Christopher Wood

Chrisopher Woods Porträt

Christopher Wood

Professor of German
New York University

In Residence

Oktober 2014 – November 2014
November 2018 – December 2018

Research Project

La parade:  Tensions between figure and composition

My project is a reflection on critical moments in the development of the modern pictorial artwork, often characterized by its internal structural coherence, its text-like quality.  I identify a counter-proposal to the pictorial text in the self-animated figure, which asks to be perceived prior to any apprehension of a figure-ground relation.  Such figures, ungovernable, are sometimes found “thrown” into a work of art, sometimes thrown from a work back into life.  “Thrown” suggests the figure’s frequent surplus of energy, the gyrations that invoke contexts beyond the one in which it finds itself, including social contexts.  If the figure is animated, its animation does not arise in response to other figures.

The project draws on material from the history of European painting as well as dance, mainly in eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Research Interests

  • Art of the Renaissance and early replication technologies
  • Temporalites of art: anachronism, archaism, typology
  • History of the discipline of art history
  • Embedded Portraits (donors, votaries) and relics


Anachronic Renaissance (with Alexander Nagel), New York: Zone Books 2010.

Forgery, Replica, Fiction. Temporalities of German Renaissance Art, Chicago: University of Chicago Press 2008.

The Vienna School Reader. Politics and Art Historical Method in the 1930s, New York: Zone Books 2000.

Albrecht Altdorfer and the Origins of Landscape, London: Reaktion Books 1993.


Christopher Wood

Center for Advanced Studies BildEvidenz

Arnimallee 10
14195 Berlin