James Nisbet

Assistant Professor, Art History
School of Humanities

Ph.D., Stanford University, 2011, Art History

M.A., Williams College, 2004, History of Art

B.A., Saint Edward's University, 2002, Philosophy

Email: jnisbet@uci.edu

University of California, Irvine
Department of Art History
2130 Humanities Gateway
Mail Code: 2785
Irvine, CA 92697

picture of James  Nisbet

Modern and contemporary art
Appointments Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of the History of Art and Society for the Humanities, Cornell University, 2011-12
My research addresses modern and contemporary art, theory, and criticism, with interests in environmental history, the history of photography, and media studies.

My first book, which is titled Ecologies, Environments, and Energy Systems in Art of the 1960s and 1970s, will appear with MIT Press in 2014. It examines the breadth of ecological thought across artistic and social practices during these formative decades for environmentalism. As framed by Allan Kaprow’s invention of the gallery Environment in the late 1950s and concluding with Walter De Maria’s The Lightning Field of the late 1970s, the book addresses ecological art practices realized in a range of media, both organic and technological. While the rise of late modern environmentalism is still much romanticized and poorly assessed, my work responds to this condition by evaluating the various senses of ecology to arise during these years in light of their important insights and, in many cases, naïve oversights, regarding ecological politics of the late twentieth century.

Other current projects include Walter De Maria’s late sculpture, modern genealogies of overpainting, and the cultural history of energy within photo-based media since the nineteenth century.
Publications Books
Ecologies, Environments, and Energy Systems in Art of the 1960s and 1970s. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2014.

“Atmospheric Cameras and Ecological Light in the Landscapes of Eadweard Muybridge,” Photography & Culture 6, no. 2 (July 2013): 131–156.

“A Brief Moment in the History of Photo-Energy: Walter De Maria’s Lightning Field.” Grey Room 50 (Winter 2013): 66–89.

“Material Propositions on the Individual/Collective: The Work of Vladimir Tatlin.” Modernism/modernity 17, no. 1 (January 2010): 109–134.

“Coast to Coast: Land Work Between the N. E. Thing Co. and Lucy Lippard.” Archives of American Art Journal 47, nos. 1-2 (Spring 2008): 58–65.

Book reviews, review essays, and criticism
“Barry Le Va, Marc Selwyn Fine Art,” Artforum 52, no. 2 (October 2013): 303–304.

“Derek Boshier, Thomas Solomon Gallery,” Artforum 51, no. 9 (May 2013): 337.

Book review for The Ethics of Earth Art by Amanda Boetzkes. Art Journal 71, no. 1 (Spring 2012): 161–64.

“Walead Beshty: PROCESSCOLORFIELD.” X–TRA 14, no. 2 (Winter 2012): 45–53.

Book review for The Lightning Field by Kenneth Baker. caa.reviews (June 24, 2009). doi:10.3202/caa.reviews.2009.62, http://caareviews.org/reviews/1291.

Critics’ Picks for artforum.com, 2010 – present. Reviews include: “The Otolith Group at REDCAT” (June 2013); “Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974 at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art” (July 2012); “Emilie Halpern at Pepin Moore” (January 2012); “Judith Bernstein at The Box” (May 2011); “Mike Kelley at Gagosian” (January 2011); “George Kuchar at Luckman” (December 2010); “Jennifer Bolande at Thomas Solomon and Cottage Home” (October 2010); “Rebeca Bollinger at Walter Maciel” (September 2010).
Link to this profile http://www.faculty.uci.edu/profile.cfm?faculty_id=5937
Last updated 12/05/2013