Matthew Holman is the Terra Foundation for American Art Postdoctoral Fellow. An interdisciplinary scholar and writer, his research centres on modern and contemporary American literature and the visual arts, with particular emphasis on transnational cultural exchange, avant-garde movements, and the relationship between political organisation and form. At The Courtauld, Matthew is leading a lively programme of events and symposia on North American art, including talks on contemporary lyrical abstraction and a re-examination of New Deal culture beyond realism, and a study series on the portraitist Alice Neel in collaboration with the Barbican Centre.
His forthcoming book, Curating Modern Life: Frank O’Hara and Cold War Art, is the first to consider in detail O’Hara’s distinguished curatorial career for The Museum of Modern Art’s International Program, which gave him access to European art, artists, and cities, and was essential to the shaping of his cosmopolitan aesthetics. Recent publications have focused on the American lyric and political crisis, and include an article on the representation of the Occupy movement and ecological activism in Eileen Myles’ post-2008 collections (Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal) and a book chapter on the ‘voice-mail’ genre of the contemporary American lyric in the context of the spring 2020 lockdown in New York (Lockdown Cultures, The arts and humanities in the year of the pandemic, 2020-21, UCL Press). A long-form essay on Cubism and political aesthetics, ‘John Berger in Picasso’s Red Period’, is forthcoming in Critical Quarterly.
Matthew joins us from University College London, where he completed a PhD in 2020 and was an Associate Lecturer in 2021-22. He has held research fellowships at Yale University and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and has received studentships from the Terra Foundation for American Art (as a Giverny Residency Scholar) and The Leverhulme Trust, which supported a year as a Visiting Fellow at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies in Berlin. Matthew will be a Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art Postdoctoral Fellow in 2023, when he will lead the archive-led impact project, ‘Communing with Communities: the Whitechapel Gallery’s radical education programmes, 1979-1989.’
He writes regularly for the international art, literary, and political press, including for The Times Literary Supplement, Frieze, The Art Newspaper, Apollo, Jacobin, Burlington Contemporary, and The White Review. He is also a regular researcher and contributor to curatorial projects in the UK and internationally, and has worked with Kasmin, Lévy Gorvy, David Zwirner, Thaddaeus Ropac, Nahmad Projects, Gagosian, and Waddington Custot galleries. During his period at the Institute, Matthew particularly welcomes the opportunity to support undergraduates and postgraduates in their academic development.