History of Art and Architecture

Nicole F. Scalissi


Nicole’s research focuses on works of USAmerican contemporary art that stage – perform, fake – violent acts, especially those artworks that are presented as real events to an unsuspecting viewer, yet are ultimately revealed to be totally falsified scenes. This research addresses the spectator’s emotional and affective experience of viewing such images, and questions how grief or pleasure is found within this tension between the real and the staged. Of particular interest are artworks that image or were produced by members of historically marginalized communities in the US, specifically those marginalized on the basis of racialized and gendered identities such as women, Chican@, Latin@, Hispanic, African-American or Black, and Native communities. 
Nicole carries a Master’s degree in Art History from Pennsylvania State University, where she completed her qualifying paper on fluctuating traditional gender categories in Andy Warhol’s early 1960s paintings of a female wrestler.

Education Details

MA, Pennsylvania State University, History of Art, 2013 MA Paper: "Butch in 3D: Alternative Femininity in Andy Warhol's 3D Paintings," under the advisement of Sarah K. Rich

BA, University of Pittsburgh, History of Art and Architecture, 2009 Senior Honors Thesis: “Relational Aesthetics Revisited: Fifteen Years of Relational Art,” under the advisement of Terry Smith

Selected Publications

"Curatorial Practice as Production of Visual & Spatial Knowledge: Panel Discussion, October 4, 2014," published transcript with panelists Alison Langmead, Terry Smith, Dan Byers, and Cynthia MortonContemporaneity Edition 4, 2015. Read

"Art of the People: Pierre Alechinsky and the CoBrA Movement," Carnegie Museum of Art Uncrated exhibition blog, April 15, 2015. Read

Selected Awards

Mellon Fellowship in Curation and Education, University of Pittsburgh, 2015-2016.

Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh, 2013-2014.

Dissertation Development Grant, University of Pittsburgh, 2014.

John F. Haskins Award, University of Pittsburgh, 2009.

Awarded to top graduating seniors for demonstrating superior academic promise in the field of art history.

Selected Conferences and Public Speaking

Invited speaker on race, gender, and violence in Ana Mendieta’s early work, University of Minnesota, Departments of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies, and Chicano and Latino Studies, December 1-2, 2015.

“In Exhaustive Detail: “Art” and Agency in Andy Warhol’s Details of Renaissance Paintings,” Southeastern College Art Conference, October 21-24, 2015.

“Body Swap: Race, Grief, and Shifting Identities in Ana Mendieta’s Untitled (Rape Scene),” University of Pittsburgh Film Studies Conference, “Screening Politics: Affect, Identity, and Uprising,” October 2-3, 2015.

“Manicured Residue: The Archives, Representation, and Andy Warhol’s Time Capsules,” University of Pittsburgh Cultural Studies Colloquium Cultural Dis/Union, April 16, 2014. 

“Butch in 3-D: Alternative Femininities in Andy Warhol’s 3-D Paintings,” at the Pennsylvania State University Art History Graduate Student Symposium; selected by faculty to represent Penn State at the 18th Annual Graduate Symposium on the History of Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, April 12-13, 2013.