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Tenley Bick

Published May 25, 2018

Dr Tenley Bick

Assistant Professor
Global Contemporary Art
PhD University of California, Los Angeles
Curriculum Vitae
On research leave 2019–2020, Scholar in Residence, Magazzino Italian Art (she, her)
3020 William Johnston Building
(850) 644-4161

Research Areas

Dr. Tenley Bick joined the art history faculty at Florida State University in the fall of 2018. Dr. Bick is an art historian of global contemporary art, with special interests in post-WWII European and contemporary African art (continental and diasporic), and a focus on social art history and cultural geopolitics. Her research and teaching are dedicated to the investigation of modern and contemporary art history as a global field, and to the examination of art and social context on a local and global level. Topics of interest include artistic internationalism and its cultural politics after World War II, postcolonial modernisms, diasporic cinemas, historiography and global politics, and artistic labor and process, among others.

Her current book project, Where There’s Everything: Michelangelo Pistoletto and World-Building in Arte Povera, examines the work of the contemporary Italian artist within the politicized cultural contexts of post-WWII Italy and Europe, and against the broader geopolitical horizon for art of the 1960s. Focusing especially on the artist’s investigation of conventional figuration as a critical model for postwar creative practice, her book offers a counter-narrative to dominant histories of postwar art in and out of Italy, and theorizes a new language of figuration for the broader field of art history. Her research also includes a second book-length project on contemporary art and Italian colonialism.

Her scholarship and professional activities have been supported by the Institute for International Education (IIE), the University of California, Los Angeles, Florida State University, Magazzino Italian Art Foundation, the Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History, and the Italian Art Society. Her recent publications have appeared in Third Text, African Arts and in Theorizing Visual Studies: Writing through the Discipline (eds. J. Elkins and K. McGuire, et al). Her translation work (Italian to English) has also been published, appearing in the catalogue for the internationally traveling exhibition, Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974 (eds. M. Kwon and P. Kaiser). She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Art History from UCLA and a B.A. with Honors in Art History from Stanford University. Prior to joining the faculty at FSU, she was Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History at Washington College.


Cindy Evans

Graduate Seminars

• Postwar Italian Art
• The Global Sixties

Undergraduate Seminars

• Contemporary Art and Artistic Labor

Undergraduate Lecture Courses

• Contemporary African Art

Book in Preparation

Where There’s Everything: Michelangelo Pistoletto and World-Building in Arte Povera

Selected Publications

“What Goes Around Comes Around: Myth and Male Trauma in Somali Diasporic Cinema,” Third Text 33, no. 2 (2019): 153–177.

“Suspensions of Self-Perception: On Vision and Subjectivity in Contemporary Art.” In Theorizing Visual Studies: Writing Through the Discipline, edited by James Elkins and Kristi McGuire, with Maureen Burns, Alicia Chester, and Joel Kuennen. New York: Routledge, 2012.

“Horror Histories: Apartheid and the Abject Body in the Work of Jane Alexander,” African Arts 43, no. 4 (Winter 2010): 30–41.


Celant, Germano. Interview by Miwon Kwon and Philipp Kaiser. Translated from the original Italian by Tenley Bick. In Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974, edited by M. Kwon and P. Kaiser, 123–27. Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2012. Previously unpublished contribution. Catalogue published in association with the internationally traveling exhibition of the same title.