Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Art, Art History, and Design
Lily Woodruff
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woodruff.pngAssociate Professor
Art History & Visual Culture
322 Kresge Art Center
P 517-432-3109



Lily Woodruff received a dual Ph.D. in Art History from Northwestern University and in Histoire et Civilisation from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris), both in 2012. Her research examines contemporary art with specific focuses on social and institutional critique, technology, participation, and exchange between Europe and the Americas during the post-WWII period. Her first book project titled Disordering the Establishment: Art, Display, and Participation in France, 1958-1981 is an analysis of the way that artists transformed techniques of institutional conservatism in order to encourage critical public participation and social engagement. Specifically, she analyzes the kinetic painting and sculpture of the Groupe de Recherche d'Art Visuel, André Cadere and Daniel Buren's post-minimalist installations, and the community-based media projects of the Collectif d'Art Sociologique. Her research has been supported by fellowships from Northwestern University, and grants from Chateaubriand, Jeanne Marandon, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts. At MSU, Lily is a member of the Global Studies in Art and Humanities, a consulting member of the Center for Gender in Global Context, and an occasional contributor to the Film Collective.


"The Groupe de Recherche d'Art Visuel Against the Technocrats," Art Journal v. 73 no. 3 (Fall 2014): 18-37
"Didier Bay's Photographic Sociology of Post-1968 Paris," Nonsite.org, issue 12 (Summer 2014), available at
"Isa Genzken: Retrospective" (MoMA 23 Nov. 2013 – 10 March 2014), caa.reviews, December, 2014
"Greater New York 2005" (P.S.1. 13 March 13-26 Sept. 2005), caa.reviews, March, 2006
"ZERO: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s-60s" (Guggenheim 10 Oct. 2014-7 Jan. 2015), forthcoming from caa.reviews
"The Collectif d'Art Sociologique" (forthcoming in an edited volume on art in post-WWII France, produced by the European Postwar and Contemporary Art Forum)


Teaching interests include modern and contemporary global art history and visual culture, Marxist aesthetic theory, political theory, trans-Atlantic artistic exchange, gender and sexuality, social practice, art and sociology, and photography.

HA 240 "Introduction to Modern Art"
HA 252 "Introduction to Contemporary Art"
IAH 241C "The Everyday: Art, Literature, and Popular Culture from Surrealism to Today"
HA 491 "Social Practice: Theory and Praxis"
HA 491 "Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Art"
HA 491 "Art and Performance"
HA 491 "New Media: Intersections of Art and Technology since the 1960s"