Bella Radenović

colourful abstract painting by Michaela Yearwood-Da i Michaela Yearwood-Da, Beyond the Veil of the Mythical Super Woman, 2021, oil, acrylic, ink and gold leaf on canvas, 200 x 150 cm.

On behalf of the editorial board, I am proud to present the 2021 issue of immediations. This edition of the journal brings together five articles which span a range of geographies and periods, from eighteenth-century Paris to contemporary South Korea. Each challenges the boundaries of art history, whether by interrogating the relationship between art and identity or scrutinising the impact of our discipline on heritage conservation.

In Carole Nataf’s article the architecture and interior decoration of an eighteenth-century Parisian shop are presented as a site of identity formation for a new social type, the amateur. Xiaojue Michelle Zhu unpicks Georg Scholz’s (1890-1945) Dadaist painting, Industrial Farmers (1920), by situating it within the context of contemporary discourses on the city-country dichotomy in Weimar Germany. Meanwhile, Cora Chalaby argues for a dialectical relationship between materiality and immateriality in Ruth Asawa’s (1926-2013) looped-wire sculptures, interpreting it as a metaphor for the sculptor’s experience of her racialised identity. Through an in-depth study of Latrinxia: A New Utopia, a 2019 installation by South Korean artist Dew Kim (b.1985), Andrew Cummings explores tensions between the modern body and queerness, weaving into the discussion Korea’s histories of colonialism, biomedicine, and militarised modernity. Maria Harvey contends that biases of traditional art history, including its embrace of the notion of artistic genius, have had serious repercussions on how cultural heritage of southern Italy has been imagined, conceptualised, and protected.

Despite the effects of ongoing COVID-19 safety measures, this issue features four exhibition reviews, as well as one review of a TV-style series of commissioned performances and video work. Rachel Kubrick offers a nuanced critique of an archive show about eleven Surrealist women at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, arguing that it was lacking in context and critical perspective on why it took so long to recognize the contributions of these figures. Matteo Chirumbolo reflects on The Moment of the Beholder. How Images Use Us, a carefully orchestrated exhibition at the Gallerie Nazionali Barberini Corsini in Rome, which explores the relationship between paintings and their viewers. Writing about the first major survey of Jennifer Packer’s (b. 1984) work at the Serpentine Gallery in London, Emie Diamond focuses on the artist’s sensitive portrayal of Black lives. Margaret Squires reviews the much-anticipated Epic Iran exhibition mounted by The Victoria and Albert Museum, bringing into focus one of the threads that ties together many of its exhibits – the continued encounter and exchange between Iran and Britain. Carla Kessler celebrates the cultural and creative pluralism of the new media work commissioned and livestreamed by Transmissions, a promising experiment in digital exhibitions which was borne out of the pandemic. This issue also includes Eliza Goodpasture’s review of Diana Seave Greenwald’s book, Painting by Numbers: Data-Driven Histories of Nineteenth Century Art (2021).

The cover features Beyond the Veil of the Mythical Super Woman (2021), a recent painting by the young British painter and ceramicist Michaela Yearwood-Dan (b. 1994). I am delighted to include an extended text of a conversation between our cover artist and Associate Editors Fred Shan and Laura Franchetti, which touches upon liberating and cathartic aspects of abstraction; the artist’s intersectional approach to identity; and cultural elitism of the art world. Another point of discussion, the recent decolonisation campaigns in British universities, is particularly pertinent to The Courtauld Institute of Art in view of recent appointments of Professor Dorothy Price and Indie A. Choudhury to teaching posts which focus on critical race and Black art histories.

In its eighteenth year, immediations continues to provide a global forum for showcasing the rigorous and innovative research of Courtauld’s postgraduate students and early career researchers. Published both in print and online, the journal is at the forefront of providing scholars in the arts and humanities with open access to new research and writing.

We are grateful for the support of our External Advisory Group, Professor Alixe Bovey, Leyla Bumbra and the staff of the Research Forum, designers Sally Lashkhi (print) and Dr Grace Williams (online), Karin Kyburz (image rights), Ambra D’Antone (Editor-in-Chief, immediations 2020), Michaela Yearwood-Dan, Dew Kim, Tiwani Contemporary, and Asawa Foundation. Thank you to Bloomberg Philanthropies for their support.

This issue of immediations has been selected and edited by Bella Radenović and the editorial board: Samuel Dawson (Reviews Editor), Katia Denysova (Reviews Editor), Laura Franchetti (Social Media Editor), Giulia Morale, Fred Shan, Leo Stefani (Subscriptions Editor), and Francesca Wilmott (Reviews Editor). For their efforts, they have my sincerest thanks.

Bella Radenović (Editor-in-Chief)

Editorial Group

Bella Radenović (Editor-in-Chief)
Samuel Dawson (Reviews Editor)
Katia Denysova
Laura Franchetti (Social Media Editor)
Giulia Morale
Fred Shan
Leo Stefani (Subscriptions Editor)
Francesca Wilmott (Reviews Editor)


The Courtauld Institute of Art
Vernon Square, Penton Rise, King’s Cross, London WC1X 9EW
immediations is published annually. Further information:
© 2021 The Courtauld Institute of Art, London
Designed by Sally Lashkhi
Printed by N2 Group with thanks to James Hallam

External Advisory Group

Susan Aberth (Bard College)
Simon Baker (Maison européenne de la photographie)
Djurdja Bartlett (London College of Fashion)
Tessel M. Bauduin (Universiteit van Amsterdam)
Jane Bradney (Institute of Historical Research)
Wolfgang Brückle (Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts)
Molly Brunson (Yale University)
Caroline Campbell (The National Gallery, London)
Annemarie Weyl Carr (Southern Methodist University)
Judith Clark (London College of Fashion)
David Peters Corbett (University of East Anglia and The Courtauld)
Finola O’Kane Crimmins (University College Dublin)
David Cunningham (University of Westminster)
Allison Deutsch (Birkbeck, University of London)
Julien Domercq
Michael Duffy (MoMA, New York)
Helen Evans (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Kate Flint (University of Southern California)
Michelle Foot (University of Edinburgh)
Jacob Gaboury (University of California Berkeley)
Rhonda Garelick (University of Nebraska- Lincoln)
Timothy Gitzen (University of Hong Kong)
Linda Goddard (University of St Andrews)
Pia Gottschaller (The Courtauld)
Ari Larissa Heinrich (Australian National University)
Isabel Horovitz (The Painting Conservation Studio)
Sarah James
Alexandra Kaczenski
Rebecca Karl (New York University)
Sabine Kriebel (University College Cork)
Deborah Lewer (University of Glasgow)
Anna Lovatt (Southern Methodist University)
Angeliki Lymberopoulou (Open University)
Vasileios Marinis (Yale University)
Malcolm Miles (University of Plymouth)
Martin Myrone (Tate Britain)
Diana Newall (Open University)
Jeanne Nuechterlein (University of York)
Anna Russakoff (American University of Paris)
Wendy Salmond (Chapman University, CA)
Stephanie Schwartz (University College London)
Nathaniel Silver (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum)
Camilla Smith (University of Birmingham)
Frances Spalding (University of Cambridge)
Catherine Spencer (University of St Andrews)
Anne Rudloff Stanton (University of Missouri)
John-Paul Stonard (Burlington Magazine)
Lisa Turvey (Artforum)
William Tronzo (University of California San Diego)
Sarah Tyler Brooks (James Madison University)
Jane Tynan (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
Sabine Wieber (University of Glasgow)
Beth Williamson (University of Bristol)
Kim Woods (Open University)
Peter Zusi (University College London)


Front: Michaela Yearwood-Dan, Beyond the Veil of the Mythical Super Woman, 2021, oil, ink and charcoal on canvas,170 x 120 cm.

Verso: Michaela Yearwood-Dan, Come Thru (I Need You), 2020, acrylic on clay, 43 x 28 x 8 cm.
Courtesy of Tiwani Contemporary, London and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen. © Michaela Yearwood-Dan.

immediations is an annual, peer-reviewed journal of art history. The editors welcome submissions from current members of the postgraduate research community of The Courtauld Institute of Art and from pre-doctoral and recent post-doctoral scholars who have spent part of their postgraduate career there.

Annual subscriptions: institutions £20, individuals £15, r.r.p. £15

Every effort has been made to contact the copyright holders of images reproduced in this journal.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any way or form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission in writing from the publisher.