B.A., Swarthmore College, 1995, English Literature 

    • Location:

      419 Doe Library
      Thursdays, 11:00-1:00pm

    • Contact:

      Tel: (510) 642-4523
      e: juliabw@berkeley.edu

    • More info:

  • Bio

    Professor Julia Bryan-Wilson teaches modern and contemporary art, with a focus on art since 1960 in the US, Europe, and Latin America; she is also the Director of the UC Berkeley Arts Research Center. Her research interests include theories of artistic labor, feminist and queer theory, performance, production/fabrication, craft histories, photography, video, visual culture of the nuclear age, and collaborative practices. She is the author of Art Workers: Radical Practice in the Vietnam War Era (University of California Press, 2009); Art in the Making: Artists and Their Materials from the Studio to Crowdsourcing (with Glenn Adamson, Thames & Hudson, 2016); and Fray: Art and Textile Politics (University of Chicago, 2017).  She is the editor of OCTOBER Files: Robert Morris (MIT Press, 2013), and co-editor of two special journal issues ("Visual Activism," Journal of Visual Culture, 2016; and "Time Zones: Durational Art in its Contexts," Representations, 2016). With Andrea Andersson, she curated Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen, which opened at the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans in 2017 and will travel to the Berkeley Art Museum, the Henry Art Gallery, and the ICA in Philadelphia. She is currently writing a book about Louise Nevelson.

    A scholar and a critic, Bryan-Wilson has written articles that have appeared in AfterallArt Bulletin, Art Journal, Artforum, Bookforum, Camera Obscura, differences, Frieze, Grey Room, October, Parkett, the Journal of Modern CraftOxford Art Journal, TDR: The Drama Review, and many other venues. Her article “Invisible Products” received the 2013 Art Journal Award from the College Art Association. Bryan-Wilson has held fellowships from the Clark Art Institute, the Henry Moore Institute, the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, and the Getty Research Institute. She was a recipient of a Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, and has won several awards for her teaching. She was the Terra Foundation Visiting Professor of American Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art in Spring 2014, and from fall 2014 to spring 2015 she was a Townsend Center for the Humanities Associate Professor Fellow. In 2017 she was a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery in Washington, DC. 

    Bryan-Wilson is an affiliate of the Art Practice Department, the Arts Research Center, the Center for Latin American Studies, the Center for Race and Gender, the Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory, and the Designated Emphasis in Gender, Women, and Sexuality. Before coming to UC Berkeley in fall 2011, she taught at the Rhode Island School of Design and at UC Irvine.

  • Books

  • Select publications

    Journal articles

    “Keeping House with Louise Nevelson,” Oxford Art Journal, March 2017: 109-131. (Download as PDF)

    "Beyond Binary: New Visions of the Trans Feminism Movement," Aperture 225, special issue on feminism (winter 2016). 

    “Fabrications: Race, Genre et Travail du Textile,” Perspective: actualité en histoire de l’art (2016): 210-215. Translated into French. (Download as PDF)

    Shannon Jackson and Julia Bryan-Wilson, editors, "Time Zones: Durational Art in its Contexts," special issue of Representations 136 (Fall 2016); with co-authored editors' introduction, pp. 1-20.

    Julia Bryan-Wilson, Jennifer González, Dominic Willsdon, "Editors' Introduction: Themed Issue on Visual Activism," special issue of Journal of Visual Culture, Spring 2016: 5-23. (Download as PDF)

    OCTOBER questionnaire on materialisms, vol. 155, winter 2016: 16-18. (Download as PDF)

    "Andrea Büttner's Little, Queer Things," Parkett 97, 2015: 20-31. (Download as PDF)

    "Simone Forti Goes to the Zoo," OCTOBER 152 (Spring 2015): 26-52. (Download as PDF)

    “Sharon Hayes Sounds Off.” Afterall: A Journal of Art, Context, and Enquiry, issue 38, spring 2015: 16-27. (Download as PDF)

    “'Out to See Video': EZTV’s Queer Microcinema in West Hollywood," Grey Room 56, Summer 2014, pp. 56–89. (Download as PDF)

    “Occupational Realism.” TDR: The Drama Review, Winter 2012, 32-48; reprinted in It’s the Political Economy, Stupid!, ed. Gregory Sholette and Oliver Ressler, Pluto Press, 2013; and in Living Labor, ed. Milena Hoegsberg and Cora Fischer, Sternberg Press, 2013. (Download as PDF)

    “Eleven Propositions in Response to the Question: What is Contemporary about Craft?,” The Journal of Modern Craft, March 2013: 7-10 (Download as PDF)

    "Practicing Trio A.” OCTOBER 140, Spring 2012: 54-74. (Download as PDF)

    OCTOBER questionnaire on Occupy, vol. 142, Fall 2012: 37-39. (Download as PDF)

    “Dirty Commerce: Art Work and Sex Work since the 1970s.” differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies, Summer 2012: 71-112. Reprinted in Work, ed. Friederike Sigler, Whitechapel Documents of Contemporary Art/MIT Press, 2017. (Download as PDF)

    “Invisible Products.” Art Journal, Summer 2012: 62-85. Art Journal Award for Outstanding Article of the Year, College Art Association. (Download as PDF)

    “Queerly Made: Harmony Hammond’s Floorpieces.” The Journal of Modern Craft, March 2009, vol. 2, no. 1: 59-80; reprinted in Otherwise: Imagining Queer Feminist Art Histories, ed. Amelia Jones and Erin Silver (2015). (Download as PDF)

    “Hard Hats and Art Strikes: Robert Morris in 1970.” The Art Bulletin, June 2007, vol. 89, no. 2: 333-359; reprint, translated into Spanish, Brumaria: Artistic, Aesthetic, and Political Practices, winter 2010: 81-99. (Download as PDF)

    "Mirror Mirror: An Austrian Town Tries to Step out of the Shadows." Cabinet: A Quarterly Magazine of Art and Culture, issue 24: Shadows (Winter 2006/2007): 90-92. 

    “Remembering Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece.” Oxford Art Journal, vol. 26, no. 1. Spring 2003: 99-123. (Download as PDF)

    Chapters in books

    "Shinique Smith: Line that Bind." Craft on Demand: The New Politics of the Handmade, ed. Anthea Black and Nicole Burisch. IB Tauris, forthcoming fall 2017. 

    “Implicated: Feminist Art Histories and Affective Pasts.” Caderno Videobrasil: An Alliance of Vulnerable Bodies, ed. Miguel López, translated into Portuguese [Brazil], fall 2015: 50-67. (Download as PDF)

    “The Present Complex: Lawrence Alloway and the Currency of Museums." In Lawrence Alloway: Critic and Curator, ed. Lucy Bradnock, Courtney Martin, and Rebecca Peabody. Getty Research Institute, 2015: 166-187. (Download as PDF). Best Multi-Authored Book Award, Historians of British Art.

    “Aftermath: Two Queer Artists Respond to Nuclear Spaces.” Critical Landscapes, ed. Kristen Swenson and Emily Scott. University of California Press, 2015, p. 77-92. (Download as PDF)

    "Posing by the Cloud: US Nuclear Test Site Photography in Process," in Camera Atomica, ed. John O'Brian. London: Black Dog Publications, 2015, p. 107-123. (Download as PDF)

    “Knit Dissent.” Contemporary Art: 1989 to the Present, ed. Suzanne Hudson and Alexander Dumbadze. London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013: 245-253. Reprinted in Craft Becomes Modern: The Bauhaus in the Making (2017). (Download as PDF)

    "Irma Vep/Look See." Anna Sew Hoy: Suppose and a Pair of Jeans. Oslo Editions, 2013: 41-47. 

    “Monument Momentum.” Hans Van Houwelingen: Undone, ed. Mihnea Mircan. Jap Sam Books, 2011: 81-90. (Download as PDF)

    “Handmade Genders: Queer Costuming in San Francisco circa 1970.” West of Center: Art and the Countercultural Experiment in America, 1965-1977. Ed. Elissa Auther and Adam Lerner. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2011, 77-92. (Download as PDF)

    "A Curriculum for Institutional Critique, or the Professionalization of Conceptual Art.” New Institutionalism. Ed. Jonas Ekeberg. Office of Contemporary Art, Norway. Fall 2003: 89-109. Reprinted,Beck’s Futures catalog. Institute of Contemporary Art, London. Summer 2004: 8-19. (Download as PDF)

    “Building a Marker of Nuclear Warning.” Monuments and Memory, Made and Unmade. Ed. Margaret Olin and Robert Nelson. University of Chicago Press. Fall 2003: 183-204. (Download as PDF)

    Catalogue essays

    "'Be Easy but Look Hard': Conceptual Currents in Queer Chicano Art," Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano LA, curated by C. Ondine Chavoya and David Frantz, Museum of Contemporary Art LA/ONE Archive, 2017.

    "Dry Goods and Sundries: On the Filmic Still Life," Routine Pleasures, curated by Michael Ned Holte, Schindler House, 2016: 33-50. (Download as PDF)

    “’By the Power of Signs and Wonders’: Corita Kent, IBM, and Political Design,” Corita Kent and the Language of Pop, curated by Susan Dackerman, Harvard Art Museums, 2015: 234-243. (Download as PDF)

    “Living Room, Classroom, Studio, Museum: The Cultural Versatility of Textiles,” in Art_Textiles, curated by Jennifer Harris, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, UK, 2015, 18-22. (Download as PDF)

    "Seth Siegelaub's Material Conditions," in Seth Siegelaub: Beyond Conceptual Art, ed. Leontine Coelewij and Sara Martinetti (Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum, 2015), 30-43. (Download as PDF)

    “For Posterity: Yoko Ono,” in Yoko Ono: One Woman Show 1960-1971, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2015, p. 21-30. (Download as PDF)

    “Figure it Out: On the Political Possibilities of Figuration.” Take it or Leave It: Image, Institution, Ideology. Curated by Anne Ellegood and Johanna Burton. Hammer Museum of Art, 2014: 222-227. (Download as PDF)

    “Mika Rottenberg’s Video Spaces.” Mika Rottenberg. Rose Museum of Art, Brandeis, curated by Christopher Bedford, 2014, 113-123. (Download as PDF)

    “Draw a Picture, Then Make it Bleed.” Dear Nemesis: Nicole Eisenman, curated by Kelly Schindler. Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, 2014, 96-107. (Download as PDF)

    “Against the Body: Interpreting Ana Mendieta.” Ana Mendieta: Traces, curated by Stephanie Rosenthal. Hayward Gallery of Art, 2013: 26-38. Translated into German, reprinted for Museum der Moderne Salzburg, 2014. (Download as PDF)

    “Laylah Ali: Color Schemes.” Laylah Ali: The Greenheads Series. Williams College Museum of Art, 2012:21-31. (Download as PDF)

    “Still Relevant: Lucy Lippard, Feminist Activism, and Art Institutions." Materializing Six Years: Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art. Curated by Catherine Morris and Vincent Bonin. MIT Press/ Brooklyn Museum of Art, 2012: 70-92. Awarded Publication of the Year by Specific Object. (Download as PDF)

    “To Walk, To Dress, To Move, To Act: Playing Race and Gender in 1970s California Art.” State of Mind: New California Art circa 1970. Curated by Constance Lewallen and Karen Moss, University of California Press/Berkeley Art Museum, 2011: 196-216. (Download as PDF)

    “Sites of Material Production.” Anne Wilson: Wind/Rewind/Weave. Knoxville Museum of Art, 2011: 53-58. (Download as PDF)

    “Cristóbal Lehyt’s Dissociative States.” Cristóbal Lehyt: Dramaprojektion. Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, 2010: 8-15. (Download as PDF)

    “Our Bodies, Our Houses, Our Ruptures, Ourselves.” Ida Applebroog: Monalisa. Hauser and Wirth, New York, 2010: 13-38. (Download as PDF)

    “Lisa Anne Auerbach’s Canny Domesticity.” Lisa Anne Auerbach. University of Michigan Museum of Art, 2009: 5-15. Reprinted in The Textile Reader, ed. Jessica Hemmings. Berg Publishers, 2012: 288-296.

    “Unruliness, or When Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect.” Mixed Signals: Artists Consider Sports and Masculinity, curated by Christopher Bedford. Independent Curators International, 2009: 58-63. Reprinted in Spoilsport: Questions Around a Social Space, ed. Riccardo Giacconi. Bourges, France: School of Visual Arts, 2014: 52-60.

    Selected criticism

    “No Time to Wait” (on Susan Cahan, Mounting Frustration), Artforum, Summer 2016: 113-114. (Download as PDF)

    “Opening: Robert Hodge.”Artforum, March 2015: 270-271. (Download as PDF)

    Zoe Leonard at Anthony Meier. Artforum, September 2015: 391. 

    “Dress Codes: A Queer History of Fashion.” Artforum, January 2014: 85. (Download as PDF)

    “Miens of Production: Women and Work at Tate Britain.” Artforum, May 2014: 147. (Download as PDF)

    “Just Saying No: On the Museum of Non Participation.” Artforum, September 2013: 135. (Download as PDF)

    Abraham Cruzvillegas at the Walker Art Center. Artforum, September 2013: 418. 

    "Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974." Artforum, November 2012: 269-270. 

    "Orifice Baroque: Asco's Asshole Mural." Artforum, October 2011: 278. 

     “Pacific Standard Time,” Artforum, September 2011: 112. (Download as PDF)

    "Infinite Quest," on Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Net: The Autobiography. Bookforum, Sept. 2011: 45.

    Best book of 2008: Zoe Strauss, America. Artforum, December 2008: 94. (Download as PDF)

    "Changing the Subject: 9 Scripts from a Nation at War." Artforum, October 2007: 123-124.

    "Repetition and Difference: LTTR." Artforum, Summer 2006: 109-110. Reprinted in Art and Queer Culture, ed. Catherine Lord and Richard Meyer, Phaidon Press, 2013; and reprinted in Art Practical 5.2, special issue on readership, ed. Tirza True Latimer, December 2013.  

    Mignon Nixon’s Fantastic Reality: Louise Bourgeois and a Story of Modern Art. The Art Bulletin, December 2007: 823-826. (Download as PDF)

    "Openings: Sharon Hayes." Artforum, May 2006: 278-279. 

    "Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art," at the Museum of Arts and Design. frieze, May 2006: 180. 

    David Hammons: The Unauthorized Retrospective at Triple Candie. frieze, April 2006: 157-158. 

    more texts from Artforum can be found here: www.artforum.com/contributors/name=julia-bryan-wilson&page_id=0

    Interviews and Conversations

    "Fixing or Infecting: Jade Yumang in Conversation with Julia Bryan-Wilson," Cock, Paper, Scissors, ONE Archive, 2016.

    “Gay Semiotics Revisited: An Interview with Hal Fischer," Aperture 218, 2015: 32-29. (Download as PDF)

    “Roundtable,” with Jack Halberstam, John Holloway, and TV Reed.Disobedient Objects, edited by Catherine Flood and Gavin Grindon. Victoria and Albert Museum, 2014: 130-134. (Download as PDF)

    “Currency: An Interview with Luis Jacob.” Cipher: Conceptual Application 1, Spring 2014, 3-8. (Download as PDF)

    “Tactility and Transparency: An Interview with Sabrina Gscwhandtner.” Sunshine and Shadow: Sabrina Gschwandtner. Philadelphia Alliance of Arts, 2013, 38-45. (Download as PDF)

    Interview with Sharon Hayes, Alpert Award website, Spring 2013.

    "Imaginary Archives: A Dialogue" with Cheryl Dunye. Art Journal Vol. 72, Iss. 2, 2013: 82-89. (Download as PDF)

    “Intelligent Discomfort,” an interview with Claire Bishop, Mousse 35, Fall 2012: 114-120. (Download as PDF)

    "The Nuclear Naive: An Interview with Lisi Raskin," Lisi Raskin: Mobile Observation, Bard Center for Curatorial Studies, 2010. 

    “We Have a Future: A Conversation with Sharon Hayes.” Grey Room 37, Fall 2009: 78-93. (Download as PDF)

    "The Politics of Craft: A Roundtable." Modern Painters, February 2008: 78-83. Reprinted in Choosing Craft: The Artist's Viewpoint, ed. Vicki Halper and Dianne Douglas, University of North Carolina Press, 2009; and reprinted in The Craft Reader, ed. Glenn Adamson, Berg, 2010.

    “Some Kind of Grace: An Interview with Miranda July.” Camera Obscura 55, Spring 2004: 180-197. (Download as PDF)