Debra Thimmesch 18 posts
Debra Thimmesch is an art historian and critic, activist, independent researcher and scholar, writer, editor, and visual artist. She mentors graduate students in art history and is attuned to current endeavors to radically rethink, decolonize, and reframe the study and pedagogy of art history. Her work has appeared in Art Papers, The Brooklyn Rail, and Blind Field Journal.

Currently Browsing: Debra Thimmesch

Lily van der Stokker’s Radical Flowers & Relentless Good Cheer

Dutch artist Lily van der Stokker’s cartoon-aesthetic, pastel pleasantries are not at all what they seem. On the surface, they function to reify longstanding assertions that there is a feminine style of art as well as feminine subject matter (and a corresponding feminine audience). The cheerful orange, yellow, pink, and green daisies of her mural Thank You Darling (Dec.read more.

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Lessons in Subversion in Medieval and Renaissance Art

In 1989, the Guerrilla Girls, a group of mostly anonymous women art-world professionals and artists, did a head count at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. They wanted to know how many women artists were represented in the modern galleries versus how many artworks in those same galleries depicted female nudes.read more.

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“Taking Work Out of Its Night” Sheds Light on Exploited Workers

In a minimalist factory in Tetouan, Northern Morocco, women workers in caps, gowns, and gloves prepare shrimp for consumption half a world away in the Netherlands. In Manila, Philippines, low-paid tech workers censor cyberspace. On a cargo ship on an unidentified sea somewhere in the world, a Filipino sailor lives a circumscribed, contained life, moving far less freely than the goods he is helping to transport.read more.

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Bertille Bak and the Almost Comic Futility of Most Labor

In the artificial gloaming of the galleries of the Jeu de Paume, Paris dedicated to artist Bertille Bak’s exhibition, “Abus de souffle” (“Out of Breath”), visitors wander into viewing areas, mid-video, with the awkwardness of late arrivals to the cinema. Screens go blank, speakers go silent, interludes allow for turnover or for settling in.read more.

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Bothered, Bewildered: Wellcome Collection’s “The Cult of Beauty”

Perhaps it was neither a matter of coincidence nor irony that the last stop, the final artwork in the Wellcome Collection’s, “The Cult of Beauty” exhibition in London, was a nearly-ten-foot-tall sculpture of the cumulative ephemera of the artist’s mother’s life. Resembling a static tornado bursting with detritus, the piece consists of a plethora of items such as articles of clothing, personal effects, decorative objects, and more.read more.

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Homelessness Through the Lens of Photographer Leah den Bok

Visitors to the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia expect to feel uncomfortable at the very least. A museum of science and medical history, the Mütter displays only a fragment of the over-37,000 objects in its collection: specimens, antique medical equipment, and wax models. Among other infamous specimens, the museum retains a cancerous tumor that was excised from President Grover Cleveland’s hard palate, thoracic tissue from the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth, and a shared liver from the American conjoined twins, Chang and Eng Bunker. read more.

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