Terra Foundation-supported Events

Study Day: “Erased, Replaced, Omitted, Denied: American Art and Negation”

Art historical negation removes the past in ways historical, intellectual, visual, and physical, through acts which can be accidental or purposeful, political or aesthetic, personal or institutional. This study day seeks to rediscover what has been lost, forgotten, or suppressed in the construction of an American art history. In revealing these losses, this study day is interested in reconstructions and recoveries that challenge a unified narrative or simple chronology—put another way, in the construction of the existing narratives, what has been removed and why? How does reintroducing these incidents affect our understanding of American art? Why have artists erased (or attempted to erase) their work or their biography? How does the obliterated or erased object have a legacy and what is added to the work in its absent state? How have institutions and museums dealt with erasures and influenced our understanding of this history? Of particular interest are papers which address historiographic or biographical erasures, institutional practices of suppression or aesthetics of emptiness, obfuscation, silence or deletion.

Organized by Sarah Archino, Terra Foundation for American Art Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at the Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA), in partnership with Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7, Université Paris-Ouest Nanterre La Défense, and François-Rabelais Université de Tours.

Simultaneous translation will be provided with the support of the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, Délégation générale à la langue française et aux langues de France.


9:30: Coffee

9:45: Welcome and introductions by Sarah Archino, Terra Foundation for American Art Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, INHA; Larisa Dryansky, Scientific Advisor, INHA; and Veerle Thielemans, European Academic Programs Director, Terra Foundation for American Art

Session 1 


  • Respondent: Wendy Bellion, Terra Foundation for American Art Visiting Professor and Associate Professor, University of Delaware
  • Gregor Stemmrich, Professor, Freie Universität, Berlin, “Robert Rauschenberg’s Erased de Kooning Drawing (1963)”
  • Jenevive Nykolak, PhD Candidate, University of Rochester, “Andy Warhol’s End of Painting”

Session 2


  • Respondent: Hélène Valance, Terra Foundation for American Art Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, Courtauld Institute of Art
  • Jo Applin, Senior Lecturer, University of York, “Down Tools, or Lee Lozano’s Erasures”
  • Monica Steinberg, PhD Candidate, City University of New York, “Erasure and (Re)construction: From Judy Gerowitz to Judy Chicago”

12:45–2:30: Lunch

Session 3 


  • Respondent: François Brunet, Professor, Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7
  • Tanya Sheehan, Associate Professor, Colby College, “The Politics of Erasure: Writing American Art History in Black and White”
  •  Emilie Blanc,  PhD Candidate, Université Rennes 2, “Exclusion/Inclusion: Native American Art et musées aux États-Unis depuis les années 1970”
  • Elisa Capdevilla, Research Associate, Centre d’histoire culturelle des sociétés contemporaines, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, “Effacer le séjour à Paris : les réécritures biographiques des Américains expatriés à Paris dans les années 1950–1960”
  • Anna Markowska, Professor, Uniwersytet Wrocławski, “Erasures and obliterations in reading American art in the ‘most joyful barrack of the Soviet bloc’”