Tara McDowell is Director of Curatorial Practice and Associate Professor at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Her research interests include contemporary curating, exhibition histories, art institutions, feminist and queer spaces of sociability and production, and the various support structures of art, including home, school, exhibition, and friendship. Her current book project, The Mother Artist, is a study of mothering in contemporary art.
McDowell holds a PhD in the History of Art from the University of California, Berkeley. Her recent books include The Artist As (Sternberg Press, 2018) and The Householders: Robert Duncan and Jess (The MIT Press, 2019), which argued for domestic space as a site of creative production. She publishes and lectures frequently, and her writing has appeared in Artforum, Artlink, Discipline, e-flux Criticism, Filip, The Lifted Brow, Memo Review, The Miami Rail, Mousse, un Magazine, and The Exhibitionist, a journal on curatorial practice for which she was Founding Senior Editor.
McDowell has held curatorial appointments at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, where she mounted many solo and group exhibitions, including projects on Minimalism, Fluxus, assemblage, and avant-garde cinema.
Her curatorial projects include Take Hold of the Clouds (2022), Shapeshifters: New Forms of Curatorial Research (2019); John Baldessari: Wall Painting (2017); 124,908, for the 2nd Tbilisi Triennial (2015); Nothing Beside Remains (2014); and The Land Grant: Flatbread Society with Amy Franceschini (2014).
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