Jordana Moore Saggese holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Illinois. Her work focuses on modern and contemporary art with an emphasis on theorizations of blackness. Saggese’s writing has appeared in Exposure: The Journal of the Society for Photographic Education, The International Review of African-American Artnka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, and Art Journal. She has published work online for Artforum, CAA Reviews, and Khan Academy

Saggese’s first book Reading Basquiat: Exploring Ambivalence in American Art, which reexamines the painting practice of the often-mythologized 1980s art star Jean-Michel Basquiat, was published by the University of California Press in the summer of 2014 and won the PEN Center USA Award for Exceptional First Book.

As an expert on the work of Basquiat, Dr. Saggese recently travelled to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture to participate in a recent panel on the artist and his legacy. You can see the recording of that event here. At the annual conference of the College Art Association in 2016, she also presented a new paper on Basquiat and the art market, which will be published in an edited volume with Rutledge in late 2016. In Fall 2016 Saggese published a lead essay for the exhibition, “Jean-Michel Basquiat: Words are All We Have” (Nahmad Contemporary).You can see a list of upcoming events and links to publications on her website.

Saggese’s newest research concerns representations of the black athletic body in popular culture and fine art of the twentieth century. Other research and teaching interests include performance, critical race art history, identity politics, postcolonial theory, African diaspora theory as well as the intersections between musical, visual, and literary practices.


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