Reader in History and Theory of Contemporary Art

  • Academic
  • Research
Dr Dominic  Rahtz

Dr Dominic Rahtz has worked in the Department of Fine Art at UCA Canterbury since 2007, and is currently Reader in History and Theory of Contemporary Art. He is a studio tutor as well as teaching art history and theory.

Dr Dominic  Rahtz


Dominic graduated with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art (Painting) from Wimbledon School of Art, followed by a MA in the Social History of Art at the University of Leeds. His PhD (awarded 2002) on American Minimal Art was supervised by Fred Orton and Gail Day.

Research statement

Dominic has published articles in journals including the Oxford Art Journal and Art History, and has contributed chapters to a number of edited books. His research interests tend to revolve around materialism, ideology and rhetoric, and he has written most often on American and European art of the 1960s and 1970s. His book, Metaphorical Materialism: Art in New York in the Late 1960s, was published by Brill in 2021.

Research outputs


  • ‘Industrial Materials, Industrial Forms,’ Kritische Berichte, vol. 54, no. 4 (forthcoming 2024)
  • ‘Marx’s 1857 ‘Introduction’ and the Social History of Art’, in Brian Winkenweder and Tijen Tunali (eds), Routledge Companion to Marxisms in Art History (London: Routledge, forthcoming 2024)
  • Metaphorical Materialism: Art in New York in the Late 1960s (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2021).
  • ‘Entropy and Information in Process Art’, in Christian Berger and Annika Schlitte (eds), Sublimation/Sublimierung: Redefining Materiality in Art after Modernism/Neubestimmungen von Materialität in der Kunst nach dem Modernismus, a special issue of Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft, 19 (2021), pp. 361-74.
  • ‘Reference and Self-Reference in the Work of Douglas Huebler’, in Anäel Lejeune, Alexander Streitberger and Christophe Viart (eds), L’Art de Douglas Huebler (Rennes: University of Rennes, 2018).
  • ‘The Play of Structure: Rasheed Araeen’s Chakras and Related Works’, in Nick Aikens (ed.), Rasheed Araeen: A Retrospective (Zürich: JRP Ringier, 2018).
  • ‘Dematerialization and /Cloud/’, in Eva Ehninger, Antje Krause-Wahl and Henning Engelke (eds), In Terms of Painting (Berlin: Revolver, 2016), pp. 141-55.
  • ‘Indifference of Material in the Work of Carl Andre and Robert Smithson’, in Petra Lange-Berndt (ed.), Materiality (Cambridge, Mass. and London: MIT/Whitechapel Gallery, 2015), pp. 67-71.  [Reprinted from the Oxford Art Journal.]
  • ‘Alana Jelinek, This is Not Art: Art and Other ‘Not-Art’’ [book review], British Journal of Aesthetics, vol. 54, no. 3 (July 2014), pp. 390-2.
  • ‘The Literal in Painting’, Limber: Spatial Painting Practices (Canterbury: Herbert Read Gallery, 2013).
  • ‘Carl Andre, Artisan’, Journal of Modern Craft, vol. 5, no. 2 (2012), pp. 165-77.
  • ‘Indifference of Material in the Work of Carl Andre and Robert Smithson’, Oxford Art Journal, vol. 35, no. 1 (2012), pp. 35-51. 
  • ‘Daniel Buren’s Theoretical Practice’, in Judith Rugg and Craig Martin (eds), Spatialities: The Geographies of Art and Architecture (Bristol and Chicago: Intellect, 2012), pp. 85-100.
  • ‘Bees and Butterflies’, in London Fieldworks, Monarchy (Challock, Kent: Stour Valley Arts, 2011).
  • ‘The Artist as Worker’ [book review], Art History, vol. 34, no. 1 (February 2011), pp. 218-20.
  • ‘Figures of Interpretation’, Working Papers in Art and Design, vol. 5, 2009.
  • ‘Liz Kotz, Words to be Looked At: Language in 1960s Art’ [book review], The Art Book, vol. 15, no. 3 (August, 2008), pp. 35-6.
  • ‘Robert Smithson’, in Diarmuid Costello and Jonathan Vickery (eds), Art: Key Contemporary Thinkers (Oxford: Berg, 2007), pp. 36-40.
  • ‘Literality and Absence of Self in the Work of Carl Andre’, in Paula Feldman, Alistair Rider and Karsten Schubert (eds.), About Carl Andre: Critical Texts Since 1965 (London: Ridinghouse, 2006). [Reprinted from the Oxford Art Journal.]
  • ‘Jennifer L. Roberts, Mirror-Travels: Robert Smithson and History’ [book review], The Art Book, vol. 12, no. 1 (February 2005), pp. 41-2.
  • ‘Literality and Absence of Self in the Work of Carl Andre’, Oxford Art Journal, vol. 27, no. 1, 2004, pp. 61-78.

Conference papers and talks

  • ‘Materiality and Rhetoric,’ ‘Matière Matérialité/Matter materiality,’ 36ème Congrès du Comité International d’Histoire de l’Art, Lyon, France, forthcoming June 2024.
  • ‘On the Mode of Existence of Industrial Objects (Bernd and Hilla Becher),’ ‘All that is Solid Melts into Air: Production Relations in Art of the 20th and 21st Century,’ Institute for Art History, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, November 2022.
  • ‘Marx’s 1857 ‘Introduction’ and the Social History of Art,’ ‘Marxism(s) in Art Historiography,’ Humboldt-University Berlin, Germany, January-February 2020.
  • ‘Response,’ ‘Conceptualism and Materiality: Matters of Art and Politics,’ Courtauld Institute of Art, London, October 2019.
  • ‘Process Art and Form’, ‘Sublimation: Mind, Matter, Concept in Art after Modernism’, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz and Kunsthalle Mainz, Germany, December 2017.
  • ‘Process and Reality in Richard Serra’s Early Work’, Marxism in Culture seminar, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, June 2017.
  • ‘“The World Itself is Always There”: Reference And Self-Reference in the Work of Douglas Huebler’, ‘The Work of Douglas Huebler’, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium, October 2014.
  • ‘Dematerialization and /Cloud/’, ‘Hidden Forces: Painting in the 1960s and 1970s’, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, June 2013.
  • ‘Carl Andre: Mass and Matter’, invited exhibition talk, Turner Contemporary, Margate, May 2013.
  • ‘Donald Judd and Technique as Material’, ‘Donald Judd Symposium’, Edinburgh College of Art, November 2012.
  • ‘Daniel Buren’s Theoretical Practice’, Critical Spatial Practices seminar, Royal Institute of British Architects, London, March 2011.
  • ‘Daniel Buren’s Theoretical Practice’, ‘Künstlerische Theoriebildung und Praxis in der Moderne/ Artistic Practice and Theory in Modern Art’, Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt, November 2010.
  • ‘Metaphorical Materialism (Carl Andre and Robert Smithson)’, Marxism in Culture seminar, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, October 2009.
  • ‘Representation in Marx’s 1857 ‘Introduction’’, Association of Art Historians Annual Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, April 2009.
  • ‘Figures of Interpretation’, 5th Research into Practice conference, Royal Society of Arts, London, October 2008.
  • ‘Action in American Minimal Art’, College Art Assocation, Boston, February 2006.
  • ‘“Labour is the Living Fire That Shapes the Pattern”: Materials and Labour in the Work of Carl Andre’, [conference:] ‘Revival and Invention: Sculpture and its Material Histories,’ Université Libre de Bruxelles, October 2005.
  • ‘Materiality and Meaning: Robert Smithson and Michael Fried on Minimalism,’ Modernist Studies Association, University of Birmingham, 2003.
  • ‘Robert Smithson’s Nonphenomenal Reading of Minimalism,’ Association of Art Historians, University of London, 2003.

Research supervision

Dominic has supervised four research students to successful completion at UCA:

  • John Torday
  • Liana Psarologaki
  • Sarah Bowen
  • Marcelo de Melo
  • Peta Jacobs
  • Clare Beattie

He is currently supervising:

  • Kate Squires
  • Martha Todd
  • Member of the Association of Art Historians
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Trustee for Stour Valley Arts (2010-13)
  • Peer reviewer for the publishers Routledge, I.B. Tauris, Brill, Bloomsbury Academic
  • Member of the convening group for the Marxism in Culture seminar at University College London
  • External reviewer for School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds (2015)
  • External examiner for Fine Art, Middlesex University (2013-16)
  • AHRC grant in the Creative and Performing Arts (2005-6)
  • Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art Research Support Grant (2006)