Robert Bailey is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Oklahoma with affiliate faculty status in Film and Media Studies. He received his Ph.D. in the History of Art and Architecture from the University of Pittsburgh, where he also studied philosophy. Bailey researches and teaches the history of modern and contemporary art as well as the historiography and methodology of art history. His work explores how artists and art historians configure relations of theory and practice amidst ongoing historical transformations, including globalization, the digital revolution, and the Anthropocene.
Bailey’s work on conceptual art and conceptualism has resulted in two books that situate their intellectual character within changing geopolitical contexts: a monograph titled Art & Language International: Conceptual Art between Art Worlds (Duke, 2016) and a volume of Terry Smith’s writings that he edited and introduced, One and Five Ideas: On Conceptual Art and Conceptualism (Duke, 2017). His writing has also appeared in a number of exhibition catalogs as well as the journals October, Marges, Technology and Culture, World Art (Shijie meishu), Broadsheet, and Contemporaneity, which he co-founded.
Currently, Bailey is completing two books. One considers how artists address the shifting status of labor in the post-Fordist economy, and the other draws on extensive field research in arid regions of the western United States to propose methods for giving art-historical accounts of the effects that human artfulness has on nature.
Bailey collaborates with Todd Stewart in the Fieldworks initiative, which will exhibit at the Southern Utah Museum of Art in the fall of 2019, and he also contributes to the Inhabiting the Anthropocene research group, writing regularly about art history and nature for its blog.