Katherine M. Kuenzli’s research focuses on European modernism 1880-1940, which she studies from a broad cultural and political perspective. Her first book, The Nabis and Intimate Modernism: Painting and the Decorative at the Fin de Siècle (Routledge, 2010), examines the decorative painting of Nabi artists Edouard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard, Maurice Denis, Paul Sérusier, and Paul Ranson, reconstructing their relationship to Impressionism, mass culture, literary Symbolism, Art Nouveau, Wagnerianism, and a revolutionary artistic tradition. The book re-positions the Nabis to occupy a crucial place in modernism’s development from 1860 to 1914 and also challenges that narrative to place more emphasis on notions of decoration, totality and interiority.
Kuenzli’s current projects include a monograph, Henry van de Velde: Designing Modernism (under contract with Yale University Press) and a translation and scholarly edition that she is preparing together with Kathleen James-Chakraborty and Michael André, Henry van de Velde: Selected Essays, 1889-1914. Together, these projects recover van de Velde’s important role in Neo-Impressionist painting and the German Werkbund, and they demonstrate how ideas of internationalism and the total work of art lie at the heart of modern approaches to museum display, art education, and industrial design.
In addition to her book projects, Kuenzli has published articles in The Art Bulletin, The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Art History, and Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, as well as essays in edited volumes and an exhibition catalogue. Her work has been supported by Fulbright, Chateaubriand, Dedalus, DAAD, Klassik Stiftung Weimar, Getty Library, Canadian Center for Architecture, ACLS, and NEH grants.
Kuenzli teaches courses in modern European art from the French Revolution through World War II. Some of her recent courses include surveys of nineteenth-century modernism and the twentieth-century avant-garde, a freshman seminar on Vincent Van Gogh and the Myth of Genius, and an upper-division seminar on Modernism and the Total Work of Art.
The Nabis and Intimate Modernism: Painting and the Decorative at the Fin de Siècle (Routledge, 2010)(332 pages).
ARTICLES AND ESSAYS
“Educating the Gesamtkunstwerk: Henry van de Velde and Art School Reform in Germany, 1900-1914,” in The Life and Death of the Total Work of Art, eds. Carsten Ruhl, Chris Dähne, Rixt Hoekstra (Berlin: Jovis, 2015), 24-40.
“Expanding the Boundaries of Modern Art: The Blue Rider, Parisian Modernism, and Henri Rousseau,” in Expressionism in Germany and France: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky (Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Montreal Museum of Art: 2014), 250-61.
“The Birth of the Modernist Art Museum: The Folkwang as Gesamtkunstwerk,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (December 2013): 503-29.
“Architecture, Individualism, and Nation: Henry van de Velde’s 1914 Werkbund Theater Building,” The Art Bulletin 94, no. 2 (June 2012): 251-73.
“Intimate Modernism: The Nabis, Symbolist Theater, and the Gesamtkunstwerk,” in Art, History and the Senses, eds Patrizia di Bello and Gabriel Koureas (Ashgate 2010), pages 67-82. Click on link
“Aesthetics and Cultural Politics in the Age of Dreyfus: Maurice Denis’s Homage to Cézanne,” Art History, vol. 30, no. 5 (November 2007), 683-711.
“Painting and Memory in the Career of Edouard Vuillard,” Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, vol. 3, no. 1 (Spring 2004), 7822 words, http://www.19thc-artworldwide.org.