Art History Department

Cheetham, Mark A. MA, PhD

Professor, Art theory, Modern, Contemporary, and Canadian Art (UT St. George)

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My research centres on the imbrications of artwriting and art making in modern and contemporary art. I have written books and articles on the history, theory, and current practice of abstract art, the reception of Immanuel Kant’s thinking in the visual arts and the discipline of art history, on art historical methodology, and on recent Canadian and international art. The historiography and methodology of art history and the field of Visual Culture Studies are ongoing research interests, as is contemporary art in Canada and abroad, from both curatorial and academic perspectives. I was the Project Director of a 3-year SSHRC initiative called CACHET (Canadian Art Commons for History of Art Education & Training), 2013-16, which linked five institutions and 20 researchers. See

My current research interests fall in two areas: ecological art in its relations to earlier landscape practices and the importance of analogy in art history. My book Landscape into Eco Art: Articulations of Nature since the ‘60s was published by Penn State UP in early 2018. My exhibition Struck by LikeningThe Power & Discontents of Artworld Analogies appeared at the McMaster University Museum of Art from September – December 2017.  ‘Ecologies of Landscape’ (2018) explores the ongoing potency of landscape presentation in contemporary art.

I am also part a national research project addressing settler-colonial practices in the art history of Canada.

My teaching focuses on art, art theory, and visual culture from the mid 18thcentury to the present in Europe, the USA, and Canada. I supervise doctoral and postdoctoral projects across these geographical, cultural, and temporal coordinates.

  • Contemporary Art
  • Modern Art, c. 1700-1989
  • Art Theory
  • Art in Canada since the 1960s
  • Curatorship
  • Ph.D, UCL, University of London (History of Art), 1982
  • M.A., University of Toronto (Philosophy), 1977
  • Hon. B.A., University of Toronto, University College (Philosophy), 1976


Selected Publications
  • Landscape into Eco Art: Articulations of Nature since the ‘60s. Penn State UP. Feb. 2018.

  •  Artwriting, Nation, and Cosmopolitanism in Britain: The “Englishness” of English Art Theory since the 18th Century. Ashgate: British Art: Global Contexts series. Feb. 2012.

  • Abstract Art Against Autonomy: Infection, Resistance, and Cure since the ’60s.    Cambridge UP, 2006.

  • Kant, Art, and Art History: Moments of Discipline. Cambridge UP, 2001. [Paperback ed., CUP, Feb. 2009; Chinese trans., Nanjing: Jiangsu Fine Arts Publishing House, 2010.]

  • Alex Colville: The Observer Observed. Toronto: ECW Press, 1994. (2nd ed., 1995).

  • La Mémoire Postmoderne: Essai sur l’art canadien postmoderne. Trans. Jean Papineau. Montréal: Liber, 1992. (This is a French ed. of Remembering Postmodernism, cited below. Recipient of the Prix littéraire du Gouverneur général, catégorie traduction, 1992)

  • The Rhetoric of Purity: Essentialist Theory and the Advent of Abstract Painting. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (Cambridge New Art History and Criticism series, ed. Norman Bryson), 1991. Paperback editions: 1994, 2009.

  • Remembering Postmodernism: Trends in Recent Canadian Art. Oxford and Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1991. (Afterword  by Linda Hutcheon). Second, revised ed. OUP, 2012.

  • Editing the Image: Strategies in the Production and Reception of the Visual. Mark A. Cheetham, Elizabeth Legge, Catherine M. Soussloff, Co-editors. University of Toronto Press, 2008.

  • The Subjects of Art History: Historical Objects in Contemporary Perspective. Coeditor with Michael Ann Holly and Keith Moxey, Cambridge UP, 1998 (paperback 2008). (Korean translation, Seoul: Kyungsung University Press, 2007)

  • Theory Between the Disciplines: Authority Vision Politics. Coeditor with Martin Kreiswirth. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1990.

  • Conspiracies of Illusion: Projections of Time & Space in the work of Janice Gurney, Nestor Kruger, Yam Lau, Blinky Palermo and David Reed. McMaster Museum of Art, Sept. – Nov. 2012. Co-curated with A. Patton & C. Sprengler.

  • The ‘Floating’ Urbanities of Utamaro and Hogarth: Pictures for Women? A component of the exhibition Rising to the Occasion: The Long 18th Century. McMaster University Museum of Art, 23 Aug. 2011 – 7 Jan. 2012.

  • Jack Chambers: The Light From the Darkness / Silver Paintings and Film Work. Co-Curator. Museum London, Jan. 15 – April 3, 2011. Tour: McMichael Gallery, Kleinburg, October 8, 2011 through January 15, 2012. 88 pp. catalogue. Awarded “Exhibition of the Year” (a juried prize) by the Ontario Assoc. of Art Galleries, 2011.

  • Disturbing Abstraction: Christian Eckart. Guest curator, UWO ArtLab, exhibition Nov. 14 – Dec. 6/96. Tour: Art Gallery of North York, Toronto; Nickle Arts Museum, Calgary;
    MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina,  Art Gallery of Windsor; Edmonton Art Gallery, 1997-98. 60 pp. catalogue.

  • Memory Works: Postmodern Impulses in Canadian Art. London Regional Art & Historical Museums, Dec. 15/90 – Feb.3/91. (20 artists, 23 works, accompanying catalogue). Tour: 1991 (Mississauga Civic Centre Art Gallery, Toronto; Glenbow Museum, Calgary).

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