de Zegher, M. Catherine 1955-

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de ZEGHER, M. Catherine 1955-

PERSONAL: Born April 14, 1955, in Groningen, The Netherlands; daughter of Albert (a pediatrician) and Christiane (Dhooge) de Zegher; married Philippe De Jaegere (a lawyer), July 21, 1977; children: Samuel, Eva, Marga. Ethnicity: "Flemish." Education: University of Ghent, License in History of Art and Archaeology, 1977.


ADDRESSES: Offıce—The Drawing Center, 35 Wooster St., New York, NY 10013.


CAREER: Curator, art historian. Kanaal Art Foundation, Kortrijk, Belgium, cofounder, 1985, director, 1987—. Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA, visiting curator, 1995-97. Royal Commission for Monuments and Landscapes, member, 1986—; Flemish Commission of Visual Arts, member, 1992-96. Lecturer at University of Leeds, Royal College of Art, London, and University of London. October Books, New York, NY, executive editor, 1997; The Drawing Center, New York, NY, director, 2000—. Participated in archaeological excavations in Greece and Belgium; curator of art exhibits around the world.


WRITINGS:

Inside the Visible: An Elliptical Traverse of Twentieth-Century Art, in, of, and from the Feminine, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 1996.

(With Michael Archer and Guy Brett) Mona Hatoum, Phaidon Press (New York, NY), 1997.

The Precarious: Art and Poetry of Cecilia Vicuna, University Press of New England (Hanover, NH), 1997.

Martha Rosler: Rights of Passage, New York Foundation for the Arts (New York, NY), 1997.

(Editor) Martha Rosler, Martha Rosler: Positions in the Life World, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 1998.

(Editor) James Ensor, Between Street and Mirror: The Drawings of James Ensor, University of Minnesota Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2001.

(With Mark Wigley) The Activist Drawing: Retracing Situationist Architectures from Constant's New Babylon to Beyond, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 2001.


Contributor to Generations and Geographies in the Visual Arts: Feminist Readings, edited by Griselda Pollock, Routledge (London, England), 1996; author of exhibition catalogs.


SIDELIGHTS: Art curator and historian M. Catherine de Zegher was a founder and the director of the Kanaal Art Foundation in Kortrijk, Belgium, and has been a curator and lecturer around the world. In 2000, she became director of New York City's The Drawing Center. As a curator, de Zegher has contributed to catalogues, collections, and related volumes, including Inside the Visible: An Elliptical Traverse of Twentieth-Century Art, in, of, and from the Feminine, which consists of forty-two illustrated essays, including de Zegher's opening essay, that speak to the art of thirty-seven women collected in a major exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. The artists include Louise Bourgeois, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Lygia Clark, Yayoi Kusama, Agnes Martin, Ana Mendieta, and Charlotte Salomon. A Parachute contributor wrote that the volume "presents a cross-cultural look at feminist art in which acknowledging the historical and geographical differences between artists becomes a necessary starting point for personal reflection and action."


De Zegher is editor of Between Street and Mirror: The Drawings of James Ensor, which examines the drawings and prints of the Belgian artist (1860-1949) who often portrayed himself as a skeleton. The volume contains four essays by Susan Canning, Robert Hoozee, Marcel De Maeyer, and Herwigs Todts. Jamie McKendrick noted in the Times Literary Supplement that "a case is made by all four contributing essayists for the autonomy and importance of Ensor's drawings."

De Zegher and Mark Wigley are coeditors of The Activist Drawing: Retracing Situationist Architectures from Constant's New Babylon to Beyond, which resulted from a 1999 exhibition at The Drawing Center. Much of the book consists of papers that were delivered at a related symposium. Constant, born Constant Anton Nieuwenhuys in Amsterdam in 1920, was a writer, painter, and printmaker. Following World War II, he developed drawings of a futuristic city, his "New Babylon," which, through mechanization, freed its inhabitants from working. The three sections of the book include ten essays that accompany the black and white drawings, as well as an interview with Constant.


Toby Barnard pointed out in a Utopian Studies review that it is clear that Constant never intended that his designs be built. "Instead," wrote Barnard, "they belong to a familiar genre in which ideal cities are envisaged and sketched. The schemes are better at pinpointing the defects of real cities . . . than at detailing how they can be improved." Barnard felt that essays by Rosalyn Deutsche and Martha Rosier demonstrate the relevance of Constant's designs in a world where North American capitalism has produced "sterile ghettoes, in which the poor and unconventional are banished to the insalubrious margin. This can be represented as a new form of the urban totalitarianism against which Debord, Jorn, and Constant had originally protested. These perspectives remind that many of the problems with which Constant has wrestled recur. He may have built nothing more substantial than flexiglass, but there is clearly a durable legacy of ideas."


BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Library Journal, May 15, 2002, Paul Glassman, review of The Activist Drawing: Retracing Situationist Architectures from Constant's New Babylon to Beyond, p. 90.

Parachute, July-September, 1997, review of Inside the Visible: An Elliptical Traverse of Twentieth-Century Art, in, of, and from the Feminine, pp. 59-60.

Times Literary Supplement, July 12, 2002, Jamie McKendrick, review of Between Street and Mirror: The Drawings of James Ensor, p. 21.

Utopian Studies, winter, 2002, Toby Barnard, review of The Activist Drawing, p. 254.*