Charles P. Stevenson Professor of Art History and Humanities at Bard College
Kobena Mercer teaches and researches African American, Caribbean, and Black British art and is Charles P. Stevenson Professor of Art History and Humanities at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. He has taught at Yale University, New Haven, C.T.; New York University; University of California, Santa Cruz; and Goldsmiths, University of London, where he earned his Ph.D. Educated in Ghana and England, he was an inaugural recipient of the Clark Prize for Excellence in Arts Writing, awarded by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, in Williamstown, M.A., in 2006. Mercer’s first book, Welcome to the Jungle: New Positions in Black Cultural Studies (1994), was followed by monographic studies on Romare Bearden, Keith Piper, Isaac Julien, and James VanDerZee. His recent essay collection, Travel & See: Black Diaspora Art Practices since the 1980s (2016), examines artists such as John Akomfrah, Renée Green, and Kerry James Marshall, showing how Black artists have contributed to art’s transformation in an age of globalization, as Mercer also revealed in The Image of the Black in Western Art, vol. v, part 2, The Twentieth Century: The Rise of Black Artists (2014). Mercer edited and introduced Stuart Hall’s The Fateful Triangle: Race, Ethnicity, Nation (2017), and prior to that he conceived and edited the Annotating Art’s Histories series, published by MIT Press, whose titles are Cosmopolitan Modernisms (2005), Discrepant Abstraction (2006), Pop Art and Vernacular Cultures (2007), and Exiles, Diasporas & Strangers (2008). Recent exhibition catalogue contributions include Wifredo Lam at Centre Pompidou, Paris; Frank Bowling at Haus der Kunst, Munich; Adrian Piper at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Theaster Gates at Tate Liverpool. Mercer’s forthcoming book is Alain Locke and the Visual Arts, published by Yale University Press in 2022.