CR

Christa Noel Robbins

Associate Professor
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Department of Art
Office location and address
Fayerweather Hall
Education
PhD University of Chicago, 2010
Biography

Christa Noel Robbins is a scholar of modernist and contemporary art, with a focus on abstract painting and art criticism in the twentieth century. Robbins joined the University of Virginia faculty in 2015. Before coming to UVa she was the Mellon Caltech-Huntington Postdoctoral Instructor in Art History at the California Institute of Technology. She was the advisory editor of North American modernism for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism and her essays and reviews have appeared in Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts, Oxford Art Journal, Minnesota Review: A Journal of Creative and Critical Writing, Critical Inquiry, and Art in America. She is currently the Southeast Field Editor of exhibitions for caa.reiews.

Robbins recently published a book with the University of Chicago Press, titled Artist as Author: Action and Intent in Late-Modernist American Painting. Artist as Author provides the first extended study of authorship in mid-20th century abstract painting in the US. Taking a close look at this influential period of art history, the book describes how artists and critics used the medium of painting to advance their own claims about the role that they believed authorship should play in dictating the value, significance, and social impact of the art object. The book tracks this subject across two definitive periods: the “New York School” as it was consolidated in the 1950s and “Post Painterly Abstraction” in the 1960s. Through deep dives into key artist archives, the book offers detailed readings of the works of Arshile Gorky, Jack Tworkov, Helen Frankenthaler, Kenneth Noland, Sam Gilliam, and Agnes Martin, and the criticism of Harold Rosenberg and Rosalind Krauss. 

Robbins teaches a range of courses at UVa, including "Art since 1945," "Art Activism," "Abstraction in Theory and Practice," and "Art Now." She is currently the Director of the Undergraduate Program in Art History.

ARTH 150: Special Topics in Art History
Special Topics in Art History
ARTH 1505: Art and the Modern World
Credits: 3
This course will train students to understand and critically evaluate comparative, modern global cultures.
ARTH 2470: Art Now
Credits: 3
This course is designed to familiarize you with the major themes, issues, and questions being pursued in today's art world. Focusing on the last twenty years, the class is organized around five themes that define the majority of art being made today: portraying, experiencing, performing, reproducing, and agitating.
ARTH 2471: Art Since 1945
Credits: 3–4
Surveys art production and theory in the U.S. and Europe since World War II. Relationships between artistic practice and critical theory are stressed in an examination of movements ranging from abstract expressionism to neo-geo.
ARTH 2559: New Course in History of Art
Credits: 3–4
This course provides the opportunity to offer new topics in the subject History of Art.
ARTH 3559: New Course in History of Art
Credits: 3
This course provides the opportunity to offer new topics in the subject History in Art.
ARTS 3559: New Course in Studio Art
Credits: 1–4
New course in the subject of studio art.
ARTH 3591: Art History Colloquium
Credits: 3
The Art History Colloquium combines lecture and discussion. Subject varies with the instructor, who may decide to focus attention either on a particular period, artist, or theme, or on the broader question of the aims and methods of art history. Subject is announced prior to each registration period. This course fulfills the second writing requirement, involving at least two writing assignments totaling at a minimum 4,000 words (20 pages).
ARTH 3993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–3
Independent study in the history of art
ARTH 4051: Art History: Theory and Practice
Credits: 3
This course introduces art history majors to the basic tools and methods of art historical research, and to the theoretical and historical questions of art historical interpretation. The course will survey a number of current approaches to the explanation and interpretation of works of art, and briefly address the history of art history. Prerequisite: Major or minor in art history.
ARTH 4998: Undergraduate Thesis Research
Credits: 3
Research for a thesis of approximately 50 written pages undertaken in the fall semester of the fourth year by art history majors who have been accepted into the department's Distinguished Majors Program.
ARTH 4999: Undergraduate Thesis Writing
Credits: 3
Writing of a thesis of approximately 50 written pages undertaken in the spring semester of the fourth year by art history majors who have been accepted into the department's Distinguished Majors Program.
ARAH 8051: Theory and Interpretation in the Visual Arts
Credits: 3
Investigates problems in the theory and interpretation of the visual arts
ARAH 8695: Special Reading Problems
Credits: 3–12
Special Reading Problems
ARAH 8998: Non-Topical Rsch, Masters Prep
Credits: 1–12
For master's research, taken before a thesis director has been selected.
ARAH 8999: Non-Topical Research, Masters
Credits: 1–12
For master's research, taken under the supervision of a thesis director.
ARAH 9565: Seminar in Art Theory, Comparative & Other Topics
Credits: 3
Investigates problems in architecture theory, comparative, and other topics
ARAH 9995: Supervised Research
Credits: 3–12
Supervised Research
ARAH 9998: Non-Topical Rsch,Doctoral Prep
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral research, taken before a dissertation director has been selected.
ARAH 9999: Non-Topical Research, Doctoral
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral research taken under the supervision of a dissertation director.