Cara Jordan is an art historian, writer, and educator whose research focuses on contemporary political, activist, and socially engaged public art. In 2016, she completed her PhD in art history at the Graduate Center, CUNY, where she studied postwar public art in the United States. Her dissertation, entitled “Joseph Beuys and Social Sculpture in the United States,” discusses the role of Beuys’ theory of social sculpture in socially engaged art in the 1980s and 1990s.
Her professional career is focused on helping artists connect to the public through exhibitions, various media platforms, and publications. She has assisted several artists including Luca Buvoli, Peter Halley, and Christian Philipp Müller in creating websites and archival databases, writing and editing, and organizing exhibitions. From 2009 to 2012, she served as the director of programs for a grassroots public art organization, the North Brooklyn Public Art Coalition, where she curated multiple public projects. From 2013 to 2015, she assisted the Graduate Center’s Public Programs department in conceiving and presenting academic events such as lectures, conferences, and performances.
Since 2013, Cara has served as the editor of Peter Halley’s catalogue raisonné of 1980s paintings, for which she has conducted research and documented nearly 190 of the artist’s early works. The resulting publication will be released by JRP|Ringier in summer 2017. She published articles on her research on Beuys in the peer review journal Public Art Dialogue in 2013 and the online Seismopolite Journal of Art and Politics in 2016. She has contributed essays on pedagogy to Art History Teaching Resources website and criticism to US Art.
Cara has taught art history at CUNY’s City College, Hunter College, and Kingsborough Community College, and lectured at the University of Virginia; Decad art space in Berlin; the Universidad de Barcelona, Spain; and Zeppelin Universität, Germany. She currently lives in New York, where she is a fellow in the Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, and travels often to her second home, Berlin.