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Research at St Andrews

Alistair Rider


Research overview

Alistair Rider researches the historical period 1950-1980. He has a special interest in minimalism in the United States, which he explored in his first book, Carl Andre: Things in their Elements (2011). This study argues for adopting a wider approach to the study of minimal art, one that recognizes the extent to which it is reliant on its historically specific context for its very particular effects and impact.

His recent research engages with notions of artistic selfhood. He is completing a book-length study of 7 twentieth-century artists who chose to pursue long-term art projects, and whose ongoing practice has become equally -- if not more -- important than their individual works. This investigation involves attending to the ways in which artists' lives intersect with wider cultural debates about 'how' we should live. 

More broadly, Alistair Rider has an interest in theories of modern sculpture from the nineteenth century to the present day. He is particularly concerned by questions relating to materiality, durability, contingency, manufacture, scale, modes of display, issues relating to point of view and location, as well as processes of perception. In recent years his research has also widened to embrace artists from a range of different countries, including Brazil, West Germany, Poland, Italy and Canada.

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