The VMC Research Group at Northumbria provides a dynamic hub for researchers and students engaged with the historical and theoretical analysis of art, culture, design, museums and architecture. The group acts as a forum to bring together researchers across the university and offers an annual programme of events relating to current issues in visual and material culture research
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Elizabeth Fisher

Dr Elizabeth Fisher is a curator and historian of contemporary and C20th art, and Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow in the Department of Arts.

A graduate of Fine Art at Newcastle University, she also holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Cambridge and an MA from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, NY, where she also held a postgraduate curatorial fellowship. She is a member of the Clore Leadership Network and has worked independently and in curatorial positions within museums and galleries in the UK and US including the Whitney Museum, New York and Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge. She has curated over 40 exhibitions and writes regularly on post-war and contemporary British art, with particular interest in the intersection of artistic and curatorial practices, collaborative and interdisciplinary working methods. She has co-edited publications such as On Not Knowing: How Artists Think with Rebecca Fortnum (London: Black Dog 2013) and The Experimental Generation: Networks of Interdisciplinary Practice in Postwar British Art with Bronac Ferran (Interdisciplinary Science Reviews vol 42 nos. 1-2: special double issue, July 2017). In 2012 she began working with the artist Gustav Metzger to develop research and curatorial projects including Gustav Metzger: Lift Off! (2014) and Destroy, and you create: Gustav Metzger in King’s Lynn (2019). She has continued her close engagement with the artist’s work and will curate the first exhibition and publication devoted to Metzger’s works on paper in 2023.

Her current research, ‘Negotiating Modernism: Experimental and Expanded Practice in the Rural North, 1945-1980’ examines how remote, rural and peripheral places in Scotland & the north of England functioned as sites of critical enquiry and artistic experiment in postwar British art. Focusing on the pioneering and avant-garde work of Kurt Schwitters in the Lake District, Ian Hamilton Finlay in the Pentland Hills and Li Yuan-chia in the North Pennines, this research posits a relational understanding of the artist’s creative encounter with place (rather than as a response to the given characteristics of these landscapes) and considers the ways in which a shared experience of enforced exile and outsiderness links all three artists’ engagement with the rural north.