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Alison Kearney 2

Associate Professor
Name: Alison Kearney
Location: Room 118, Upper Floor, FADA Building Bunting Road Campus
FADA Visual Art Permanent Academic Staff  Staff Members

Contact Details:
Tel: +27(0)11 559 1113


About Prof. Alison Kearney

Alison Kearney is a South African National Research Foundation (NRF) Rated, Johannesburg based artist, researcher and arts educator with a multi-disciplinary research practice focused on exploring epistemologies of art. Her practice includes making artworks that critically engage with the discourses around art museums, as well as theorising modernist and contemporary African artworks that challenge inherited, western discourses of art. These interests are brought into her teaching through what and how she teaches. Alison has taught art making, theories of art and arts pedagogies in diverse educational contexts, including in art museums. Alison is committed to writing about and curating exhibitions of African art that challenges Western epistemologies of art; to make explicit the ways in which art making and theorizing art can be understood as research praxis; and to contribute to decolonizing art history by developing unorthodox ways of writing about art.

@the_museum_under_erasure (Instagram)
@TRIPProject_ZA (Instagram)

Recent Publications

Book Chapters

1. Dison, L. and Kearney, A. (2021a) Trends in teaching and learning research in South African schools, in Maringe, F. Ed. Systematic Reviews of Research in Basic Education in South Africa. Stellenbosch: SUN Media, pages 145- 166.

2. Kearney, A. (2021b) ‘Confronting the Museum: Artists’ Interventions as Critique’ in Museum Futures, edited by Leonhard Emmerling, L. Gupta, L. Proença and M. Biwa. Austria: Turia and Kant, pages 472- 487.

3. Kearney, A. (2021c) ‘Materiality and Meaning’ in Seen, Heard and Valued: WAM Celebrates 40 Years of the Standard Bank African Art Collection, edited by Nettleton, A.C.E. and Charlton, J. Johannesburg: Wits Art Museum, pages 234-239.

4. Kearney, A. (2019) Trace and fracture: Legacies of the ‘readymade’ in contemporary South African art in Atteridge, J. and Rydstrand, H. Eds. (2019) Modernist Work: Labour, Aesthetics and the Avant-Garde. London: Bloomsbury.

Journal Articles

5. Kearney, A. (2022a) Infinite Mirror: Reflections on Wayne Barker’s Strategies of Appropriation. Critical Arts. Available online: ISI Accredited.

6. Kearney, A. (2021d) Beyond the Everyday: Subtle forms of resistance in the work of Usha Seejarim. Third Text, 35 (5). Available online: ISI Accredited.

7. Kearney, A. (2017) Art history is dead; long live art history! de Arte 52 (3). London and Pretoria: Taylor and Francis and Unisa Press. Available online: DHET Accredited.

Education Materials

8. Bougaard, Kearney, A., Mogodjwa, K. (2024) Threading Through the Collections Education Resource. Johannesburg, Wits Art Museum.
9. Kearney, A. Edited by Charlton, J. (2023) Encounters with the (Im)material Education Resource. Johannesburg, Wits Art Museum.
10. Kearney, A., Charlton, J., Rankin-Smith, F., Nettleton, A.C.E., and Naran, K. (2022) TenX10: 100 Women and Gender Diverse Artists at WAM Education Resource. Johannesburg, Wits Art Museum.
11. Kearney, A. (2021c) Seen, Heard, Valued: An Education Resource About Art Collections and the Role of the Art Museum. Johannesburg, Wits Art Museum.
12. Kearney, A. (2019) Leeto: A Sam Nhlengethwa Print Making Retrospective Education Resource. Johannesburg, Wits Art Museum.

Curated Exhibitions
2023: Encounters with the (Im)material, curated by Alison Kearney, held at the Wits Art Museum, April- July, 2023.

Mattering/Muttering, curated by Gordon Froud and Alison Kearney, held at Gallery 2, Parkwood, Johannesburg, March- April, 2023.

2022: Romancing the Stone, curated by Ann-Marie Tully, Annemi Conradie-Chetty, Rachel Baasch and Alison Kearney, with assistance from Rina de Klerk, held at the KZNSA, Durban, 21 September- 23 October 2022.

2018: Beyond the Readymade, curated by Alison Kearney, held at the Wits Art Museum, 13 June- 9 September 2018. (Catalogue).