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Angela Bartholomew is Assistant Professor of Modern & Contemporary Art History. She received her PhD in May 2021 following the public defense of her dissertation entitled, Disruptive Attitudes: Artists Counter the Art of Exhibiting in the Low Countries (1985-1991)


General research interests include the factors that shape the production and presentation of art. Particular interests involve the conditions surrounding art's exhibition in the 1980s and 1990s.

My NWO-funded PhD research delved into pivotal contemporary art exhibitions of the mid-1980s in Flanders and the Netherlands to examine strategies devised by artists to take control over conditions that shape the appearance and reception of their work. Reflecting upon the pioneering work of artists from decades prior (who would, around this time, be associated with the term ‘institutional critique’), by the mid-1980s artists were cognizant of the mechanisms by which art is framed, reproduced, and distributed. By 1985, when my dissertation picks up, new strategies were called for that allowed artists to assert control over the mediation of art that reflect the social, political, and technological conditions in which the artists were living. These strategies are explored through the work of artists as diverse as Guillaume Bijl, Barbara Bloom, Daniel Buren, Ulises Carrión, Fortuyn/O'Brien, Jef Geys, General Idea, Gerald Van Der Kaap, Barbara Kruger, and Wim T. Schippers, among many others.


I teach courses in the art & culture department at the BA level (for the Bachelor program Media, Kunst, Design & Archiecture), the MA level (in connection with the MA Contemporary Art History, and the MA Curating Arts & Culture).

Additionally, I teach a survey course on the history of art at the Amsterdam University College (Periods & Genres: Modern, spanning material from 1400 - present).

Courses I (co-)teach (or have (co-)taught) at the Vrije Universiteit include:

Current Debates in Art & Culture, MKDA, 3rd Year Bachelor Course (Period 4, since 2015)

Contemporary Art: The Post-Medium Condition, MKDA, 2nd Year Bachelor Course (Period 5-6, since 2019)

Exhibition Machines, MKDA, 2nd Year Bachelor Course (Period 1-2, since 2020)

Methods & Theories of Art History, MA Course (since 2020)

MA Study Trip, with a focus on Art in Public Space (since 2021)

MA Seminar: The Art of Exhibiting: Artistic Strategies and Subversion in the 1980s and 1990s (Period 1-2, 2016/2017)

I also supervise the writing of theses at the BA and MA level, individual tutorials, and internships.

Occasionally I offer guest lectures are in other courses in the faculty, such as:

'Documenta on Location: Learning from Documenta IX,' Background Session for Excursion to Documenta 14 (14 Sept 2017) 

‘Creativity & (Re)Framing: The Exhibition as a Battleground,’ BA Course: Creativity, Power & Commerce (19 Nov 2015).

‘One After the Other: Site-Specific Art, Exhibitions & the Museum,’ BA Course: Exhibition Machines (30 Sept 2015).

I was the coordinator of the MA Contemporary Art History Program (2021-2023), and am currently co-coordinator of the MA Curating Arts & Culture.


Ancillary activities

  • Stichting Kunstlicht | Amsterdam | Bestuurder | 2021-01-11 - present
  • Stichting Billytown | Den Haag | Bestuurder | 2022-01-01 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily

Academic qualification

Art History, PhD, Disruptive Attitudes: Artists Counter the Art of Exhibiting in the Low Countries (1985-1991), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


Award Date: 20 May 2021

Visual Art, Media and Architecture, Research, Master, cum laude, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


Award Date: 14 Nov 2013

Bachelor, Art History & Criticism, University of California at San Diego


Award Date: 31 May 2008


  • N Fine Arts
  • Contemporary Art
  • 1980s
  • installation art
  • exhibition history
  • mediation
  • artist initiatives
  • cultural policy
  • television
  • curating
  • NX Arts in general


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