Dr Matthew Bowman

Lecturer in Arts – Dissertation Lead

+44 (0)1473 338862
School of Technology, Business and Arts
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Dr Bowman is a widely-published art critic and historian who obtained his doctorate at the University of Essex with a dissertation on the October journal and its rethinking of medium specificity, having previously received his MA there. Before switching towards art history, he completed a degree in Fine Art, specialising in ceramic sculpture and photography, at Bretton Hall College. His research focuses on twentieth century and contemporary art, criticism, photography, the art market, and philosophy in the USA and Europe. He has given lectures and talks at the Tate Gallery, The National Museum of Oslo, The Royal College of Art, Edinburgh College of Art, the University of Nottingham, Winchester School of Art and numerous other places. Here and there, he also works photographically. 

Contextual Studies I (Contributor)

Contextual Studies II (Contributor)

Dissertation and Critical Perspectives

Dr Bowman’s research interests are underpinned by three major areas of concern: firstly, the art history and theory of North American and European art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a particular focus upon post-World War II artistic practices; secondly, Continental and Analytic philosophy from the eighteenth century onwards, especially philosophy in the twentieth century; and thirdly, an abiding focus upon art historians who constructed or have rearticulated the methodologies of art-historical writing. These three areas interweave in Dr Bowman’s research in a way that posits artworks as theoretical objects or as possessing philosophical significance without, however, being merely illustrations of philosophy.

October and Art Criticism in the Expanded Field, (London, Routledge) forthcoming 2019/2020.

The Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing: Art Criticism and the Art Market, (London, I.B.Tauris), forthcoming 2019.

‘Indiscernibly Bad: The Problem of Bad Painting/Good Art’, forthcoming in Oxford Art Journal, 41, 3, December 2018 (peer-reviewed publication).

‘Sheffield Round-Up: Graves Gallery, Persistence Works, Bloc Projects’, Art Monthly, 414, March 2018, pp. 34-36.

‘Review of In Quotes. East Gallery NUA’, Art Monthly, 410, October 2017, pp. 25-26.

‘East Anglian Round-Up: The Sainsbury Centre, Firstsite, The Minories Galleries’, Art Monthly, 409, September 2017, pp. 44-46.

‘Review of Movement of the People, Art Exchange’, Art Monthly, 403, February 2017, pp. 20-21.

‘Review of Gee Vaucher, Introspective, Firstsite’, Art Monthly, 402, December-January 2016/17, pp. 27-28.

‘Review of The Peculiar People, Focal Point Gallery’, Art Monthly, 397, June 2016, pp. 24-45.

‘Review of Mark Wilsher, Everyone is an Curator, The Minories Galleries’, Art Monthly, issue 390, October 2015.

‘Lena Lapschina’s C-Level’ in Lena Lapschina, Thoughtbook, (Vienna, 2015), unpaginated. 

‘Shapes of Time: Melancholia, Anachronism, De-Distancing’ in Amanda Boetzkes and Aron Vinegar (eds.), Heidegger and the Work of Art History, (Farnham and Burlington: Ashgate, 2014), pp. 173-194.

 ‘For a Concept of Immaterial Indestructibility’ in Camila Maroja and Caroline Menzies (eds.) The Permanence of the Transient, (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars, 2014), pp. 30-41.

 ‘Rosalind Krauss’ in Mark Durden (ed.), Fifty Key Writers on Photography, (London and New York, Routledge, 2013), pp. 149-154.

 ‘MIND YOUR HEAD: On Speculative Research for the Public in Elaine Tribley’s Work ‘ in Laura Earley (ed.), Market Project, (London: Market Project, 2012). 

‘Antarctica Starts Here: The Restless Travels of Chris Dobrowolski’ in Chris Dobrowolski: Antarctica, exhibition catalogue, (Colchester: University Gallery, 2010).

Selected conference papers

‘Rethinking Werk as Herstellung: On Martin Heidegger’s The Origin of the Work of Art’ at Thinking through, with and against The Origin of the Work of Art symposium, Flat Time House, London, June 2018

‘Collage as Model’ at Collage, Montage, Assemblage: Collected and Composite Forms, 1700-Present conference, Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh, 18-19 April 2018

‘Exteriority/Interiority: Surface Dimensions of Painting’ at the Painting in the Digital Age; Surface symposium, University of Suffolk, Ipswich, 7 July 2017.

 ‘The Crux of Minimalist Criticism’ at the Minimalism: Location Aspect Moment conference, Winchester School of Art, Winchester, 14-15 October 2016.

‘Frontality/Facingness: The Surface Beyond Flatness’ at the Revisiting the Surface Conference, National Gallery, Oslo, November 2015.

‘Photographic Thinking: Michael Schmidt’s Constellations’ at the Annual Association of Art Historians, University of East Anglia, April 2015.

‘In Conversation with Emma Hart’ at Art Exchange, University of Essex, March 2015.

‘In Conversation with Roxy Walsh and Sally Underwood’ at Art Exchange, University of Essex, February 2015.

‘Art Criticism for Blue Chip Stocks’ at the Annual Association of Art Historians conference, Royal College of Art, April 2014.

‘Art Criticism in the Contracted Field’ at the Art Criticism Now symposium convened by Richard Wrigley at the University of Nottingham, March 2014.


Media (TV and radio appearances)

‘Matthew Bowman, Chris Wassilak, Rob La Frenais, and Mark Wilsher’, Art Monthly Talk Show, presented by Matt Hale on Resonance FM.