Dr Isobel Whitelegg

Director of Postgraduate Research

Responsibilities & Teaching

Postgraduate Research (PhD) Director, School of Museum Studies

Topics available for PhD supervision

  • Non-collecting institutions of contemporary art (centres, biennials, festivals) and their histories
  • Art in/from Brazil (post-1945, contemporary)
  • Art in/from Latin America (post-1945, contemporary)
  • Contemporary art and institutional memory
  • Historiography, archives, institutional memory
  • Transnational and situated approaches to the history of art
  • Exhibition history


Current PhD supervisees

Blanca Jové Alcalde
Creating a Politically active, Plural and Critical Public Sphere: discursive programmes at contemporary art institutions

Eleni Ganati
Defining the Museum of Contemporary Art Model Through Collection Policy

Cher Zou
Locating the Alternative Art Institution in the Chinese Context

Yang Chen
Jikken Kōbō and the Deterritorialisaton of the Institutional Exhibition

Eloisa Rodrigues,
Mapping Brazilian Art in Public Collections Across the UK

Laura Dudley
From Re-Construction to Co-Production, the authorship of participatory art exhibitions past and present

External PhD Examination

Dr Nicola Simpson
Norwich School of Art & Design, 2019

Dr Yazia Hernadez Velazquez
Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, University of Kingston, 2017

Dr Isabella Maidment
UCL/Tate Research 2016

Dr Jaime Vindel
Universidade de Leon, Spain, 2010


'The making of Tucumán Arde' in Reconstructing Exhibitions, ed. Natasha Adamou & Michaela Geibelhausen, New York: Routledge, 2020 (in press)

'São Paulo & Other Models: the Biennale in Latin America, 1951-1991' in Modern and Contemporary Latin American & Latino Art, eds R. Greele, M. Sullivan (Eds.), London: Blackwell, 2020 (in press)

‘Everything Was Connected. Kinetic Art and Internationalism at Signals London, 1964-66’ in London Art Worlds, ed. Jo Applin, Catherine Spencer, Amy Tobin, Pennsylvania: Penn State University Press, 2018

‘The São Paulo Bienal Complex: MAM-BSP-MAC’ in Museums of Latin America: Structuring Representation, ed. Michelle Greet, Gina McDaniel Tarver, New York: Routledge, 2018

The Other World Is This, Mira Schendel’s Participation in the X Bienal de São Paulo, 1969, in Mira Schendel, eds.Tanya Barson, Taisa Palhares, London: Tate Publishing 2013


Journal Articles

Brazil, Latin America, the World: The Bienal de São Paulo as a Latin American Question',Third Text, 26:1

Publicado em português como A Bienal de São Paulo torne-se latino-americana. In: Maria de Fátima Morethy Couto (Org.), Histórias da arte em exposicoes: modos de ver e exhibir no Brasil (Riobooks, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, 2016)

'The Bienal de São Paulo: Unseen/Undone'Afterall, 22, 2009



2018. Signals, If you like I shall grow, Thomas Dane, London & kurimanzutto, New York

2015. (with John K Blakinger) György Kepes, The New Landscape, Exhibition Research Centre, Liverpool

2014. Equipo3 1973/2014, Museu da Cidade de São Paulo, São Paulo

2013.. Geraldo de Barros, What Remains, The Photographers Gallery, London 
Images Essay Reviews: GuardianArt ForumDazed

Conference Papers:

A Time Before Now, from the archives of the Bienal de São Paulo to a History of Collective Practice, Critical Museology, UNAM/MUAC, Mexico City

Situation Vacant, the search for a Latin American Biennial, 1951-1996, New Worlds: Frontiers, Inclusion, Utopias, UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

At the Crux of the Postwar – Collective Exhibitions at Signals London, 1964-66, Postwar: Between the Atlantic and the Pacific, Haus der Kunst, Munich

Everything Was Connected: The Particular Internationalism of Signals London, London Art Worlds, University of York

The international reception of “Brazilian Art under Dictatorship", Historiographies of Latin American Art, Reception & Institutions, Getty Research Institute/Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil

Inventing Latin America, Between Theory and Practice. Rethinking Latin American Art in the 21st Century, Getty Research Institute/Museo de Arte de Lima; Museo de Arte de Lima, Peru

Brazil, Latin America, the World, Goethe Institute, São Paulo, Brazil

An archival avant-garde: Latin American Art and the UK. Latin American Studies Association Conference; PUC, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

A Bienal Não Vista da Fora. 28 Bienal Internacional de São Paulo, Brazil

Biennales contra Biennales. Association of Art Historians Conference, Tate Britain, London

Research Projects

My research developed through devising externally funded collaborative research projects, including two AHRC projects: the first addressing the presence and reception of Latin American art in the UK (2007-08), and the second addressing a wider history of relationships between artists and critics within Latin America, and between Latin America, Europe and the USA (2008-11).

Share this page: