Dr Nicola McCartney

Profile image of Dr Nicola McCartney

Dr Nicola McCartney

Lecturer, Cultural Studies for Fashion and Jewellery and Textiles

Central Saint Martins


Nicola McCartney is an artist and educator, and lectures in Cultural Studies on the Fashion and Jewellery and Textiles programmes at Central Saint Martins.

Nicola has undertaken residencies overseas and in the UK, and last year at Yinka Shonibare MBE’s studio. She is a graduate of the Slade School of Fine Art and obtained her Master’s degree in History of Art from Christ Church, University of Oxford. She is currently an Associate Research Fellow in the History of Art Department at Birkbeck, University of London, where she also completed her PhD researching artistic identity and authorship. Her monograph, Death of the Artist: art world dissidents and their alternative identities is out later this year. Nicola was a Trustee of the Association of Art Historians from 2012-14 and has previously written for British Art Journal, The Spectator and Apollo magazine.

Research interests

Ageing; authorship; celebrity culture; contemporary art; cultural appropriation; documentation; drag; femininity/feminism; gender/gender-deviance; historiography; otherness; performance; resistance.

Research statement

My current book project Death of the Artist studies a series of contemporary artists who defy the traditional role of the artist-author: Art and Language, Guerrilla Girls, Bob and Roberta Smith, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd and Lucky PDF. I use these to articulate a contemporary discussion on artistic authorship - how do emerging artists navigate intellectual property or work collectively and share recognition? How might a pseudonym aid ‘artivism’? Through the use of anonymity, pseudonyms and/or collective practice, I demonstrate how an alternative identity can be used to challenge the art market and is perhaps symptomatic of a greater cultural and political rebellion. I am interested in the politics of the art world's financially incentivised infrastructures and how they might be reshaped from within.

Project awards, and grants

Associate Research Fellow, History of Art, Birkbeck, University of London (2016-17)

Association of Art Historians Image Grant

Lead Artists for Guest Projects, an initiate of Yinka Shonibare’s Studio (2016)

1st Place Prize Winner, Life With Art (2013)

Trustee of the Association of Art Historians (2012-2014)

Getty Foundation Research Grant (2013)
Chair, Student Members’ Committee, Association of Art Historians (2012-2014)

Artist Patron of Hammersmith and Fulham Community Law Centre (2010-present)

Slade School of Fine Art Project Award (2007)

Euan Uglow Memorial Scholarship (2003-7)

Selected research outputs