The Courtauld today announced that the art historian and curator Devika Singh is to be appointed Senior Lecturer in Curating. Widely known for her expertise in modern and contemporary art and architecture in South Asia and the global history of modernism, Dr Singh currently holds the position of Curator, International Art at Tate Modern in London. She will join The Courtauld from early September 2022.
‘I’m excited that Devika is to join us at The Courtauld. A formidable scholar and an impressive curator, lecturer, and teacher, she brings to the position a rich, international academic and professional background’, said Professor Alixe Bovey, Dean and Deputy Director. ‘With this appointment, The Courtauld is taking an important step towards a global engagement with, and understanding of art and curatorial practice’.
Part of the core team of the Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational, at Tate Modern, Dr Singh is curator in charge of South Asian art leading on acquisitions of South Asian art for the collection. There she convened major research events including ‘Multiple Histories and Transnational Narratives: Re-orienting European Museums’ in collaboration with the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art in Paris and ‘From Alexandria to Tokyo: Art, Colonialism and Entangled Histories’, organised together with the Mori Art Museum and Sophia University in Tokyo.
Singh is also an affiliated scholar at the Centre of South Asian Studies of the University of Cambridge and a member of the ‘Observatoire: Globalisation, Art et Prospective’ at the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA, Paris).
She was previously the Smuts research fellow at the Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge and a fellow at the Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte (Max Weber Foundation) in Paris. She has held an AHRC fellowship at the Kluge Center, Library of Congress, Washington DC, a Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) fellowship at the Freie Universität, Berlin, an André Chastel fellowship of the INHA at the French Academy at Rome (Villa Medici) and was a resident of the Office for Contemporary Art, Oslo (OCA)’s International Studio Programme.
Publications include International Departures: Art in India and its Transnational Context (Reaktion Books, forthcoming 2023), supported by the Paul Mellon Centre, and she has also published in Art History, Modern Asian Studies, Journal of Art Historiography and Third Text. In addition to her academic writing, Singh has published extensively on contemporary art in publications including frieze, Art Press, Take on Art, Art India and MARG.
Dr Singh has curated in vastly different contexts (India, Bangladesh, UAE, US and UK). Exhibitions include: ‘Planetary Planning’ at the Dhaka Art Summit (2018), ‘Gedney in India’ (Jehangir Nicholson Art Foundation, CSMVS, Mumbai, 2017; Duke University, 2018) and ‘Homelands: Art from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan (Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, 2019-20). Among her many projects curated or co-curated at Tate: displays of art by Lala Rukh, Bani Abidi and Mohan Samant and recently Lee Mingwei’s performance Our Labyrinth.
Devika Singh received her Master’s from the Courtauld Institute of Art, and was awarded a doctorate in the history of art by the University of Cambridge.
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About The Courtauld
The Courtauld works to advance how we see and understand the visual arts, as an internationally-renowned centre for the teaching, research of art history and a major public gallery. Founded by collectors and philanthropists in 1932, the organisation has been at the forefront of the study of art ever since, through advanced research and conservation practice, innovative teaching, the renowned collection and inspiring exhibitions of its gallery, and engaging and accessible activities, education and events.
The Courtauld cares for one of the greatest art collections in the UK, presenting these works to the public at The Courtauld Gallery in central London, as well as through loans and partnerships. The Gallery is most famous for its iconic Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces – such as Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear and Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère. It showcases these alongside an internationally renowned collection of works from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance through to the present day.
Academically, The Courtauld faculty is the largest community of art historians and conservators in the UK, teaching and carrying out research on subjects from creativity in late Antiquity to contemporary digital art forms – with an increasingly global focus. An independent college of the University of London, The Courtauld offers a range of degree programmes from BA to PhD in the History of Art, curating, and the conservation of easel and wall paintings. Its alumni are leaders and innovators in the arts, culture and business worlds, helping to shape the global agenda for the arts and creative industries.
Founded on the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to engage with art, The Courtauld works to increase understanding of the role played by art throughout history, in all societies and across all geographies – as well as being a champion for the importance of art in the present day. This could be through exhibitions offering a chance to look closely at world-famous works; events bringing art history research to new audiences; accessible and expert short courses; digital engagement, innovative school, family and community programmes; or taking a formal qualification. The Courtauld’s ambition is to transform access to art history education, by extending the horizons of what this is, and ensuring as many people as possible can benefit from the tools to better understand the visual world around us.