Associate Professor of Visual Studies
Visual Studies, Art History

Leah Modigliani, PhD

Leah Modigliani is Associate Professor of Visual Studies at Tyler School of Art and Architecture. She is an artist and scholar with transdisciplinary engagements informed by fine arts, art history, critical geography, urban studies, and politics. Modigliani’s work represents the liberatory potential (right to the city) and neoliberal revanchism (displacement, punitive laws) of urban experience. In artwork she has dwelled upon eviction ("How long can we tolerate this? An incomplete record from 1933-1999," 2016-2017); cities destroyed by war ("The City in Her Desolation," 2017) and natural disasters ("Cities of God" series 2021-22), and protests against injustices enacted in cities ("Washington D.C., 1939; Basel, 1957; Berkeley, 1969; Chicago, 1969; London, 1969; Windsor, 1982...," 2015-2018). While often sculptural, her work increasingly cites the form and history of photography, especially photography's role in constituting and deconstructing historical narratives.

Modigliani's writing can be found in academic journals and contemporary art magazines such as Platform Journal of Theatre and Performing Arts, Prefix Photo, Anarchist Studies, and Mapping Meaning, The Journal. Her book, Engendering an avant-garde: the unsettled landscapes of Vancouver photo-conceptualism, was published by Manchester University Press's Rethinking Art's Histories series in 2018. Her book Counter-Revanchist Art in the Global City: Walls, Blockades, and Barricades as Repertoires of Creative Action was published by Routledge in their Critical Studies in Urbanism and the City series in 2023.

PhD, Art History and Criticism, Stony Brook University, 2010
MFA, Sculpture, San Francisco Art Institute, 1997
BFA, Studio Art, Concordia University, 1993

Selected Awards and Residencies
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Archives Research Residency (2023)

Artist in Residence, Siena Art Institute (2022)

Critic in Residence (2017)
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) 

Canada Council Research Grant for Professional Independent Critics and Curators (2012)
Canada Council  

Selected Work

Modigliani, L. (2023) Counter Revanchist Art in the Global City: Walls, Blockades, and Barricades as Repertoires of Creative Action. London: Routledge.

Modigliani, L. (2020). Taking Space: Contemporary Women Artists and the Politics of Scale.
     Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum. 

Modigliani. L. (2019, Fall). Critical Plagiarism and the Politics of Creative Labor: Photographs,
     History, and Re-enactment
Mapping Meaning, the Journal 3, 86-99. 

Modigliani, L. (2018). Engendering an Avant-Garde: The Unsettled Landscapes of Vancouver 
Manchester: Manchester University Press.      

Modigliani, L. (2018). Washington D.C., 1939; Basle, 1957; Paris, 1958; Berkeley, 1969; 
     Chicago, 1969; London, 1969, Windsor, 1982
… Art Gallery of Windsor. Windsor, 
     ON, February 17–May 13, 2018.  

Modigliani, L. (2017–2018). How long can we tolerate this? An Incomplete Record from 
 Colby Museum of Art, Waterville, ME, September 1, 2017–January 7, 2018. 


Image credit: Temple University Photography / Joseph V. Labolito