John C. Welchman is Professor of art history in the Visual Arts department at the University of California, San Diego and chair of the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. His books include Modernism Relocated: Towards a Cultural Studies of Visual Modernity (Allen & Unwin, 1995), Invisible Colours: A Visual History of Titles (Yale, 1997), Art After Appropriation: Essays on Art in the 1990s (Routledge, 2001), Vasco Araújo (ADIAC, 2007), and Paul McCarthy: Caribbean Pirates (forthcoming, 2014). He is coauthor of The Dada & Surrealist Word-Image (MIT, 1989), Mike Kelley (Phaidon, 1999), On the Beyond: A Conversation between Mike Kelley, Jim Shaw and John C. Welchman (Springer, 2011), Kwang Young Chun: Mulberry Mindscapes (Skira Rizzoli, 2014), and Joseph Kosuth: Re-Defining the Context of Art: 1968–2014; The Second Investigation and Public Media (forthcoming, 2014); and editor of Rethinking Borders (Minnesota UP/Routledge, 1996) and Sculpture and the Vitrine (Ashgate, 2013). His XX to XXI: Essays on European Art will be published by Akal, Madrid in Spanish, in 2014; and XX to XXI: Essays on Contemporary European Art by Sternberg, Berlin (2014), the first of a series of six volumes of his collected writings.
Welchman was founder and chair of the Southern California Consortium of Art Schools and editor of its publication series for JRP|Ringier: Recent Pasts: Art in Southern California from the 90s to Now (2005); Institutional Critique and After (2006); The Aesthetics of Risk (2008); and Black Sphinx: On the Comedic in Modern Art (2010). He is also editor of the collected writings of Mike Kelley: Foul Perfection: Essays and Criticism (MIT, 2003); Minor Histories (MIT, 2004); Mike Kelley: Interviews, Conversations, and Chit-Chat, 1988-2004 (JRP|Ringier, 2005).
He has written for Artforum (where he had a column in the late 1980s and early 90s), Screen, the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, the Economist among other newspapers and journals; and contributed catalogue essays for exhibitions at the Louvre (Paris), Tate (London and Liverpool), Reina Sophia (Madrid), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), the LA County Museum of Art, the Sydney Biennial, Vienna Museum of Contemporary Art, the Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), the Ludwig Museum (Budapest), Haus der Kunst (Munich),and the Edinburgh Festival.
Recent and current exhibition projects include essays for the catalogues of Paul McCarthy: LaLa Land Parody Paradise, Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2005; Mike Kelley, Day is Done, Gagosian Gallery, New York, 2005; Incheon International Women’s Bienniale, Korea, 2007; Tim Hawkinson: Mapping the Marvellous, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2008 Joseph Kosuth, Ni Appearance, Ni Illusion, Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2009; John Baldessari: Pure Beauty, Tate Modern, London, and LACMA, 2009; Andreas Hofer, Goetz Collection, Munich, 2009; Cosima von Bonin, KUB, Bregenz, 2010; René Magritte: The Pleasure Principle, Tate Liverpool and Albertina, Vienna, 2011–12; Jim Shaw: The Rinse Cycle, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, 2012; Richard Jackson: Ain’t Painting a Pain, Orange County Museum of Art and SMAK, Ghent, 2013–14; Mike Kelley, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Centre Pompidou, Paris, MoMA PS1, New York, and MOCA, Los Angeles, 2012–14; and Ricardo Brey, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana, Havana, 2014.