AnnMarie Perl is an historian of modern and contemporary art. Her research focuses on how modern art relates to the larger culture, including through its formal, social and political dimensions, in different and related national contexts, especially those of France and the United States from the 1930s to the 1980s.
Prior to coming to Princeton, Perl was a Craig Hugh Smyth Fellow at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. At the Institute of Fine Arts, she was the co-organizer of the Artists at the Institute lecture series. She was also a doctoral fellow of the Remarque Institute at the École Normale Supérieure, Paris (fall 2012). Her research was previously supported by several fellowships and grants at New York University and has been conducted in museums, libraries, and public and private archives throughout Europe and the U.S., as well as through personal interviews in France and the U.S. She has presented her research at domestic and international conferences and symposia.
She is currently working on two book projects. The first, titled The Integration of Showmanship into Modern Art, describes a phenomenon of the late 1930s to the early 1960s: through artistic collaboration and competition, showmanship became essential to modern art. This transformation ultimately occurred in France, where there were deep artistic traditions of political engagement, social criticism, and interplay with popular culture. The book takes seriously a category of artworks, which were taken seriously by artists, critics and the public in their own time, but that have since been neglected and dismissed as ‘spectacle.’ The second book, titled From Kitsch to Criticality: Jeff Koons and the American Avant-Garde, charts related shifts in two sets of key ideas and strategies within the American avant-garde from the 1930s to 1980s. Part intellectual history and part art history, the book takes the American artist Jeff Koons as its main case study and also provides an in-depth account of his development during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
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