Director of Postgraduate Study
Professor of Modern Art History
The artistic 'avant-garde'
Relevance of the 'avant-garde' to contemporary art practice and the creative industries sector of the economy.
London and Paris c1900 - 1915
Public spaces of cubism
Avant-garde groupings in the capital cities of Europe
Professor David Cottington is Professor of Modern Art History at Kingston and Director of Postgraduate Studies.
Cottington is an expert on cubism and modern art and has published several books on the subject. The most recent, of these is Modern Art: A Very Short Introduction published by the Oxford University Press in 2005. His other publications have included, Cubism in the Shadow of War: The Avant-Garde and Politics in Paris, 1905-1914, Movements in Modern Art: Cubism, and Cubism and its Histories.
As his work has progressed Cottington has become increasingly interested in the artistic 'avant-garde', both as a concept and as a historical formation. One aspect of this work which has been a central part of his research now is the question of the relevance (or otherwise) of the 'avant-garde' as both concept and historical formation to contemporary art practice and the creative industries sector of the economy.
He is currently working on a book on the formations of the avant-garde in London and Paris c1900-1915, which will explore the differences, and relations, between the discourses and institutional developments that shaped the emergence and consolidation of these formations. A starting-point for this is a comparison of the positions of Picasso and Augustus John in 1907.This project is preliminary to a proposed international collaborative project, 'mapping' this emergence and consolidation, on a European (and, to some extent, global) scale. This will identify a number of key typologies of the avant-garde groupings that appeared in the capital cities of Europe (and North and South America) in the pre-First World war period.
Cottington is currently working on a proposal for a major exhibition on the 'public spaces of cubism', to mark the centenary of the public launch of the movement in Paris in 1911.