Klara Kemp-Welch - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Klara Kemp-Welch

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Dr Klara Kemp-Welch

Lecturer in 20th-century Modernism

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). After completing her doctorate on East-Central European Conceptualism, supervised by Professor Briony Fer, she was the recipient of a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, followed by an AHRC Early Career Fellowship and an Igor Zabel Association working grant. Before joining The Courtauld in 2009, she lectured at University College London, the University of the Arts London (Camberwell), and the University of York. Her next book, Networking the Bloc. International Relations and Experimental Art in Eastern Europe 1968-1989, will be published in 2018.

Teaching 2017-18

  • BA2 Frameworks 
  • BA3 Reassembling Modernism: Networking European Art 1909-1960
  • MA History of Art: Countercultures. Alternative Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America 1959-1989

PhD Supervision

  • 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 CDP), ‘The Form and Content of the early Soviet Book: A study through the country’s publishing industry institutions of the 1920s and 1930s’.
  • Wiktor Komorowski, ‘The Reversed Power of the Image: Graphic Art Biennials in Eastern Europe during the Cold War’.
  • Gergely von Kovacs, ‘Graphic Magazines and Poster Art in Inter-war Hungary’.

Recently completed

  • Marko Ilic, ‘For a ‘Self-Managing’ Art: The ‘New Art’ Seen through Yugoslavia’s Student Cultural Centres’ (2016)
  • Sylwia Serafinowicz, ‘More than Documentation: Photography in the Polish People’s Republic Between 1965 and 1981’ (with Sarah Wilson, 2014)

Research interests

  • Artists’ networks
  • Experimental art and archives
  • International relations and the Cold War
  • East European art and politics
  • Latin American art and politics
  • Post-socialism and globalisation


  • ‘Artist Networker / Artist Clerk: Endre Tot’s Zeros and Gladnesses’, Arta. Revista. Arte Visuale. Anul VI, 20-21, 2016, pp. 119-120.
  • ‘Autonomy, Solidarity and the Antipolitics of NET’, in Extending the Dialogue. Essays by Igor Zabel Award Laureates, Grant Recipients and Jury Members 2008-2014 (Ljubljana: Archive Books. Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory, 2016).
  • ‘International Relations at the Foksal Gallery’ in Justyna Wesolowska (ed.), Galeria Foksal 1966-2016, Warsaw: Galeria Foksal, 2016.
  • KKW book cover Kemp WelchAntipolitics in Central European Art 1956-1989. Reticence as Dissidence under Post-Totalitarian Rule, London: IB Tauris, 2014.
  • ‘Jordan McKenzie and the Rhetoric of Power’ in Jordan McKenzie, exh. cat., London: Arts Council of England; York: Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 2014.
  • ‘Impossible Interviews with Ceausescu: Ion Grigorescu and the Dialogic Imagination’, in Alina Serban (ed.), Ion Grigorescu. The Man with a Single Camera, Berlin and New York: Sternberg Press, 2013, pp. 158-184. (republished in shortened form in Revista Arta 14-15, 2016, pp. 52-58).
  • ‘Autonomy, Solidarity and the Antipolitics of NET’, in Bozena Czubak (ed.), NET. The Art of Dialogue / NET. Sztuka Dialogu, Warsaw: Fundacja Profil, 2013, pp. 34-56.
  • ‘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, 2013, pp. 515-517.
  • ‘KwieKulik’s Monument without a Passport (1978)’ in Critique and Crisis. European Cultural Discourses since 1945. XXX Council of Europe Exhibition, electronic catalogue, Berlin: Deutsches Historisches Museum, 2012.
  • ‘Who’s Afraid of Neo-Socialist-Realism?’, in Stefan Constantinescu. An Infinite Blue, exh. cat., London: GALERIE8, 2011, pp. 43-56.
  • ‘S.O.S. Socialist Occupation of the Subject’, 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.
  • ‘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, 2011, pp. 140-147.
  • ‘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.
  • ‘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.
  • ‘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.
  • ‘Understanding Jerzy Bereś’s Manifestations’ and ‘Jerzy Bereś’s Radical Expansion of the Readymade Event’, in Jerzy Bereś: Sztuka zgina życie / Art Bends Life, exh. cat., Kraków: Bunkier Sztuki, 2007, pp. 23-31; 35-53. (bilingual Polish / English)
  • ‘Affirmation and Irony in Endre Tót’s Actions of the 1970s’, in Art History & Criticism 3, Art and Politics: Case-Studies from Eastern Europe, ed. Liniara Dovydaityte, Kaunas: Vytautas Magnus University, 2007, 136-144.
  • ‘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.

Review Articles

  • ‘Czech Action Art: Happenings, Actions, Events, Land Art, Body Art and Performance Art Behind the Iron Curtain’, Umění/Art no. 5 LXIII, 2015, pp. 417-420.
  • ‘Resurrections (Kabakov’s Slippers): Moscow Conceptualism for Delayed Audiences’, Oxford Art Journal, Vol. 35, Issue 2, June 2012, pp. 298-301.
  •  ‘Taking Women’s Rights Seriously? Sanja Ivekovic. Urgent Matters. BAK, Utrecht / VanAbbe Museum, Eindhoven’, Third Text, Vol. 23, Issue 6, November 2009.


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

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