Dr Karen Di Franco Doctorate; MA Contemporary Art Theory; BA (Hons) Fine Art

Job Title:

Programme Leader, M.Litt. Curatorial Practice (Contemporary Art)


School of Fine Art



Karen Di Franco: 160303-ChelseaSpace-1

Karen Di Franco: 160303-ChelseaSpace-1


Dr Karen Di Franco

Dr Karen Di Franco can act as a Primary or Co-Supervisor.
Research Keywords: Archives, writing, publishing, feminism

Dr Karen Di Franco is Programme Leader of M. LItt Curatorial Practice (Contemporary Art) at Glasgow School of Art. Her background includes teaching post-graduate students in curating, history of art, and writing, where she specialises in post-1960s feminist art practice, the materiality of artists’ publishing and the context of iteration and conceptualism in fiction writing and performance Her PhD research titled Embodied Iteration: Materialising the Language of Writing and Performance in Women Artists’ Publishing, 1968–1979 was funded by the AHRC collaborative Doctoral Partnership and based between the University of Reading and Tate Britain (2015-2020).

With a background in digital archiving, as a curator Di Franco has organised exhibitions that explore the contexts of archives and publishing, with a focus on practices that emerge between text and performance, the page, and the body. Concerned with an inter-generational dialogue with these forms, these exhibitions challenge categorisations of archive, artwork, and ephemera. She has worked for public organisations such as Spike Island, the Contemporary Art Society and Book Works, and has been Programme Curator at Chelsea Space, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL since 2013.

Recent projects include: p- ool- s o-f t- he ou- t- l- ine- s, solo commission with Anna Barham at Chelsea Space (2021); WE WILL PLUCK OUR MAGIC TWANGERS, a programme of readings, audio and moving image works, co-curated with Irene Revell at Whitechapel Gallery (2019); ORGASMIC STREAMING ORGANIC GARDENING ELECTROCULTURE, group exhibition co-curated with Irene Revell, including Carolee Schneemann, Alison Knowles, Charlotte Prodger, Tai Shani at Chelsea Space (2018); The sun went in, the fire went out: landscapes in film, performance and text, group exhibition, co-curated with Elisa Kay, including, Annabel Nicolson, Carlyle Reedy and Marie Yates at Chelsea Space (2016).

She writes regularly, contributing to magazines such as Art Monthly, Art Review, Tinted Window and Bricks From the Kiln. Upcoming work includes catalogue essays for solo presentations of the artists Carolee Schneemann (Barbican, 2022) and Nancy Holt (Bildmuseet, Sweden, 2022) and presentations at the international conferences, Eroticism, Poetic Concretism, and Visuality (1960-1970), Centre Pompidou, Paris, and Xerography-Women Artists 1965-1990, Getty/INHA, Paris, both 2021.

She is currently involved in the research project American Art Archives in Britain organised by the Courthauld and Terra Foundation, and is a member of the Association of Art Historians.