Dr Pia Gottschaller, FRSA

Senior Lecturer

I am a technical art historian with a specialisation in modern and contemporary painting practice. I hold a BA in art history from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich (1994), a Postgraduate Diploma in the Conservation of Easel Paintings from The Courtauld (1997) and a PhD in art technology from Technische Universität München (2004). Starting in the autumn of 2022, I will teach a new MA Special Option in Art History, “Painters at Work: Material Reinventions of a Medium, 1945 to Now.”

From 2015 to 2017, I was a Senior Research Specialist in the Science Department of the Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, where I led the technical-art historical study “Concrete Art in Argentina and Brazil,” a collaborative research project with the Getty Research Institute and Argentine as well as Brazilian partner institutions. I also co-curated the resulting exhibition at the Getty Center in 2017-18, “Making Art Concrete: Works from Argentina and Brazil in the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros,” and co-edited and wrote both for the exhibition catalogue and the recently published book “Purity is a Myth: The Materiality of Concrete Art from Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay.” I have worked as a paintings conservator at the Tate, London (2013-14), the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2003-05), The Menil Collection, Houston TX (1998-2000), and at the Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge MA (1997-98). My curatorial and research experiences include collection management for two private collections in Europe, as well as appointments/grants as a Getty Conservation Guest Scholar (2021), Caroline Villers Research Fellow in Technical Art History at The Courtauld (2012-13), Associate Curator at Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2011-12), Assistant Fine Arts Director at the German Academy Villa Massimo in Rome (2009-2010), and Postdoc Research Fellow at Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Rome (2005-2007).

My publications explore the relationship between an artist’s subject, materials, and methods, for which I often rely on interviewing artists. Recent essays examine the subject of temporality and transience in contemporary painting, as well as the artistic practices of Cheyney Thompson and Jay DeFeo. I am the author of monographs on Blinky Palermo and Lucio Fontana, the co-editor and author of books on North American sculpture and drawing from the 1960s as well as Latin American art, and have written essays on the painting practices of a variety of contemporary European, North and South American artists. A new book project for Getty Publications focuses on the role of tools in contemporary painting.

I belong to The Courtauld’s Centre for American Art, the research clusters of Technical Art History and Sculptural Processes Group, and am an Assistant Co-ordinator of the ICOM-CC Working Group Modern Materials and Contemporary Art (2020-23).

I welcome PhD applications from candidates interested in pursuing research in painting practices of modern and contemporary artists.


Research interests

 

  • Modern and contemporary painting practice
  • The relationship between science, industry, and art
  • Concepts of creativity
  • Materiality in historical perspective

Recent publications

Books

Lucio Fontana: The Artist’s Materials, Getty Publications, Los Angeles 2012

The Act of Creating Space: Lucio Fontana, Technische Universität München, Anton Siegl Verlag, München 2008

Palermo: Inside His Images, Technische Universität München, Anton Siegl Verlag, München 2004

Edited Books

Purity Is a Myth: The Materiality of Concrete Art from Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay, Z. Gilbert, P. Gottschaller, T. Learner and A. Perchuk (eds.), Getty Publications, Los Angeles 2021

P. Gottschaller, A. Le Blanc, Making Art Concrete: Works from Argentina and Brazil in the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, P. Gottschaller, A. Le Blanc, Z. Gilbert, T. Learner, A. Perchuk (eds.), exh. cat. Getty Publications, Los Angeles 2017

Der Raum der Linie. Amerikanische Zeichnungen und Skulpturen ab 1960, M. Semff, C. Thierolf, A. Klar with P. Gottschaller and B. Heid (eds.), exh. cat. Staatliche Graphische Sammlung/Pinakothek der Moderne, München 2011

Book/Exhibition Catalogue Chapters

“Art to Life, Industry to Art,” in: Geraldo de Barros – Imaginário, Construção e Memória, M. Favre and L. Mammi (eds.), exh. cat. Instituto Itaú Cultural, São Paulo 2022 (in print)

“Aspekte von Zeitlichkeit und Vergänglichkeit im Werk von Frank Auerbach, Lucian Freud, Liz Deschenes, Cy Twombly and Christian Bonnefoi,” in: Patina. Spuren der Vergangenheit in der Kunst der Gegenwart, I. Glanzer and A. Matyssek (eds.), Edition Metzel, München 2022 (in print)

“Sacilotto’s ABC São Paulo: An Industrial Suburb as Personal Artist’s Supply Store”, in: Sacilotto, D. Mattar and G. Pérez-Barreiro (eds.), Almeida e Dale Galeria, Cosac Naify and Cecilia Brunson Projects (accepted)

P. Gottschaller, T. Learner and J. Mazurek, “Hermelindo Fiaminghi’s Quadrature of the Circle between 1954 and 1959: From Concrete Enamel to Giotto’s Tempera,” in: Purity Is a Myth: The Materiality of Concrete Art from Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay, Z. Gilbert, P. Gottschaller, T. Learner and A. Perchuk (eds.), Getty Publications, Los Angeles 2021,105-123

I. Alonso, P. Gottschaller, C. C. Marsh, A. Perchuk and L. Lee, “Energy, Legibility, Purity: Color in Argentine Concrete Art,” in: Purity Is a Myth: The Materiality of Concrete Art from Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay, Z. Gilbert, P. Gottschaller, T. Learner and A. Perchuk (eds.), Getty Publications, Los Angeles 2021, 125-146

“The Migration of Concretist Thought between Latin America and Europe: Max Bill, Kázmér Fejér, Tomás Maldonado and Georges Vantongerloo,” in: Migrants: Art, Artists, Materials and Ideas Crossing Borders, L. Wrapson, V. Sutcliffe, S. Woodcock and S. Bucklow (eds.), Archetype Publications in association with the Hamilton Kerr Institute, University of Cambridge, London 2019, 44-58

“Looking through the Glass, and What Fontana Found There,” in: Lucio Fontana: On The Threshold, I. Candela (ed.), exh. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 2019, 67-73

“Making Concrete Art,” in: P. Gottschaller, A. Le Blanc, Making Art Concrete: Works from Argentina and Brazil in the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, P. Gottschaller, A. Le Blanc, Z. Gilbert, T. Learner, A. Perchuk (eds.), exh. cat. Getty Publications, Los Angeles 2017, 24-59

And Then Again. A conversation between Pia Gottschaller and Dan Sturgis in his studio, exh. cat. Noshowspace, London 2014

“Strange Things Can Happen—David Reed in conversation with Pia Gottschaller,” in: Heart of Glass. David Reed—Gemälde und Zeichnungen 1967-2012, exh. cat. Kunstmuseum Bonn, S. Berg and C. Schreier (eds.), Snoeck, Köln 2012, 60-68 (English), 89-112 (German)

“Tabula Rasa 1967,” in: Der Raum der Linie. Amerikanische Zeichnungen und Skulpturen ab 1960, exh. cat. Staatliche Graphische Sammlung/Pinakothek der Moderne, M. Semff, C. Thierolf, A. Klar with P. Gottschaller and B. Heid (eds.), München 2011, 29-35

“Gespräch mit dem Künstler Peter Soriano,” in: Der Raum der Linie. Amerikanische Zeichnungen und Skulpturen ab 1960, exh. cat. Staatliche Graphische Sammlung/Pinakothek der Moderne, M. Semff, C. Thierolf, A. Klar with P. Gottschaller and B. Heid (eds.), München 2011, 14-18

“Gespräch mit dem Sammler,” in: Der Raum der Linie. Amerikanische Zeichnungen und Skulpturen ab 1960, exh. cat. Staatliche Graphische Sammlung/Pinakothek der Moderne, M. Semff, C. Thierolf, A. Klar with P. Gottschaller and B. Heid (eds.), München 2011, 42-45

“Il mito del Vinavil,” in: Il confine evanescente. Arte Italiana 1960-2010, G. Guercio and A. Mattirolo (eds.), Maxxi Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo, Roma, Mondadori Electa, Milano 2010, 309-341

“The Rothko Chapel: Towards the Infinite,” in: Art and Activism: Projects of John and Dominique de Menil, J. Helfenstein and L. Schipsi (eds.), The Menil Collection/Yale University Press, Houston and New Haven 2010, 139-147

“The Diversity of One,” in: Palermo. To the People of New York City, L. Cooke and K. Kelly (eds.), Dia Art Foundation, New York, and Richter Verlag, Düsseldorf 2009, 132-143 (English/German)

“‘Vagaries and Uncertainties’ in Rothko’s painting process,” in: Rothko/Giotto, exh. cat. Gemäldegalerie Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, S. Weppelmann and G. Wolf (eds.), Hirmer, München 2009, 153-168 (English/German)

“New York Conversations about Blinky,” in: Palermo, exh. cat. Kunsthalle Düsseldorf and Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, S. Küper (ed.), DuMont, Köln 2007, 131-147 (English/German)

Essays:

“Painting as Technology: Toolpaths and Pathways in Cheyney Thompson’s Work,” in: Journal of Contemporary Painting, vol. 7, winter 2021 (accepted)

“From Ruler to Tape: Stops and Starts in the History of Painted Abstraction,” in: Getty Research Journal, vol. 10, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago 2018, 149-166  

“Linking Neuroscience and a Psychophysical Test on Line Perception to the Use of Self-adhesive Tape in Contemporary Painting,” in: El Anuario del Instituto de Investigaciones sobre Patrimonio Cultural, Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Buenos Aires 2017, TAREA, 4 (4), 34-58

“Dig, slash and stitch: contemporary artists and their substrates,” in: Bright Light, Living the Substrate, vol. 2, D. Dibosa (ed.), ual: University of the Arts London Camberwell, London 2014, 43-51

“Recent Trends and Developments in the Conservation of Contemporary Art,” in: Zeitschrift für Kunsttechnologie und Konservierung, vol. 2, Worms 2012, 352-362

P. Gottschaller, N. Khandekar, L. Lee, D. Kirby, “The evolution of Lucio Fontana’s painting materials,” in: Studies in Conservation, International Institute for Conservation (IIC), London 2012, vol. 57, 2, 76-91

N. Khandekar, E. Nagy, J. Miller, P. Gottschaller, C. Mancusi-Ungaro, “The Re-Restoration of Donald Judd’s ‘Untitled, 1965’,” in: Modern Paints Uncovered, Proceedings of the London Symposium, Tate and Getty Conservation Institute, London and Los Angeles 2007, 157-164

“Palermo at Work,” in: Modern Art, New Museums, Contributions to the Bilbao Congress, International Institute of Conservation (IIC), London 2004, 174-178

C. Mancusi-Ungaro, P. Gottschaller, “The Rothko Chapel: Reflectance, Reflection and Restoration,” in: Zeitschrift für Kunsttechnologie und Konservierung, vol. 2, Worms 2002, 215-224

“Max Beckmann’s Painting Process,” in: Pre-prints of the 24th Annual AGPIC Conference, University of Ontario 1998, 57-74

“Max Beckmann’s Painting Materials and Technique,” in: Harvard University Art Museums Review, vol. VII, no. 2, Cambridge MA 1998, 8-10

A. Phenix, P. Gottschaller, A. Burnstock, “Accelerated Ageing of Polymer Dispersions Artificially Aged,” in: Pre-prints of the XIV. Congress of the Norwegian Conservation Association of the International Institute for Conservation (IIC-N), Oslo 1997, 99-113 

Citations