Joseph D. Ketner II is the Henry and Lois Foster Chair in Contemporary Art Theory and Practice at Emerson College, Boston. He also holds the position of distinguished Curator-in-Residence. His professional expertise is as a curator and art historian specializing in European and American Modern and Contemporary Art, and nineteenth-century African-American art. Click on his photo portrait to read his biography and resume.
For the past seven years the focus of my new research has been on post-WWII European art, particularly the German Group Zero.
Aldo Tambellini was a formative figure in expanding art media in the early 1960s. He charted an independent path beginning with paintings and then exploring new technologies. Critics and artists recognized Tambellini as an originator of multimedia installations, “Electromedia,” as he coined it. I have been working with Aldo for the past five years and curated a number of projects with him. Click on the image for more information.
Jackson Pollock’s Mural: Energy Made Visible
I have organized for the University of Iowa Art Museum a European tour of Jackson Pollock’s largest painting Mural (1943, oil on canvas, 95 ¾ x 237 ½ ins.). The exhibition, curated by Dr. David Anfam, will open at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, Venice, during the Venice Biennale in 2015; then travel to the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, Berlin, and the Royal Academy, London.
Over the past decade I focused a considerable amount of my research on new interpretations of Andy Warhol’s art.
I have curated several exhibitions and published several books that take new perspectives on this Pop artist.
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Bruce Nauman is one of the post-WWII artists at the forefront of creating a cross-media artistic vocabulary. I have produced two exhibitions and a publication on the artist’s work that grapple with the questions of media and communication in his work.
As The Henry and Lois Foster Chair in Contemporary Art and the Distinguished Curator-in-Residence, I teach contemporary art history and I curate public arts projects for Emerson College, Boston. Click here for more information on the Public Arts Programs at Emerson College.
Throughout my museum career I have participated in building physical facilities for art museums. I have worked with internationally recognized architects Shigeru Ban, Graham Gund, Fumiko Maki, and Walter Netsch. Click on this image to see my architectural projects.
In conjunction with my many exhibitions and independent of them, I have published catalogues, monographs, and essays on the artists whom I have studied and with whom I have worked.
Since my graduate studies I have been intrigued by the work of my great-uncle Alexander Dorner, who as director of the Provincial Museum in Hannover, Germany, worked with Walter Gropius, El Lissitzky, Kasimir Malevich, and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. He promoted modern art and introduced innovative museum display techniques that influence museums and galleries up to the present.
Based on my graduate studies and my subsequent publication of the biographical monograph on Robert S. Duncanson (University of Missouri, 1993), I have accumulated a significant body of information on the antebellum era African American landscape painter Duncanson and nineteenth-century African American art.
Carl F. Wimar was the last painter to depict the plains Indians in the western United States before the settlement of the trans-Mississippi west. His images are rare and important documents of a fleeting era.
Over the past several years I have been working with Bálint Bolygó, a British citizen of Hungarian descent, who is emerging as an innovative voice in art and technology. I recently co-curated with George Fifield of Boston Cyberarts Bolygó’s United States debut exhibition that appeared at Emerson College’s Huret & Spector Gallery and the Boston Cyberarts Gallery. Click on the image for more information.
At each of the museums for which I have worked, I have developed acquisitions programs tailored to that institution’s existing collections, audience, and the salient art of that particular moment in time. Over the decades of my involvement with the visual arts, I have acquired a considerable number of art works. Please click on this image to see a selected list of my art acquisitions.
Over thirty years I have organized many exhibitions for the institutions that employed me and as an independent curator. Click on this image to see a selected history of my exhibition programming.