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Dr Michael Asbury

University of the Arts London
Researcher Research
Michael  Asbury


Dr Michael Asbury is Reader in the History and Theory of Art and Deputy Director of the research centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation (TrAIN). An internationally recognised specialist in modern and contemporary art from Brazil, he has published extensively and has curated numerous exhibitions in the UK, Europe and Latin America.
Michael's practice questions art historical assumptions that both constitute and privilege the so-called Western canon. Methodologically located within decolonial and post-colonial perspectives, it focuses as much on genealogical constructions as it does on individual artistic trajectories. The transnational in this sense is considered through the articulation of artistic and curatorial agency and institutional critique.

Grants and awards

(Figures indicate amount awarded to UAL)

  • British Academy, Contemporary Brazilian Art, £9,219.00, (2019-2019)
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), The World Goes Pop: Pop Art in Latin America, £60,504.00, (2012-2015)
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Meeting Margins, £177,084.00, (2008-2011)

Research Outputs


Book Section

Conference, Symposium or Workshop item


Current research students

  • Gerard Choy, Sounding Chinese: Tracing the Voice of Early 20th-Century to Present-Day Transnational Chinese. (Lead supervisor)
  • Norma Copa-Schenke, Exposed Visions: Disappearance and re-appearance of the Indigenous in Patagonia. (Lead supervisor)
  • Lorenza Demata, The role of photography in the representation and redefinition of transnational identities (LCC) (Lead supervisor)
  • Ellen de Medeiros Nunes, Block-experiments in Cosmococa – Program in Progress: renewing the past and tracing the future (Lead supervisor)
  • Ana Beatriz Ferreira de Rocha e Silva, Spectacular architecture, identity crisis, cultural politics and the reinvention of the significance of museums of modern art. (Lead supervisor)
  • Lucia Gomez Mejía, The Rhythms of Remembering and Forgetting: A Shifting Relationship within Art Practice (Lead supervisor)
  • Carolina Gonçalves Cordeiro, Fernanda Gomes, the stories complement each other: the link between the modern project and contempor (Joint supervisor)
  • Sofia Gotti, Popular Politics: Pop Art Practices in Argentina, Brazil and Peru. (Lead supervisor)
  • Gustavo Grandal Montero, Concrete poetry, conceptual art and the 'turn to language' in the 1960s. (Lead supervisor)
  • Gustavo Grandal Montero, The 'Turn to language': Concrete poetry and conceptual art in the 1960s (Joint supervisor)
  • Alexandra Handal, Locating the Self: Palestine, diaspora, geographies and body in contemporary art. (Lead supervisor)
  • German Alfonso Nunez Adaid, Between Technophilia, Cold War and Rationality: A Social and Cultural History of Digital Art. (Lead supervisor)
  • Lynton Talbot, Exploring Constitutive Practice: A New Curatorial Paradigm (Joint supervisor)
  • Suzana Vaz, The Archaic makes the Avant-Garde. Experimental Practice and Primordial Image. Reading the Brazilian Post-Neoconcrete and the Japanese Gutai Artists through Mircea Eliade and Carl Gustav Jung. (Lead supervisor)
  • Anna Vickers, Revealing and concealing in post-1970's painting. (Lead supervisor)

Past research students

  • Fernanda Albertoni, Reordering images and constructing memory: three artists-archivists in Brazil. (Lead supervisor)
  • Vasiliki Christouli, Site-Specific Art as an exploration of Spatial and Temporal Limitations. (Lead supervisor)
  • Caroline De Menezes, Smoke Sculptures: How to map the "aesthetical experience" of post-Duchampian art? (Lead supervisor)
  • Samson Kambalu, 13th Room: The General Economy in Meschac Gaba's Museum of Contemporary African Art. (Lead supervisor)
  • Maria Kheirkhah, 'Scheherazade Emerging (2000-2012); Reconstructing the Oriental Female Other in Contemporary Western Visual Culture' (Lead supervisor)
  • Maria Kheirkhah, Another Emerging: Re-constructing the Islamo-Orientalised Female Other in Contemporary Western Visual Culture (TrAIN) (Joint supervisor)
  • Amy McDonnell, Why do we Associate?: Artists' Group Work between Cuba and the UK. (Lead supervisor)


Curation and culture
Fine art