Art History | 2016-2018 | email

John R. Blakinger received his Ph.D. in Art History from Stanford University. He studies the history, theory, and criticism of modern and contemporary art, with a focus on the intersection of aesthetics and politics with media, design, and visual culture. His dissertation explores artist, designer, and visual theorist Gyorgy Kepes’s attempts to reconcile art and science in the context of the Cold War. From 2014-2016, Blakinger was a Twenty-Four-Month Chester Dale Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. In 2014, he curated an exhibition on Kepes as the first Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Research Assistant at Stanford’s Cantor Arts Center. The show presented photographic works by Kepes for the first time in over sixty years and traveled to the Exhibition Research Centre at Liverpool John Moores University in 2015. Blakinger has published on Andy Warhol’s “Death in America” paintings and the US government’s camouflage training program, and has authored reviews for Design Issues and CAA Reviews. As a postdoctoral fellow in the USC Society of Fellows, he will revise his dissertation on Kepes into a book manuscript. He will also launch a second book project exploring the discourse and politics of creativity and the rise of a new culture of the image in the 1950s through 1970s. This project will examine experimental approaches to aesthetics in fields outside of the arts, with a particular interest in how common questions of vision created relationships between previously unrelated individuals, institutions, and intellectual domains.