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Sue Taylor
Sue Taylor

Professor Emerita, Modern Art History
College of the Arts


Former museum curator and newspaper critic and Professor Emerita of Art History and former Associate Dean in the College of the Arts at PSU, Sue Taylor earned her B.A. at Roosevelt University and her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. A prolific writer on modern and contemporary art, she has published in American Art, American Craft, Art Journal, Art News, ArtUS, Dialogue, Fiberarts, the New Art Examiner, Chicago Sun-Times, Oregonian, and other venues, and is a longtime corresponding editor for Art in America.

Her book on Hans Bellmer, The Anatomy of Anxiety (MIT Press, 2000), explored the work of the German-born Surrealist from feminist and psychoanalytic perspectives, lenses she has also applied in scholarly essays on artists Jackson Pollock and Eva Hesse among others, with grants and fellowships from the American Association of University Women, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Research Center, American Psychoanalytic Association, Smithsonian Institution, and the Society for the Preservation of American Modernists. Her essay "Grant Wood's Family Album" won the Smithsonian's Patricia and Philip Frost Prize for 2005, and she continues her probing research on the famous painter of American Gothic in a forthcoming book on "Grant Wood's Secrets: Duplicity and Desire in the American Midwest."

In her most recent work on abstract painting and collage, Professor Taylor thinks deeply about the relationship of these modes to dynamic psychic processes, drawing on British object-relations theory to illuminate their enduring value and meaning for artists and audiences in the twenty-first century. She has lectured widely on these and other topics at universities and museums across the country, and over the past decade her critical writings have been translated in Portuguese, Italian, Turkist, and Japanese. In Portland, her extensive community service has engaged with her arts organizations such as Disjecta, the Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Jewish Meseum and Center for Holocaust Education, Oregon Visual Arts Ecology Project, and Regional Arts and Culture Council.