Kent Mitchell Minturn

Visiting Assistant Professor of Fine Arts

My interdisciplinary scholarship addresses modern art and its theories in Europe, America, and beyond, with a special focus on the art and writings of Jean Dubuffet. I am also interested in the history of film and photography, the archaeology of new media, Freudian and post-Freudian aesthetics, art brut, and philosopher Hubert Damisch’s oeuvre.

Before coming to the Institute, I was Director of Columbia University’s MA program in Modern Art, Critical and Curatorial Studies (MODA). I’ve also held visiting positions at Emory University and Sarah Lawrence College.

My first book project, Contre-Histoire: The Art and Writings of Jean Dubuffet (to be published with Penn State University Press), looks at Dubuffet as a writer as well a visual artist, within the historical context of the postwar épuration and in relation to other cultural figures such as Jean Paulhan, Antonin Artaud, Henri Michaux, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Claude Simon and Hubert Damisch. Concomitantly, I am editing an October Files volume on Dubuffet (MIT Press). My essays, articles and reviews on Kazimir Malevich, Paul Klee, Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein, Dubuffet and others have appeared in Art Journal, Artforum, Visual Resources, Archives of American Art Journal, Res, The Architectural Review and October.

My most recent publications include: “Physiognomic Illegibility: Jean Dubuffet’s Postwar Portraits,” for the exhibition catalogue Jean Dubuffet, Aquavella Galleries (New York: Rizzoli, 2016): 54-65; “Dubuffet avec Damisch,” October 154 (Fall 2015): 69-86; “Architect Without Walls,” The Architectural Review (August 29, 2015); “Jean Dubuffet and Alfonso Ossorio,” in the exhibition catalogue Art Brut in America: The Incursion of Jean Dubuffet (New York: The American Folk Art Museum, 2015): 36-51; and “Chaissac, Dubuffet, and Paulhan: From Proletarian Literature to Écrits Bruts,” Kunstlicht: Journal for Art, Visual Culture and Architecture 33:2 (Fall 2012): 88-102.

I have lectured nationally and internationally on modern art and film, most recently at The Morgan Library and Museum, New York; The Menil Collection, Houston; The Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, New York; The Clyfford Still Museum, Denver; Rice University, Houston; Columbia University’s Blinken European Institute; and the Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA) in Paris.

Recently I have been the recipient of three outside awards: Archives of American Art Visiting Scholar, Washington D.C.; The Morgan-Menil Fellowship, The Drawing Institute at The Morgan Library and Museum, New York; and The Columbia University Core Curriculum Postdoctoral Fellowship, Columbia University, New York.

I sit on dissertation committees at NYU and the City University of New York. I have been asked to be a peer reviewer/reader for many eminent journals and publishing houses including: The Art Bulletin, Journal of Art Historiography, Visual Resources, American Art, and Phaidon Press, Ltd.

My current and recent professional affiliations include: Blinken European Institute, Columbia University (2013-2015), College Art Association, Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Société des Amis de la Fondation Dubuffet, Collectif de réflexion autour de l’art brut (CrAB), and the European Postwar and Contemporary Art Forum (EPCAF).

Sample Courses

Art Between the Wars
Art and Literature in 20th Century France
Avant-Garde Cinema and Painting
Paris – New York – Barcelona: Artistic Exchange and the Mid-Century
Theories of the Avant-Garde
The Reception of the Art of The Insane and Art Brut


Contre-histoire: The Art and Writings of Jean Dubuffet (under contract with Penn State University Press).

Editor, Jean Dubuffet, October Files 19 (Cambridge: MIT Press, forthcoming 2016).

Articles and Reviews

“Mad Scientist? Eugen Gabritschevsky,” Followed by an Interview with AFAM Curator Valérie Rousseau, Antiques (March/April, 2017): 118-125.

“Dubuffet’s Drawings, 1935-1965,” Artforum 55:5 (January 2017): 220-221. [read online]

Le livre d’artiste d’avenir, or, Dubuffet our Contemporary,” Art Journal (Winter 2016): 67-71. [read online]

“Joseph Cornell, Anti-Colonialist?” special issue of JSA, Journal of Surrealism and the Americas focusing on “Dada/Surrealism and Film in the Americas,” ed., Jonathan P. Eburne (2016).

Entries on “Jean Dubuffet,” “Alfonso Ossorio,” and “Louis Soutter,” for the Encyclopedia of Outsider Art, ed. Colin Rhodes (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016). [read online]

“Dubuffet avec Damisch,” October 154 (Fall 2015): 69-86. [read online]

“Architect Without Walls,” The Architectural Review (August 29, 2015). [read online]

“Chaissac, Dubuffet, and Paulhan: From Proletarian Literature to Écrits Bruts,” Kunstlicht: Journal for Art, Visual Culture and Architecture (Special Issue on ‘Ut pictura poesis’) 33:2 (Fall 2012): 88-102.

“Clyfford Still, Paul Cézanne, and Posterity,” available online at (Spring 2012).

“Greenberg Misreading Dubuffet,” in Joan Marter, ed., Abstract Expressionism: The International Context  (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2007): 125-137. [read online]

“Klee and America [Preview],” Artforum (January 2006): 84.

“Seeing Malevich, Cinematically,” Art Journal (Winter 2004): 141-144.

“Image Duplicator: Roy Lichtenstein and the Emergence of Pop Art,” Archives of American Art Journal 44:1-2 (Winter 2004): 47-51.

“Dubuffet, Lévi-Strauss and the Idea of Art Brut,” Res 46 (Autumn 2004): 237-248.

“The Underneaths of Pollock,” Visual Resources 19:2 (Fall 2003): 149-152. [read online]

“Digitally-Enhanced Evidence: MoMA’s Reconfiguration of Namuth’s Pollock,” Visual Resources 17:1 (Spring 2001): 127-145.

“Peinture Noire: Abstract Expressionism and Film Noir,” in Film Noir Reader II, ed. James Ursini and Alain Silver (New York: Limelight Editions, 1999): 270-309. [read online]

Exhibition Catalog Contributions

“Physiognomic Illegibility: Jean Dubuffet’s Postwar Portraits,” exh. cat., Jean Dubuffet: Anticultural Positions, Acquavella Galleries (New York: Rizzoli, 2016): 54-65. [read online]

“Jean Dubuffet and Alfonso Ossorio,” exh. cat., Art Brut in America: The Incursion of Jean Dubuffet (New York: The American Folk Art Museum, 2015): 36-51.

“Postwar, Post-New York,” exh. cat., Ary Stillman (Houston: William Reaves Fine Art, 2011): 1-9. [read online]

“There’s Someone Missing Here, It’s Pollock,” exh. cat., Modern Paintings from the NYU Collection (Cork, Ireland: Lewis Glucksman Gallery, 2005): 37-47. [read online]

“When I Looked Away,” exh. cat., Paul Jenkins Early Paintings (London: Redfern Gallery, 2005): 3-9.

“Halt the Hun!” exh. cat., Art and Propaganda: Images of Ourselves and Our Enemies 1914-1918 (Kansas City, MO: Liberty Memorial Museum, 1989): 29.

Selected Recent and Upcoming Lectures, Talks and Interviews

The Attitudes of Works of Art Symposium, Invited Respondent, The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, Friday, April 7, 2017.

“Early Freud for Art Historians,” Invited WIP Lecture, The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, February 21, 2017.

“Alfonso Ossorio Takes the Lead,” Invited Lecture, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY, October 29, 2016.

“Dubuffet’s Drawings,” Morgan Library and Museum, New York, NY, October 17, 2016.

“Violence and Memory,” Invited Discussant, IFA–ISLAA Symposium on Realisms: Politics, Art, and Visual Culture in the Americas, The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, NY, April 30, 2016.

“Meyer Schapiro and Robert Motherwell,” invited lecture, Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture in Washington, DC, December 4, 2015.

“Hardy Writing,” invited lecture, Jean Dubuffet and Beyond Symposium, American Folk Art Museum, New York, NY, November 9, 2015.

“Joseph Cornell, Anti-Colonialist?” CAA Annual Conference, New York, NY, February 12, 2015, as part of the “Anemic Cinema: Dada/Surrealism and Film in the Americas,” session.

“Profound Flatness: Roy Newell,” roundtable discussion, Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, NY, May 25, 2014.

“Toward a Materialist History of Art,” invited lecture, Vivian L. Smith Symposium, Menil Collection, Houston, TX, May 2, 2014.

“The Transformation of the Russian Avant-Garde,” invited lecture, Blinken European Institute, Columbia University, April 11, 2014.

“Drawing, Writing, Speaking,” invited lecture, The Drawing Institute at the Morgan Library, New York, NY, April 9, 2014.

“Physiognomic Illegibility: The Portrait in Postwar France,” invited lecture, Rice University, Houston, TX, November 27, 2013.

“Wols in Cassis,” invited lecture, WOLS: Retrospective, The Menil Collection, Houston, TX, November 25, 2013.

“Clyfford Still at the California School of Fine Arts,” invited lecture, Clyfford Still: The View from the 21st CenturySymposium, Sotheby’s New York, October 26, 2013.

“Dubuffet on Ossorio (and Pollock),” invited lecture, Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, NY, August 11, 2013.

“Éspace brut, pensée brute,” invited lecture, Devenir brut: croiser les regards linguistique, muséographique et philosophique sur les écrits bruts symposium organized by Vincent Capt, Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA), Paris, France, June 18, 2013 (participated from New York).

“Transatlantic Conversations and Abstract Expressionism,” Symposium Co-Organizer and Moderator, The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC (April 20, 2013).

“Clyfford Still in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” Clyfford Still Museum, Denver, CO (March 7, 2013).

“Rewriting the History of Art Brut,” Keynote Speaker, 10th Annual Outsider Art Fair, New York, February 1, 2013.

“On John Chamberlain’s Legacy,” interview for the documentary film, John Chamberlain, dir. Alexandra Fairweather (Guggenheim Museum, NY, April 2012).

“MoMA and the Future of Photography,” interview with Andrea Garcia-Vargas, The Eye, Columbia University’s Online Arts Magazine, September 22, 2011.

“On Jean Tinguely’s Homage to New York,” interview with Karin Kamp,, May 4, 2011.

“Clyfford Still and Posterity,” invited lecture, Columbia University Colloquium, Columbia University, NY, April 21, 2011.

Abstract Expressionism Scholars Colloquium, sponsored by the Stillman-Lack Foundation, New York, NY, July 23, 2010. 

“Chaissac, Dubuffet, Paulhan et le destin de la littérature prolétarienne dans la France d’après-guerre,” paper presented at theMichel Ragon, critique d’art et d’architecture symposium organized by Serge Guilbaut, Institut national d’histoire de l’art(INHA), Paris, France, June 3-5, 2010. [read online]

“Commitment and Consumerism: Artistic Culture in Europe at the mid-20th Century,” scholarly session, co-chaired with Prof. Alex Potts, CAA Conference, Chicago, February 10, 2010.


Hubert Damisch, "Dubuffet ou la lecture du monde" (1962), co-translated with Priya Wadhera as "Dubuffet, or the Reading of the World" Art in Translation 6:3 (2014): 299-316. [read online]

Hubert Damisch, "La Partie et le Tout" (1970), co-translated with Priya Wadhera as "The Part and The Whole" Art in Translation 4:2 (June 2012): 245-265. [read online]

Hubert Damisch, "L’Inventeur de la Peinture" (2001), co-translated with Eric Trudel as "The Inventor of Painting" Oxford Art Journal 33:3 (Fall 2010): 301-316. [read online]

Jean Dubuffet, "Honneur aux valeurs sauvages" (1951), translated as "In Honor of Savage Values," along with the Dubuffet—Lévi-Strauss Correspondence, in Res 46 (Autumn 2004): 259-268.

Honors and Awards

Archives of American Art Visiting Scholar Fellowship, Washington, DC
Morgan-Menil Fellowship, The Morgan Library and Museum, New York
Summer Institute in Technical Art History (STITAH), Institute of Fine Arts/ Metropolitan Museum of Art
Dedalus Foundation Dissertation Grant
C.V. Starr Foundation Fellowship, Columbia University, New York
Getty Library Research Grant, Getty Institute, Los Angeles