Deputy Director (Postgraduate and Research)
Susan Best is an art historian with expertise in critical theory and modern and contemporary art.
Her book, Visualizing Feeling: Affect and the Feminine Avant-garde (London: I.B. Tauris, 2011) focuses on four women artists of the 1960s and 70s: Eva Hesse, Lygia Clark, Ana Mendieta and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. It shows how their work transforms the avant-garde protocols of the period by introducing an affective dimension to late modern art. The project was funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery grant. In 2012, the book won the best book prize awarded by the Art Association of Australia and New Zealand. In 2013, it was short-listed for the American College Art Association Frank Jewett Mather award for art criticism.
She recently completed her third book titled Reparative Aesthetics: Witnessing in Contemporary Art Photography (forthcoming Bloomsbury 2016). This book offers a new way of thinking about the role of politically engaged art. It examines the work of five women photographers from the southern hemisphere who are pioneering a reparative approach to art about shameful histories.
In 2012, she curated an exhibition at the University of Sydney Art Museum, "Vibration, Vibraçao, Vibración" that examined the South American art of the 1960s and 70s in the Power Collection.
In 2015, she curated an exhibition of the photographs of Fiona Pardington and Rosângela Rennó for the University of Sydney Art Gallery, the exhibition was chosen as a national highlight in the visual arts by Australian Book Review. In April 2016, it will open at Griffith University Art Gallery.