AnnMarie Perl

Associate Research Scholar and Lecturer
Office Phone
1N-7 Green Hall


AnnMarie Perl is a historian of modern and contemporary art. Her research focuses on how modern art relates to the larger culture, including through its formal, social and political dimensions, in different and related national contexts, especially those of France and the United States from the 1930s to the 1980s.

Prior to coming to Princeton, Perl was a Craig Hugh Smyth Fellow at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. At the Institute of Fine Arts, she was the co-organizer of the Artists at the Institute lecture series. She was also a doctoral fellow of the Remarque Institute at the École Normale Supérieure, Paris (fall 2012). Her research was previously supported by several fellowships and grants at New York University and has been conducted in museums, libraries, and public and private archives throughout Europe and the U.S., as well as through personal interviews in France and the U.S. In addition to presenting papers at domestic and international conferences and symposia, Perl recently co-organized, with Anthony Grudin, a conference at Princeton titled “Political Values, Market Values, Art Values: The Ethics of American Art in the 1980s,” which gathered scholars, who are involved in writing some of the first art histories of this period.

She is currently working on three book projects. The first, titled Showmanship: The Spectacularization of Painting in the United States and Europe, 1930s–1960s, takes seriously a category of artworks, that were taken seriously by artists, critics, and the public in their own time, but that have since been neglected and dismissed as ‘spectacle.’ The second book, tentatively titled From Kitsch to Criticality: Jeff Koons and the American Avant-Garde, charts long-term shifts within the American avant-garde by focusing on the example of Jeff Koons. She is also co-editing, with Anthony Grudin, a volume of papers from the recent conference on American art of the 1980s, with the goal of extending the question of ethics beyond the duality of criticality and complicity that characterized critical discourse during the period.

Teaching Interests

Perl previously taught the Western Art survey course, spanning the Renaissance and contemporary periods, in the Department of Art History at New York University. At Princeton, she has taught Art 214, a survey of contemporary art from 1950 to the present, as well as seminar courses, including: ‘Supply-side aesthetics: American Art in the Age of Reagan’ (co-listed with the Program in American Studies); ‘After the Fall: Art and Politics in France since 1940’ (co-listed with the Department of French and Italian); and ‘Avant-Gardism & (Anti) Capitalism (co-taught with Hal Foster and co-listed with European Cultural Studies and Visual Arts). Her courses emphasize first-hand examination of art objects and have included field trips to museum exhibitions and artists’ studios in New York City and Washington, D.C., as well as regular visits to the study rooms and galleries of the Princeton University Art Museum. Perl also advises undergraduate independent work, including senior theses in art history and studio art.


Ph.D., Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, 2014

Selected Publications

From Art & Language to October,” nonsite 37 (Winter 2021/2022), edited by Elise Archias, Contemporary Art and the PMC.

“‘A more public arena’: Jeff Koons’ Reinvention in the Midst of Reaganism,” Art History Vol. 43, Issue 3 (June 2020), pp. 474–508.

Mathieu, as seen from the United States, from the 1950s to today,” Georges Mathieu: Les années 1960–1970 (Paris: Galerie Templon, 2018), pp. 24–35.

In Focus: Meryon 1960-1 by Franz Kline, Tate Research Publication, 2017.

Defining Criticality as an Historical Object of the 1970s and 1980s,” Reframing the Critical: Contemporary Art in Theory, Practice and Instruction, eds. Pamela Fraser and Roger Rothman (New York: Bloomsbury, 2017), pp. 35–54.

Succès de ‘scandale’ and Biblical scandal: Yves Klein’s debut performance of the Anthropometries in 1960,” in Thresholds 43: Scandalous, ed. Nathan Friedman and Ann Lui (Cambridge, Mass.: SA+P Press, MIT, School of Architecture + Planning, 2015), pp. 12–19, 362–371.

Co-authored with Assaf Naor, “Introduction,” in Art in the Life of Mathematicians, ed. Anna Kepes Szemerédi (Providence, Rhode Island: American Mathematical Society, 2015), pp. 1–7.

Ottoman miniatures and Hungarian woodcuts: a strata of representations in common,” Beyond Boundaries: East & West Cross-Cultural Encounters. Ed. Michelle Ying Ling Huang (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011), pp. 53–73.

Contemporary Art
Modern Art
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