Photo of Bivens, Becky

Becky Bivens

PhD Candidate: Modern and Contemporary Art


Becky Bivens's research focuses on mid-century American abstract art and criticism and aesthetic theory. Her dissertation, “Formal Feelings and Automatic Affects: Formalism and Surrealism in Mid-century Art Criticism,” theorizes the changing significance of emotion in the art criticism of Wolfgang Paalen, Clement Greenberg, Lucy Lippard, and Rosalind Krauss. It has been supported by a fellowship in 20th-Century Abstract Painting at the Thoma Foundation during the 2017 to 2018 academic year, a grant from the Getty Research Institute, and UIC's Provost's Award. Becky has recently presented work on Lynda Benglis at the 2018 College Art Association Conference and on Wolfgang Paalen at the 2019 CAA.   Since 2010, she has taught art history surveys, art criticism, modern and postwar American Art, philosophy of art, history of photography, and gender studies. She is a graduate of Agnes Scott College (BA, Studio Art) and the University of Chicago (AM, Humanities).