Executive Dean: Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture
Name: Federico Freschi
Location: Deans office, Lower Ground Floor, FADA Building Bunting Road Campus
Executive Deans, FADA Management Staff Staff Members
Tel: +27 (0)11-559-1110
Personal/Executive Assistant: Ms Ina LouwCurriculum Vitae Federico Freschi
About Professor Federico Freschi
BAFA (Wits), BA Hons (UCT), PhD (Wits)
ORCID ID https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9515-3303
Federico Freschi was reappointed Executive Dean of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture in October 2023, a post that he held from 2013-2019. In the interim, he was Professor and Head of College of Te Maru Pūmanawa | Creative Practice & Enterprise at the Otago Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga in Dunedin, New Zealand. In his PhD thesis, Federico considered the political iconography of South African public buildings in the 1930s in relation to the political tensions between nationalism and imperialism at the time. As an ongoing research project, the scope of this work has subsequently expanded to encompass post-Second World War as well as post-apartheid public architecture and the extent to which the decorative programmes of public buildings are implicated in the construction of imaginaries of national belonging. A secondary line of research has been into the construction of the canon of modern South African art, and more recently, how the art market is implicated in this. He was most recently rated C1 rating by the South African National Research Foundation. In 2016, Prof Freschi was the South African curator of the exhibition ‘Henri Matisse: Rhythm and Meaning’, at the Standard Bank Gallery Johannesburg, the first exhibition devoted to Matisse on the African continent. He has active relationships with several professional bodies and has served on various boards. He is a former Vice-President on the board of Comité International d’Histoire de l’Art (CIHA); formerly held the position of President of SAVAH (South African Visual Arts Historians; was a member of the editorial board of De Arte (University of South Africa Press) and is a member of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans (ICFAD). He serves on the advisory committee of Forum Kunst und Markt (Technische Universität Berlin), is a member of the Cultures, Histories, and Identities in Visual Studies Research Network (University of Otago) and an editor of Junctures: The Journal for Thematic Dialogue (Otago Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga). Recent publications include the edited volumes Troubling Images: Visual Culture & the Politics of Afrikaner Nationalism (Wits University Press, 2020) with co-editors Brenda Schmahmann (University of Johannesburg) and Lize van Robbroeck (University of Stellenbosch) and The Politics of Design: Privilege and Prejudice in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia and South Africa (Otago Polytechnic Press, 2021) with co-editors Farieda Nazier (University of Johannesburg) and Jane Venis (Otago Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga). In addition to his academic and administrative commitments, Prof Freschi is an accomplished classical baritone who has an ongoing creative practice as a concert soloist and opera singer.
Recent Publications (since 2015)
Freschi, F., F. Nazier and J. Venis (eds.) (2021). The Politics of Design: Privilege and Prejudice in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. Dunedin: Otago Polytechnic Ltd. Press (https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/3c_KCBNqxjTRZq1Cz9TiJ?domain=issuu.com)
Freschi, F., B. Schmahmann and L van Robbroeck (eds.) (2020). Troubling Images: Visual Culture & the Politics of Afrikaner Nationalism. Johannesburg: Wits University Press.
Freschi, F. (Ed.). 2016. Henri Matisse: Rhythm and Meaning. Johannesburg: Standard Bank Gallery
Freschi, F. (2021). ‘The Boeing’s Great, the Going’s Great’: South African Airways, Apartheid and the Technopolitics of Design (pp. 315-339). In F. Freschi, F. Nazier & J. Venis (eds.) The Politics of Design: Privilege and Prejudice in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. Dunedin: Otago Polytechnic Ltd. Press.
Freschi, F. (2020). From Volksargitektuur to Boere Brazil: Afrikaner Nationalism and the Architectural Imaginary of Modernity, 1936-66 (pp. 66-91). In F. Freschi, B. Schmahmann & L. van Robbroeck (eds.) Troubling Images: Visual Culture and the Politics of Afrikaner Nationalism. Johannesburg: Wits University Press.
Freschi, F. 2019. Art Deco, Modernity and the Politics of Ornament in South African Architecture, 1930-1940 (pp. 253-271). In B. Elliott & M. Windover (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Art Deco (252-270). New York: Routledge.
Freschi, F. 2017. ‘Poetry in Pidgin’: Notes on the Persistence of Classicism in the Architecture of Johannesburg’ (pp. 55-87). In G. Parker (ed.) South Africa, Greece, Rome: Classical Confrontations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Freschi, F. 2016. Matisse’s Rhythms and Meanings (pp. 13-22). In F. Freschi (ed.) Henri Matisse: Rhythm and Meaning. Johannesburg: Standard Bank Gallery.
Freschi, F. 2016. Catalogue of Works, with Commentary by Federico Freschi (pp. 23-67; 159-174; 183-205). In F. Freschi (ed.) Henri Matisse: Rhythm and Meaning. Johannesburg: Standard Bank Gallery.
Freschi, F. and J. Charlton. 2017. Swimming Against the Stream: Anitra Nettleton’s contribution to South African Art History. De Arte 52(1): 1-7.
Freschi, F. 2015. Great Zimbabwe and ‘Africanness’. Architectural Review 237 (1418): 114-117.
Articles and Reviews
Freschi, F. 2022. ‘Between Palimpsest and Pentimento: figuration, abstraction and painterly process in Michael Greaves’ ‘The Promise … and the Fall’. Exhibition catalogue Michael Greaves: The Promise … and the Fall (pp. 5-7). Dunedin. Dunedin: Otago Polytechnic Ltd. Press.
Freschi, F. 2022. ‘Not Just Another Travelogue: Silence, Nostalgia and Pathos in Rachel Hope Allan’s Photographs of Japan. In A. Fox and H. Radner (eds.) Rachel Hope Allan: Not Just Another Shinjuku Love Hotel (pp. 5-10). RDS Gallery Occasional Essays Series, aligned with the exhibition ‘Not just Another Shinjuku Love Hotel’, 13 May-18 June 2022, RDS Gallery, 6 Castle Street, Dunedin.
Freschi, F. 2021. ‘Music, Objecthood and Immanence in Neil Lowe’s Études’. Exhibition catalogue Neil Lowe: Immanence (pp. 3-20). Aligned with the exhibition ‘Immanence’, 6-27 August, Olga Gallery, 32 Moray Place, Dunedin.
Freschi, F. 2021. ‘Nightmares of a Better Tomorrow’: Sharon Singer’s Uncanny Narratives of Disaster. In A. Fox and H. Radner (eds.) Sharon Singer: Tales of the Anthropocene: Nightmares of a Better Tomorrow (pp. 10-15). RDS Gallery Occasional Essays Series, aligned with the exhibition ‘Tales of the Anthropocene’, 21 May – 19 June, RDS Gallery, 6 Castle Street, Dunedin.
Freschi, F. 2021. ‘Gatekeepers, Dream Stealers, and Necessary Monsters in the Work of Marie Strauss.’ RDS Gallery Occasional Essays Series editors: Alistair Fox and Hilary Radner, aligned with the exhibition Gatekeeper, 12 February – 13 March 2021, RDS Gallery, 6 Castle Street, Dunedin.
Freschi, F. 2019. Between Instinct and Finesse: Emma Renzi’s Reflections on the Teaching of Singing. The South African Music Teacher, Issue 153: 19-23.
Freschi, F. 2018. South African Art Deco & the Politics of Ornament. Chicago Art Deco Society Magazine, Fall: 16-18.
Freschi, F. 2018. Irma Stern’s Portraits of Freda Feldman. Creative Feel, December 2017/January 2018: 60-62.
Freschi, F. 2016. Henri Matisse’s Rhythms and Meanings. Creative Feel, July: 28-33.
Freschi, F. 2015. Entry on Mikhael Subotzky in the Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Oxford Art Online, http://www.oxfordartonline.com/public/book/oao_benz
Freschi, F. 2021. Ghost Dances and Slave Spectacles: Classical Architecture in Johannesburg. Invited paper presented at the Classics in Colonial Cities: Virtual Conference hosted by the University of Sydney, 1-3 November 2021.
Freschi, F. 2021. Creativity in Research: What is it and why do we need it? Keynote address at the OPSITARA Conference, Ara Institute of Canterbury, Christchurch (online), 14 October 2021.
Freschi, F. 2021. Recast: Classical Casts, the Canon & Constructive Iconoclasm. Invited paper in the CAA-Getty Global Conversation IV: Disruptive Pedagogies and the Legacies of Imperialism and Nationalism, 109th Annual College Art Association Conference (online), 10-13 February 2021.
Freschi, F. & Titlestad, L. 2019. Recasting the Canon: Classicism, Casts & Constructive Iconoclasm. AAANZ 2019 Ngā Tūtaki – Encounter/s: Agency, Embodiment, Exchange, Ecologies, University of Auckland, New Zealand, 3-6 December 2019.
Freschi, F. & Koseff, L. 2019. “We Only Have Drawings of Chickens”: Linda Givon, the Goodman Gallery, and the Politics of the Contemporary Art Market in South Africa, 1966-1990. Christie’s Education Symposium: Women Art Dealers 1940-1990, New York, 17-18 May 2019.
Freschi, F. 2016. From Volksargitektuur to Pretoria Regionalism: The Imagined Landscape of the Nation in Afrikaner Nationalist Architecture, 1936-1976. 34th CIHA Congress, Beijing, 16-20 September 2016.