David Gracie Masters of Research in Creative Practices (Mres - GSA)

Job Title:

PhD Research Student




Forum for Critical Inquiry

Forum for Critical Inquiry


David Gracie

Subversive Art as Place, Identity and Bohemia: The San Francisco Bay Area 1945-1965

Supervisor: Dr Sarah Lowndes, Susan Brind

This project investigates how artists belonging to groups marginalized within Western culture i.e. persons of ethnic descent, women, gay people and those adopting a bohemian or critical political stance, create despite enforced invisibility within dominant society. My goal is to provide a study contradicting or supplementing accepted illusory art histories, examining motivations of artists working despite marginalized status. My aim is researching impacts of race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, gender orientation, and period material culture on said artists, specifically those working within the uniquely hybridized culture of the San Francisco bay area during the indicated time period.

I examine the roles of marginal identity and socially determined status as reflecting in output, contributing to dialogic cultural presence and inflecting potentially canonical art. Marginalized persons compose part of every Western cultural totality. The introduction of marginalized art into mainstream culture eventually impacts cultural perceptions of contemporary and future landscapes and resulting quotidian society. The bay area itself is marginalized within Californian culture as is that of the state within larger American culture: as such, bay area regional art world contributions are under-examined.

Identity is the means by which we narrate ourselves both internally and externally. Depending on our purported position or how we are perceived, the overarching culture rewards or penalizes us with recognition or its lack. As I examine marginalized art and artists, I explore work that has gone unacknowledged by art history yet has impacted art cannon as well as influencing the cultures in which we reside. Our daily lives are inflected by un- or under-recognized individuals and ethnographic groups.