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Guilbaut, Serge

    Image Credit: The University of British Columbia

    Full Name: Guilbaut, Serge

    Other Names:

    • Serge Guilbaut

    Gender: male

    Date Born: unknown

    Date Died: unknown

    Home Country/ies: France

    Subject Area(s): art theory and Marxism


    Professor of art history at the University of British Columbia; Marxist (methodology) art historian. Guilbaut graduated from the University of Pau, Pau, France in 1965 with a B.A. in philosophy. He moved to University of Bordeaux where he was granted his Licence in 1969 and master’s degree in 1972. Guilbaut entered the graduate program at U.C.L.A., attracted to the progressivest/Marxist (methodology) program there led by O. K. Werckmeister and T. J. Clark. In 1976, as a part of the nascent Caucus for Marxism and Art of the College Art Association, Guilbaut delivered a paper along with other prominent Marxist art historians, including Werckmeister, Lee Baxandall, and Clark. Guilbaut mounted an art history symposium at U.C.L.A., “War Crisis: Art Production in Times of Turmoil” with fellow students Thomas E. Crow, Ken Silver, Liz Baldewicz, and Marcia Byrstryn. He received his Ph.D. in 1979 with a dissertation (written in French) on the ideology of Abstract Expressionism, supervised by Clark. After graduation he was appointed to the art history department at the University of British Columbia, Canada. In 1983 Guilbaut published a revised version of this thesis as How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art: Abstract Expressionism, Freedom and the Cold War. He was appointed (full) professor in 1990. In 2003 he was awarded a Getty Research Institute Distinguished Research scholarship.

    Selected Bibliography

    [dissertation:] Création et développement d’une avant-garde à New York: et son antagonisme idéologique avec Paris, 1945-1955. University of Carlifornia, Los Angeles, 1979; “The New Adventures of the Avant Garde in America: Greenberg, Pollock, or Trotskyism to the New Liberalism of the ‘Vital Centre’:” October 15, (Winter 1980): 61-78; “Art History After Revisionism: Poverty and Hopes”, Art Criticism 2, no. 1, (1985): 39-50; How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art: Abstract Expressionism, Freedom and the Cold War. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983; “Post-war Painting Games: the Rough and the Slick,” in Reconstructing Modernism. Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press, 1990, pp 30-85; “The New Adventures of the Avant Garde in America.” in Frascina, Francis, ed. Pollock and After: The Critical Debate (second ed.). London: Routledge, 2001. pp.197-211.


    curriculum vitae;


    "Guilbaut, Serge." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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