Klara Kemp-Welch

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Klara Kemp-Welch

Lecturer in 20th-century Modernism
Klara Kemp-Welch

Klara Kemp-Welch was educated at University College London and the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (BA French and Art History, 1999; MA Russian and East European Literature and Culture, 2001; PhD History of Art, 2008). Her doctorate on East-Central European Conceptualism was supervised by Professor Briony Fer. Before joining The Courtauld as Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in 2009, she lectured at University College London, the University of the Arts London (Camberwell), and the University of York. While working on her current research project, Networking the Bloc. International Relations and Experimental Art in Eastern Europe, she has benefited from an AHRC Early Career Fellowship and an Igor Zabel Working Grant.


  • MA History of Art: Central European Art and Culture 1918-1956: A Minor Modernism?

PhD students


  • Marko Ilic, ‘For a ‘Self-Managing’ Art: The ‘New Art’ Seen through Yugoslavia’s Student Cultural Centres’
  • Malgorzata Misniakiewicz, ‘(Art) Solidarity – An International Project: Polish Mail Art Exchanges with Eastern Europe’
  • Svitlana Biedarieva, ‘Challenging the Urban Legacies of the Olympics: Mexico City 1968-1994 and Moscow 1980-1991’
  • Julia Maria Secklehner, ‘“Czechs” vs. “Austrians” National Identity in Caricature 1918-193’
  • Claudia Zini, ‘Post-War Negotiations: Art from Bosnia-Herzegovina in the Global Field’
  • Sofia Gurevich, Tate Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (David King Collection).
  • Wiktor Komorowski, ‘The Reversed Power of the Image – Artistic Prints in Central Europe and Latin America during the Cold War’

Recently completed

  • Sylwia Serafinowicz, ‘More than Documentation: Photography in the Polish People’s Republic Between 1965 and 1981’

Research interests

  • Experimental art and archives
  • International relations and the Cold War
  • East European art and politics
  • Latin American art and politics
  • Post-socialism and globalization

Recent publications

  • KKW book cover Kemp WelchAntipolitics in Central European Art 1956-1989. Reticence as Dissidence under Post-Totalitarian Rule (London: IB Tauris, 2014). Paperback forthcoming 2015

Essays, articles and reviews

  • ‘Jordon McKenzie and the Rhetoric of Power’, in Jordan McKenzie, exh. cat, London: Arts Council of England; Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 2014.
  • Autonomy, Solidarity, and the Antipolitics of NET‘ in Bozena Czubak ed., SIEC – Sztuka dialogu / NET – Art of Dialogue, Warsaw: Fundacja Profil, 2013.
  • 10 x 10: See You There, Wrocław (exhibition review), Enclave Review, Issue 6, Cork, 2012.
  • Cristina Freire and Klara Kemp-Welch (eds), ARTMargins #2, Special Section on Artists’ Networks in Eastern Europe and Latin America, June – October 2012.

’KwieKulik’s Monument Without a Passport’, in Kritik und Krise. Kunst in Europa seit 1945 / Critique and Crisis. Art in Europe Since 1945, exh. cat., Berlin: Stiftung Deutsches Historisches Museum, 2012.

’Art Documentation and Bureaucratic Life: The ‘Case’ of the Studio of Documentation, Activities and Propagation’ in Lukasz Ronduda and Georg Schollhammer (eds), Kwiekulik, Vienna: JPR Ringier, 2012.
  • ‘Impossible Interviews with Ceausescu: Ion Grigorescu and the Dialogic Imagination’, in Alina Serban (ed.), Ion Grigorescu. The Man with a Single Camera, Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2013.
  • Resurrections (Kabakov’s Slippers): Moscow Conceptualism for Delayed Audiences‘, Oxford Art Journal, Volume 35 Issue 2, June 2012.

‘11th Havana Biennial: “Artistic Practices and Social Imaginaries” (PDF), various venues, 11 May – 11 June’, Art Monthly #357, June 2012.
  • ‘Who’s Afraid of Neo-Socialist Realism?’, in Audrey Yeo (ed.), Stefan Constantinescu. An Infinite Blue, exh. cat., London: Galerie8, 2011, pp. 45-54.
  • ‘54th Venice Biennale, various venues, Venice’, Art Monthly #348, July-August 2011.
  • Transitland. Video Art from Central and Eastern Europe. Book Review’, Artmargins, May 2011. Available online.

‘S.O.S. Socialist Occupation of the Subject. A Visual Essay’, in Lukasz Ronduda, Alex Farquharson, and Barbara Piwowarska (eds), Star City. The Future under Communism, Warsaw: MAMMAL Foundation; Nottingham Contemporary; transit.at, 2011, pp. 70-80.
  • Olga Chernysheva. Calvert 22, London’, Enclave, no, 2, Nov. 2010 (University College Cork).
  • ‘Emancipation and Daydreams: Kantor’s Happenings’ in Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius (ed.) An Impossible Journey: The Art and Theatre of Tadeusz Kantor, London: Black Dog Publishers, 2010.
  • ‘Hito Steyerl. In Free Fall. Chisenhale Gallery, London’, Art Monthly #342, Dec. 2010- Jan. 2011.

‘Touched. Liverpool Biennial. International Festival of Contemporary Art, Liverpool’, Art Monthly #341, Nov. 2010.
  • ‘Jiří Kovanda’s Collisions’, in Margaret Iversen, ed., Chance. Documents of Contemporary Art Series, London: Whitechapel Gallery; Cambridge Mass. and London: MIT Press, 2010, 147-149 .
  • ‘Articulating the Between: Henryk Stażewski’s Critical Spaces’, in Gabriela Switek (ed.), Avant-garde in the Bloc, Warsaw: Fundacja Galerii Foksal; Vienna, JPR Ringier, 2010, pp. 294-317.
  • ‘Performance and Sculpture’ Conference Report, Henry Moore Institute Newsletter, June/July 2010, Issue no. 90.
  • ‘History of Art, The’. Curators’ Series #3. Mihnea Mircan, David Roberts Art Foundation Fitzrovia, Art Monthly #337, June 2010.
  • ‘Angela de la Cruz: After / Anna Maria Maiolino: Continuous’, Camden Arts Centre, London, Art Monthly #336, May 2010.
  • ‘Journeys with No Return’. A Foundation, London, Art Monthly #335, April 2010.
  • ‘KwieKulik. Form is a Fact of Society. Galeria Awangarda, BWA Wroclaw’, Art Monthly #334, March 2010.
  • Polish Conceptualism: Expanded, Politicised, Contested’, Artmargins, February 2010 (peer-reviewed book review)
  • ‘Taking Women’s Rights Seriously? Sanja Ivekovic. Urgent Matters’, Basis voor Aktuele Kunst (BAK), Utrecht, and the VanAbbe Museum, Eindhoven, Third Text, Vol. 23, Issue 6, November 2009 (peer-reviewed).
  • ‘Paradoxical Dissidence’ in Ludlow 38 broadsheet, New York: Goethe Institute, Nov. 2009.
  • ‘Attacking Objectification: Jerzy Bereś in Dialogue with Marcel Duchamp’ in Mel Jordon and Malcolm Miles (eds), Art Theory and Post-Socialism, Bristol UK and Portland USA: Intellect Books, 2008, pp. 21-31 (chapter in book).
  • ‘Aernout Mik. Shifting, Shifting’, Camden Arts Centre, Object: Graduate Research and Reviews in the History of Art and Visual Culture, no. 10, London: University College London, 2008 (peer-reviewed).
  • ‘Affirmation and Irony in Endre Tót’s Actions of the 1970s’, in Liniara Dovydaityte (ed.), Art History & Criticism 3, Art and Politics: Case-Studies from Eastern Europe, Kaunas, Lithuania: Vytautas Magnus University, 2007 (peer-review journal), 136-144.
  • ‘Understanding Jerzy Bereś’s Manifestations’, in Jerzy Bereś: Sztuka zgina życie / Art Bends Life, exh. cat., Kraków: Bunkier Sztuki, 2007, pp. 23-31.
  • ‘Jerzy Bereś’s Radical Expansion of the Readymade Event’, in Jerzy Bereś: Sztuka zgina życie / Art Bends Life, exh. cat., Kraków: Bunkier Sztuki, 2007, 35-53.
  • Excursions in Communist Reality: Tadeusz Kantor’s Impossible Happenings’, Object: Graduate Research and Reviews in the History of Art and Visual Culture, no. 8, London: University College London, 2005/2006, pp. 45-65 (peer-review journal).

Recent/major grants

  • Leverhulme Easly Career Fellowship 2009-12
  • Igor Zabel Association Working Grant 2012
  • AHRC Early Career Fellowship 2012-13

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