Ed Krčma

Ed Krčma


  • 0.24 Sainsbury Centre

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Any projects related to European and American art after 1945, or to the history and theory of drawings more broadly.

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Personal profile


Ed’s research focuses upon art made after 1945 in Europe and North America, and in particular upon problems of artistic autonomy, the history and theory of drawing, and the relationship between image and text. Ed’s first monograph Rauschenberg/Dante: Drawing a Modern Inferno, was published by Yale University Press in May 2017. He has written catalogue essays for the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Tate Modern, and the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh. His articles have appeared in Art History, Oxford Art Journal, Umění/ArtThe Burlington MagazineMaster Drawings, and Art in America.


Career History

Ed joined the Department of Art History and World Art Studies in 2015. For the previous seven years he was a lecturer in History of Art at University College Cork, Ireland, and prior to that taught at University College London, University of York, and Camberwell College of Art and Design. Ed has also worked as a curator, organising exhibitions of contemporary art, and is founding co-editor of the contemporary arts review magazine, Enclave Review (the magazine’s online archive is here).


Academic Background

B.A. History of Art, Nottingham University, 2000

M.A. History of Art, University College London, 2002

Ph.D. History of Art, University College London, 2007

Administrative Posts

Head of Department, Art History and World Art Studies, July 2021-present

Departmental Research Coordinator, September 2019-June 2021

Unit of Assessment Coordinator, Art History and World Art Studies, September 2016-July 2018

Acting Head of Department, Art History and World Art Studies, autumn 2017

Professional Activities

2020. 29 January. Invited lecture. ‘Compression and Riddlecraft: On Pavel Büchler’s “Small Sculptures”’. World Art Research Seminar, University of East Anglia.

2019. 15 October. Invited Lecture. ‘Drawing in the Daily News: Politics and Temporality in Robert Rauschenberg’s Transfer Drawings’. Tuesday Talks, organized by Pavel Büchler. Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester School of Art.

2019. 5 June. Invited speaker: ‘Büchler’s Compressions’. Symposium: Para-Tactics, Centre for the Study of Contemporary Art, UCL.

2019. 10 May. Invited speaker: ‘Marking Time, Moving Images: Drawing and Film’. Symposium: Contemporary Drawing, 1960 to Now. Courtauld Institute of Art.

2019. 3 Feb. Invited speaker: ‘Alison Turnbull in Conversation with Ed Krčma’. World Art Research Seminar, University of East Anglia.

2018. 28 Nov. Invited lecture, ‘The Politics of Rauschenberg’s Inferno Illustrations’. University of Kent Art History research seminar.

2018. 23 Oct. Invited lecture, ‘Interpreting the Sacred in Dante’s Comedy’, Sacred Traditions in the Arts seminar series, Kings College London / Courtauld Institute.

2018. 27 Sep. Invited speaker, ‘Panel Discussion: Our Confidence in the Artifice’ (Tacita Dean: Woman with a Red Hat). Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh.

2018. 11 May. Invited lecture, ‘Art, Autonomy, and the Absolute Commodity’. Philosophy Society, UEA.

2018. 24 Mar. Invited paper, ‘Magnitude and Compression’, for Scaling the Sublime symposium, Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham.

2018, 22 Feb. Presented paper ‘Drawing in Limbo: Rauschenberg’s Dante Illustrations and the Problem of Medium’ at the College Art Association Annual Conference, Los Angeles. (Panel entitled, Medium Sensitivity and the Ingenuity of Translation.)

2017, 27 Oct, invited lecture at conference, In and Out of American Art: Between Provincialism and Transnationalism, 1940-1980, University of St Andrews. ‘The Provincialism Problem in the Early Reception of Rauschenberg’s Work’.

2017, 25 Oct, University of Nottingham, invited History of Art research seminar paper, ‘Fortuna: Drawing, Contingency and Constraint in a Digital Age’

2017, 10 June, presentation at LIFEWORK symposium, University College London. ‘Rauschenberg’s Day Residues’.

2017, 6 April, conference presentation, 'Mobility, Contingency and Constraint in Robert Rauschenberg's Solvent Transfer Drawings,' Association of Art Historians Annual Conference 2017, Loughborough University.

2017, 16 March, invited lecture, 'Rauschenberg/Dante: Drawing a Modern Inferno,' Camberwell College of Arts, London

2017, 13 March, invited lecture for Modern and Contemporary Art Research Cluster, University of York, 'Rauschenberg, Dante and the Day's Residues'.

2017, 27 Feb., invited lecture for American Art Research Seminar, Courtauld Institute of Art, London, ‘Imagery, Allegory and Intention in Robert Rauschenberg’s Illustrations for Dante’s Inferno’.

2017, 16 Feb., invited lecture for Cambridge Digital Cultures Research Group, King’s College, Cambridge, ‘Fortuna: Drawing, Materiality and Contingency in a Digital Age’.

2016, 4 Nov., invited public lecture at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, ‘Rauschenberg/Dante: Drawing a Modern Inferno’

2015, 1 Oct., invited lecture at Edinburgh College of Art History of Art Research Seminar, ‘Compression’.

2015, 24 Feb., invited lecture at Drawing Institute of the Morgan Library and Museum, New York, ‘To Hell with the Media: On Robert Rauschenberg’s XXXIV Drawings for Dante’s Inferno.’

2014, 22 Nov., Keynote Address for The Land of Zero conference at the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, 'Utopia Zones: On Some Problems in Contemporary Art (via Joseph Beuys)’.

2014, 26 Feb., invited lecture at University of Glasgow, Institute of Art History: ‘Tacita Dean and Still Life’.

2013, 13 April, invited contribution to “Étant donnés”: Metamodernist Symposium, Modernisms Research Centre, University College Cork: ‘Chess Painting and Duchamp’s Modernism: A Conversation between Tom Hackney and Ed Krčma’.

2013, 6 Feb., invited lecture for Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin: ‘Alice Maher: Drawing, Contingency and Metamorphosis’.

2013, 2 Feb., invited paper for Eva Hesse in 1965 symposium, University College London: ‘Liquidity in Eva Hesse’s Machine Drawings’.

2012, 23 Nov., invited paper for Liquefactions conference, Universität der Künste, Berlin: ‘Liquid Language: On Henri Michaux and Marcel Broodthaers’.

2012, 16 Nov., invited paper for the symposium ‘Involuntary Drawing’ at Art Exchange, University of Essex: ‘Susan Morris: Action/Abstraction’.

2012, 8 March, invited gallery talk on Anna Barriball for Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh: ‘Rub and Bleed: The Meeting of Materials in Anna Barriball’s Drawings’.

2011, 19 May: invited lecture for Public Gesture @ The LAB, Dublin, ‘Shaman or Sham? The Myths and Materials of Joseph Beuys’.

2011, 12-13 May, guest lecture at Transatlantic Dialogues in the History of Art conference, organised by the Terra Foundation, École normale supérieure, Paris. ‘Signs and Spectres in Robert Rauschenberg’s XXXIV Drawings for Dante’s Inferno.’

2011, 9-12 Feb., presented a paper at College Art Association Annual Conference, New York: ‘Undoing as Doing: Erasure in Post-War Drawing’ (Session: ‘The Erasure of Contemporary Memory’)

2010, 28 April, invited paper for The Centre for the Study of Contemporary Art, London: ‘“The Mind As a Running Transformer”: On Robert Rauschenberg’s Small Rebus (1956).’

2010, 15 April, presented a paper (by proxy) at the Association of Art Historians Annual Conference in Glasgow: ‘Wols, Smallness and Creaturely Life’.

2009, 25 Sep., invited paper for The Drawing Incident conference @ Sint-Lucas Visual Arts, Ghent: ‘“Vanishing into Self-Variety:” Erasure and Contingency in Post-War Drawing.’

2009, 19 June, invited paper for ‘On Drawing’ symposium, University of York: ‘“Vanishing into Self-Variety:” Erasure and Contingency in Post-War Drawing.’

2008, April, Association of Art Historians Annual Conference, London: ‘Resistant Remainders: Beuys, Broodthaers and Tacita Dean’s Darmstädter Werkblock.’

2007, April, Association of Art Historians Annual Conference, Belfast: ‘Liquidity: Beuys, Drawing and ‘Material Imagination’’

2007, March, invited lecture for Wimbledon College of Art, London: ‘Drawing and Film’.

2006, March, invited lecture for Slade School of Fine Art, London: ‘A Dent in Falsity: Beuys and Broodthaers’.

2005, October, invited lecture for Prince’s Drawing School, London: ‘The Truant Hand and Cinematic Drawing in Matisse’s Themes and Variations.’


Teaching Interests

Teaching Interests:

American art after 1945

European art after 1945

History and Theory of Drawing

Contemporary art

The relationship between art, theory and philosophy in the 20th and 21st centuries


PhD Supervision: 

Ed is currently primary supervisor for four PhD projects:

Grace Thompson, Oct 2018-Present, CHASE funded. ‘Generating a Democratic Void: The Tate Turbine Hall Series and Its Public Spheres’

Ben Street, Jan 2020-Present, ‘Philip Guston's Pantheon: Painting as Art-Historical Practice’

Sarah Kelleher (based University College Cork), Irish Research Council funded. Sculpture's Metamorphoses: A study of the work of Maud Cotter, Dorothy Cross and Alice Maher since 2000'

Marta Colombo (based at the University of Kent), CHASE funded. Theatricality and Interactivity in the work of Alik Cavaliere


While working in the Department of History of Art at University College Cork, Ireland, Ed was primary supervisor for two PhD projects, both of which were completed and examined in 2016:

Rachel Warriner: 'Nancy Spero: Pain and Politics, 1966-1976' (Fully funded by the Irish Research Council)

Kirstie North: ‘Pedem Referens: Art Historical Memory and the Analogue in the Work of Tacita Dean, Jeremy Millar and Lucy Skaer’


Ed welcomes PhD proposals on any aspect of European and North American art after 1945, as well as broader projects concerning more theoretical aspects of art history and aesthetics. Please feel free to contact him directly for an initial discussion about potential PhD projects.

External Activities

External Examiner, M.A. in History of Art, University College London, 2018-present

External Examiner, M.A. in Art History, University of Nottingham, winter 2015 - present.

External Advisor for PhD upgrade of Andrew Symonds, Department of Art History, University of Edinburgh, September 2016

External Examiner, B.A. Art, Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, autumn 2015 - present. 

External Examiner, MSc programmes, ‘History of Art, Theory and Display’, and ‘Modern and Contemporary Art: History, Curating and Criticism’, University of Edinburgh, 2011-2015

Member of Programme Re-validation Panel for Faculty of Film, Art and Creative Technologies, Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, November 2014.

External Examiner for PhD of Stephanie Straine (The Ground of Drawing: Graphic Operations in the 1960s and 1970s), University College London, December 2013.

External reader of manuscripts for Art History, Papers of Surrealism, World Art, and Object.

Education/Academic qualification

Unknown, Doctor of Philosophy, University College London


Award Date: 30 Nov 2007

Unknown, Master of Arts, University College London


Award Date: 1 Nov 2002

Unknown, Bachelor of Arts, University of Nottingham


Award Date: 1 Jul 2000


  • N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
  • Drawing
  • Modern Art
  • Contemporary Art
  • Rauschenberg
  • Eva Hesse
  • Wols
  • Tacita Dean
  • Henri Matisse
  • Dante Drawings
  • Cinematic Drawing
  • William Kentridge