Art & Art History

Tenley Bick

Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History

Ph.D.   Art History, University of California, Los Angeles, 2016

M.A.    Art History, University of California, Los Angeles, 2009

B.A.     Art History with Honors, Stanford University, Double Minor, Italian and Urban Studies, 2005

Research Spotlight

My research specializations include global modern and contemporary art, with special interests in post-WWII European and contemporary African art (continental and diasporic), and a focus on social art history and cultural geopolitics. I am currently working on a book project, the first monograph on the work of contemporary Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto, with the working title “Figure as Model: Michelangelo Pistoletto and the Italian Avant-Garde in the Global Sixties.” My book examines Pistoletto’s work within the politicized cultural context of 1950s and 1960s Italy and Europe, and against the broader geopolitical horizon for art of the 1960s.


Refereed Journal Article

2010    “Horror Histories: Apartheid and the Abject Body in the Work of Jane Alexander,” African Arts 43, no. 4 (Winter): 30–41.


Refereed Book Chapter

2012    “Suspensions of Self-Perception: On Vision and Subjectivity in Contemporary Art.” In Theorizing Visual Studies: Writing Through the Discipline, edited by James Elkins and Kristi McGuire, with Maureen Burns, Alicia Chester, and Joel Kuennen, 242–45. New York: Routledge.



2005    Faberman, Hilarie, with Susan B. Cameron and Tenley BickFired at Davis: Figurative Ceramic Sculpture by Robert Arneson, Visiting Professors, and Students at the University of California at Davis, from the Paula and Ross Turk Collection. Stanford: Cantor Arts Center. Catalogue published in association with the exhibition held at the Cantor Arts Center.



2012    Celant, Germano. “Interview.” Interview by Miwon Kwon and Philipp Kaiser. In Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1977, edited by M. Kwon and P. Kaiser, 123–27. Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art. Previously unpublished contribution. Translated from the original Italian.  Catalogue published in association with the internationally-traveling exhibition of the same title.


Conference Proceedings

2011    Rosenfield, Susan, Lucian Gomoll, Tenley Bick, Kirk Sides, and Samuel M. Anderson. “First Word: Reports on the Fifteenth Triennial Symposium of African Arts.” African Arts 44, no. 3 (Autumn): 1, 4–9. 


In Review

“What Goes Around Comes Around: Myth and Male Trauma in Somali Diasporic Cinema” (article; Third Text)



In my teaching, as in my research, I situate art historical subjects within their respective social contexts, while connecting them to broader global frameworks. By addressing “western” and “non-western” subjects under the same framework, my pedagogy bridges institutional divides. My goal is for students to understand that histories of creative practice and visual culture are themselves historical constructs, often predicated upon these divisions and are, therefore, subject to methodological testing and potential revision. This lesson encourages students to understand the broader importance of art history and gives them a sense of agency to conduct original research. My pedagogical strategies are committed to an interactive, globally minded instruction of art history. Students leave my courses having mastered the skills to approach art from diverse perspectives, encouraged to engage in art history to improve upon our understanding of the world, both historical and contemporary.


Courses Instructed 2017–18

Contemporary Arts of Africa and Its Diasporas (ART/BLS 194)

The Global Sixties: Art, Revolution, and Internationalism in the 1960s (ART 394-11: SpTp)

Introduction to the History of Western Art (ART 200)

Art History and Postcolonial Theory (ART 397)

Women Artists and Gender in Modern and Contemporary Art (ART 394-11: SpTp)

Professional Experience

2017– Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Art and Art History, Washington College

2013; 2015–16 Lecturer, Department of Art History, UCLA

Professional Organizations

American Association for Italian Studies 

Arts Council of the African Studies Association

College Art Association

Italian Art Society

Society for Italian Historical Studies