Irene Small

Assistant Professor, Department of Art & Archaeology

Princeton University

Irene V. Small teaches modern and contemporary art and criticism with a transnational focus. Her areas of specialization include experimental practices of the 1960s and ’70s, and art and theory in Latin America, particularly Brazil. Her book, Hélio Oiticica: Folding the Frame, examines the production of the Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica, who worked in Rio de Janeiro, London, and New York from the mid-1950s through the late 1970s. In particular, the book examines discourses of developmentalism and organic processes of emergence as they intersect in the articulation of a participatory art paradigm in mid-1960s Brazil. Small’s recent essays have considered autopoiesis and medium specificity and the historiography and ideology of the Brazilian avant-garde. Her research has been supported by a number of fellowships and grants, including the Getty Research Foundation, the Dedalus Foundation, the Creative Capital and Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, the Lemann Institute of Brazilian Studies, and the Research Board of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she was an assistant professor of art history from 2009 to 2012.

As a curator, Small organized Verbivocovisual: Brazilian Concrete Poetry at Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University, in 2006, and co-curated Multitude at Artists Space, New York City, in 2002. She contributed essays to the award-winning exhibition catalogue Picasso and the Allure of Language (Yale University Art Gallery, 2009) and in 2013 co-curated Blind Field, an exhibition of emerging and mid-career artists working in Brazil, which was presented at the Krannert Art Museum and the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.

She is a member of the São Paulo–based research platform Fórum Permanente of the Institute of Advanced Studies, University of São Paulo. At Princeton, she is member of the executive committees of the Program in Media and Modernity and the Gauss Seminars in Criticism. She is an affiliated faculty member of the Program in Latin American Studies and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.