George Baker (art historian)

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George Baker is an American art historian of modern and contemporary art. He is especially known for his writings on photography. He is a professor of art history at the University of California, Los Angeles[1] and an editor of the journal October.[2] Reviewing a book that Baker wrote on Dada, Merlin James wrote "What Baker really offers, perfectly reasonably, is high-end, post-modern theorising, with just a touch of unconventionality in honour of his subject’s way-outness."[3]


Baker studied art history at Yale University and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University, also studying at the Whitney Independent Study program in New York.[4] While at Columbia his advisors were Rosalind E. Krauss and Benjamin H. D. Buchloh.[5] He edited an October Book on James Coleman, published in 2003, and has published "The Artwork Caught by the Tail: Francis Picabia and Dada in Paris" in 2007.[6] He is also a critic of contemporary art, a contributor to Artforum magazine, he has written essays on the work of artist Paul Chan amongst others.[7] In 2008 he participated in the conference Canvases and Careers Today at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main, that was subsequently published as a book, delivering a paper called "Late Criticism".[8]

In 2009, Baker led an attempt to save the fine arts library on the UCLA campus, launching a Facebook page and an online petition.[9]


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  4. ^ Singerman, Howard. A history of the Whitney Independent Study Program - In Theory & Practice. Artforum, November 2004.
  5. ^ Baker, George. The Artwork Caught by the Tail: Francis Picabia and Dada in Paris. Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2007. p. xiii
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  7. ^ Chan, Paul. The 7 Lights. Serpentine Gallery, New Museum and Walther Konig, 2008
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