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20th-Century art and theory

20th century

(Dr Alyce Mahon; college staff include Dr James Fox, Dr Sam Rose)

Since the appointment of Dr Alyce Mahon in 2000, the Department’s activity in 20th-century art and theory has expanded vigorously. Dr Mahon has forged links with other modernists in the University as a founding member of Cambridge’s new interdepartmental MPhil in Film (Screen Media and Cultures), and with modernists abroad. As a specialist in Surrealism and Modern and Contemporary French art, as well as the history of Erotic Art from the Enlightenment to the present, Dr Mahon has acted as consultant to two recent international exhibitions - Pierre Klossowski (Whitechapel, London, and Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2006-7) and Surreal Things: Surrealism and Design(V&A, Boijmans Museum, Rotterdam, and Guggenheim, Bilbao, 2007) - and served as the invited discussant for the ‘Art and Pornography’ session at the 2007 College Art Association conference. Currently researching a book on the Happening in 1960s performance art in Europe and the USA, Dr Mahon's research engages with cultural politics as well as the history and legacy of the avant-garde. The Department benefits from the excellent collection of Modern Art at the Fitzwilliam Museum as well as close collaboration with Kettle’s Yard, where student volunteers help with exhibitions of contemporary art.