Niels Henriksen

Ph.D., 2022


Niels Henriksen is a Ph.D. candidate focusing on 20th-century European and American art. His areas of specialization are post-World War II painting, intersections between modern art, archaeology, anthropology, and ethnology, as well as the history of photography. Further research interests include the history of the theory of technology and global modernisms.

Niels is currently writing his dissertation on the archaeological logic of the art of the Danish painter, sculptor, and philosopher Asger Jorn (1914–1973). Beginning in 1947 and continuing throughout his career, Jorn created more than a dozen illustrated books on the evolution of prehistoric and medieval forms. Jorn’s adaptation of archaeological methods, such as stratification, sequencing, and serialization, soon went beyond the preparation of these books to guide his work in painting, drawing, and printmaking, making his archaeology, as he saw it, a technical and conceptual laboratory for his practice at large.

Receiving his M.A. from Princeton in 2014, Niels also holds an M.Litt. in the history of photography from the University of St Andrews and a M.A. in art history from the University of Copenhagen. In his M.Litt. thesis, he traced ideas of solidity through the British technical literature on photography from the 1840s and the 1850s. In his master's thesis, he analyzed the shifting concepts of pedagogy and participation defining three different artistic collaborations in Copenhagen in the long 1960s.

In 2012, Niels co-edited a special issue of the journal October on Asger Jorn to which he also contributed translations of five texts by the artist. His own research has been published in RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics, and he has contributed reviews to Bidoun, Camera Austria, Frieze, Frog, History of Photography, and other journals.

In 2009–2010, Niels was Helena Rubinstein Critical Fellow at The Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program. His research has since been supported by the Bikuben Foundation, The Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, the Donald and Mary Hyde Summer Fellowship, The New Carlsberg Foundation, The Sylvan C. Coleman and Pam Coleman Memorial Fund Fellowship, and a Getty Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship.