Department of Art & Art History

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Visual Arts Complex
Visual Arts Complex
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(303) 492-1479
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Ph.D. from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Munich), Germany, in 1997

Kira van Lil

Assistant Professor, Art History Modern & Contemporary Art

Kira van Lil will give a paper at the CAA in Los Angeles on February 24, 2012: Keeping the Wound Open. The Paradox of Whitewashing Ruins within the section Out of Rubble, chaired by Susanne Slavick

Before coming to the US in 2007, she has was a curator at the Hallen für Neue Kunst in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, and an editor for ART, a German art magazine. She also worked for the Hamburger Kunsthalle as Head of Programs for the Associations of Friends. She taught art history at Universität Hamburg, at Albrecht-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, and at Universität Zürich, as well as Humanities for the international Masters Program at Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg and at NIT (Northern Institute of Technology) in Hamburg-Harburg.

Her fields of expertise are:

  • War in Contemporary Art
  • Contemporary Art from the Middle East
  • Minimal Art / Arte Povera / Conceptual Art
  • Curatorial Practice
  • German Expressionism and Neue Sachlichkeit
  • Artists and the First World War

She has published in German publications on Minimal Art, Arte Povera, Conceptual Art and on artists and the First World War. Currently, she is working on a book on How Artists Respond to War Today; the manuscript is scheduled to be finished by the end of 2012. Also, she is finishing an article on The Politics of Anti-War Painting. Why Otto Dix’ War Triptych Failed.

She wrote her dissertation on “Otto Dix und der Erste Weltkrieg: Die Natur des Menschen in der Ausnahmesituation” [Otto Dix and World War I: The Nature of Man Revealed through an Exceptional Situation].

Recent articles:

“Documenting War by Archiving the Mega-Archive. The Viewer as the Authority of History Production,” The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Vol. 4, ed. Mary Kalantzis and Bill Cope (Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois, 2011), in print

“The Politics of Mourning. Contemporary Artists Revive and Reinvent Mourning Rituals in Responding to Loss in War,” The International Journal of the Arts in Society, Vol. 6, ed. Bill Cope (Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois, 2011), in print

The Love-Hate Relationship of Artists and Museums. Towards a New Court Art?,” in Embrace, ed. Gwen Chanzit (Denver Art Museum, 2009) 28-45

The Stones of Rome,” in Lawrence Weiner: Quid pro Quo, ed. Gagosian Gallery, Rome 2008


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