Helen Hughes

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Personal profile


Helen Hughes co-founded and co-edits the Melbourne contemporary art journal Discipline, and is an editor of the peer-reviewed art history journal EMAJ. Since 2013, Helen has organised the Discipline contemporary art lecture series (originally in collaboration with Gertrude Contemporary), and, with sound art organisation Liquid Architecture, the 'Histories and Theories of Sound' lecture series, which have featured lectures by Rex Butler, Justin Clemens, Helen Johnson, Jan Bryant, Douglas Kahn, Branden W. Joseph, Terry Smith, Adrian Martin, amongst many more.


Her research focuses on Australian art history and international contemporary art.  In particular, Helen is interested in theories of contemporary art - how this moment may differ from the modern and postmodern periods that preceded it.  Helen has written for journals such as CACSA Broadsheet, Art & Australia, EMAJ, Eyeline, Artlink, Discipline and frieze. She is also the Melbourne critic for Artforum.  Recent edited publications include Tom Nicholson: Lines towards Another (2017, with Amelia Barikin), Kiffy Rubbo: Curating the 1970s (2016, with Janine Burke), Three Reflections on Contemporary Art History (2014, with Nicholas Croggon), Making Worlds: Art and Science Fiction (2013, with Ameila Barikin), and Impresario: Paul Taylor (2013, with Nicholas Croggon).


Helen has worked as curator of research at Monash University Museum of Art, where she worked on exhibitions and publications including Mutlu Cerkez: 1988-2065 (2018), and as curator at Gertrude Contemporary, where she presented exhibitions Marrnyula Mununggurr: Ganybu and David Egan: Actually Energy Help Light in 2015, and, co-curated with Spiros Panigirakis and in collaboration with community radio station 3CR, If People Powered Radio: 40 Years of 3CR in 2016.  Helen co-curated the 2016 TarraWarra Biennial: Endless Circulation with both Discipline and TarraWarra Museum director, Victoria Lynn.


She received her PhD in Art History at the University of Melbourne in 2015.  



Education/Academic qualification

Art History, PhD, University of Melbourne

Award Date: 15 Dec 2015

Art History, Bachelor of Arts (Hons), University of Melbourne

Award Date: 22 Aug 2009

Research area keywords

  • Australian art
  • art of empire
  • convict art
  • art historiography
  • contemporary art
  • art criticism
  • contemporary curatorial practice


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