Choghakate Kazarian

PhD student

Thesis: Unquicken the Pace: Albert Pinkham Ryder’s Ripening Paintings

Supervisor: Pr David Peters Corbett

Advisor: Dr Gavin Parkinson

My dissertation is an attempt at understanding the unusual temporality of Albert Pinkham Ryder’s creative process. The artist was famous for his extreme slowness in completing paintings, laboring endlessly on the same canvases for years, even after they had been sold or sent to exhibitions. Although there is a substantial corpus of literature on Ryder, scholars have largely overlooked the meaning of Ryder’s relationship to time. I argue that his life and working habits were symptomatic of the temporal paradigm that guided his work.

Ryder’s working time was an interplay between active moments of actual painting and more passive periods in which making was replaced by happening (such as in the drying process) that included phases of “empty” time of resting and incubation. My first chapter examines how Ryder used delayed time as a tool of resistance against the measuring and monetization of time and as an instrument for balancing power with his collectors. The second chapter explores the biological concept of ripening, advocated by the artist himself to legitimize his slow creative process. The third chapter investigates the idea of finish as a provisional condition. I argue that Ryder’s paintings,
which he did not date or sign, are not unfinished but finished too many times; each reworking brought forth the past into the present, thus updating an older painting.


  • Ph.D. Candidate, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Fall 2019-present
  • Conservateur-stagiaire (curatorial trainee), Institut National du Patrimoine (Paris)
  • M.A., History of Art, Ecole du Louvre (Paris). Thesis: “La matière comme Idée, autour d’Air de Paris de Marcel Duchamp” (published in Retour d’y voir, 2010).
  • M.A., Philosophy, Université Paris – Sorbonne (Paris)
  • B.A., History of Art, Ecole du Louvre (Paris)

Research Interests

  • Creative process
  • Time
  • American Art
  • Post-War International Art
  • Outsider Art

Curatorial Experience

  • Curator, Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris (2011-2018)
  • Curatorial fellow, Musée de Grenoble (2010)

Teaching Experience

  • Teacher in modern and contemporary art for the “Classe préparatoire pour le concours de conservateur du patrimoine”, Ecole du Louvre (Paris), 2012-2015
  • Teaching assistant of modern and contemporary art, Université François Rabelais (Tours), 2009-2010

Other Professional Activities

  • Editor-at-large, The Brooklyn Rail
  • Associate editor, Immediations (2020)
  • Member, Henry Darger Research Advisory Board (American Folk Art Museum, New York)
  • Member, Commission scientifique régionale pour les acquisitions Pays de la Loire, 2017-2020
  • Member, Jury for the “Salon Nacional de Artes Visuals” (Museo de Arte Costarricense, San José, Costa Rica), 2019.
  • Member, Jury for the “Prix Art Absolument pour l’Outsider Art” (Outsider Art Fair, Paris), 2017.

Curated exhibitions

  • Karel Appel, l’art est une fête !, Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, 2017
  • Piero Manzoni, Achrome, Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts (Lausanne), 2016
  • Henry Darger, 1892-1973, Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, 2015
  • Lucio Fontana, rétrospective, Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, 2014

Publications (as editor and lead author)

  • Karel Appel, exh. cat. (Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, 2017)
  • Piero Manzoni, Achrome, exh. cat. Co-ed with Camille Lévêque-Claudet (Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, 2016)
  • Henry Darger, 1892-1973, exh. cat. (Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, 2015)
  • Lucio Fontana, rétrospective, exh. cat. Co-ed with Sébastien Gokalp (Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, 2014)

Chapters in Books

  • “Prédictions rétrospectives: Stéphane Mandelbaum ou le téléscopage temporel de l’expérience,” in Stéphane Mandelbaum, éditions Martin de Halleux (upcoming)
  • “Emanuele Becheri: Melancholies” in Emanuele Becheri, Campo Aperto, exh. cat., Museo Novecento Firenze, 2022
  • “Eloge de la marge,” in Stéphane Mandelbaum, ed. Anne Montfort, exh. cat. Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou, 2019
  • “A Sixty-Year-Old Teaches Us Fencing: Lucio Fontana and Otto Piene,” in Otto Piene: Alchemist and Conqueror of the Skies, ed. Jutta Mattern, exh. cat. Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck, 2019
  • “Spatial Sensations: the Crucifixions as a Tactile Experience of Concetto Spaziale,” in Lucio Fontana, Crosses, exh. cat. Karsten Greve Gallery, 2017
  • “Marcel Duchamp/Louis Michel Eilshemius: éloge de la peinture,” in Marcel Duchamp – la peinture même, ed. Cécile Debray, exh. cat. Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou, 2014


  • “A True Individualist: Louis Michel Eilshemius and the Société Anonyme,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Société Anonyme), 2022

  • Interview with Melvin Edwards, The Brooklyn Rail, 2019
  • “Balthus. A Maverick Among the Moderns,” L’Officiel Art, 2018
  • “Artists for Artists”: Guest critic for the June issue of The Brooklyn Rail, 2018
  • “Marcel Duchamp, 50 cc air de Paris,” in Retour d’y voir, no. 3-4, Les Presses du Réel, 2010


  • “Outsider parmi les outsiders : Louis Michel Eilshemius,” paper to be presented at the symposium “De quoi l’art brut est-il le nom?,” Les Colloques de Cerisy, Cerisy-la-Salle (upcoming)

  • “Improving with Age : Albert Pinkham Ryder’s Mellowing Paintings,” Smithsonian American Art Museum Fellows lecture, 2022

  • “Mavericks of Art History: Albert Pinkham Ryder, Louis Michel Eilshemius, Henry Darger, Stéphane Mandelbaum,” Evening Lecture Series at the New York Studio School

  • “Enfance et innocence: Henry Darger, ‘artiste et protecteur des enfants,’” paper presented at symposium “L’Enfance de l’art et ses ennemis. Un mythe du vingtième siècle en débat,” (Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art – Université Paris 1 Sorbonne)
  • Paper, “Albert Pinkham Ryder and the Ripening Painting,” Rethinking Late Style: New Approaches to Old Age in Art History, CAA Annual Conference (Chicago), 2020
  • Paper, “Henry Darger, From Found Forms to New Forms,” Finding Form in Found Materials, American Folk Art Museum (New York), 2019
  • Paper, “Marcel Duchamp/Louis Michel Eilshemius,” Jumex Museum and French Embassy (Mexico City), 2019
  • Chair, “Piero Manzoni. Materials of His Time,” Hauser & Wirth Gallery (New York), 2019
  • Speaker, “Translating Time: Exhibition as Sites for the Mediation and Production of Art History,” MIART Talks (Milan), 2019
  • Paper, “Magie, douleur et beauté: Paula Rego et Henry Darger,” Musée de l’Orangerie (Paris)
  • Chair, “Serial Narratives and Never-ending Stories,” American Folk Art Museum (New York), 2018
  • Speaker, “Henry Darger,” Mona Bismarck Foundation (Paris), 2015
  • Paper, “Eloge de la surface: Adolfo Wildt, maître/anti-maître de Lucio Fontana,” Musée de l’Orangerie (Paris), 2015
  • Speaker, “Ce qu’exposer veut dire?” Institut National du Patrimoine (Paris), 2015
  • Paper, “Jeff Koons, Buster Keaton,” Made in Koons, Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou, 2015
  • Paper, “Lucio Fontana’s Concetto Spaziale as a Reenactement of the Male Artist as Demiurgic Body,” Refiguring Masculinities in Conceptual Art, CAA Annual Conference (Chicago), 2014
  • Presentation about exhibition curating, Università degli Studi (Milano), 2013