college of communication fine arts and media
Department of art and art history


Adrian Duran

assistant professor, art and art history

(402) 554-2420 • Office: WFAB 315


Adrian R. Duran was born and raised in New Jersey. He holds a BA in Art History from the University of Notre Dame and received an MA and PhD in Art History from the University of Delaware. Duran is a specialist in Modern and Contemporary Art, particularly Italian Modernism, and teaches courses on 19th, 20th, and 21st century art, art theory, and criticism. Prior to arriving at UNO, Duran taught at the Memphis College of Art.

Research Statement

My research focuses on mid-twentieth century painting and sculpture in Italy, particularly in relation to the politics of the Cold War as manifest in both art objects and the art critical discourse. I have also worked on issues of influence within international abstraction during the 1940s and 50s. My work also engages art criticism, recently focused on issues of regionalism and language in Southern contemporary art as well as the intersection of contemporary photography and New Media practices.


Assistant Professor


Art and Art History


University of Delaware, PhD Art History 2006, MA Art History 2000
University of Notre Dame, BA Art History 1998

Courses Taught:

ART 2060 Art History Survey II
ART4880 Modern Art I 1850-1918
ART4890 Modern Art II 1920-1968
ART4920 Art in Theory and Practice Since 1900

At UNO Since:



The New Front: Painting and Politics in Cold War Italy.
Under contract with Ashgate Publishing (USA/UK)

“The New Southern Vernacular: Memphis Art, the Yankee Version”
Big, Red & Shiny November 2012

“Afro, America, and Exchanging Influence in Postwar Painting”
Catalog essay for Afro: Il periodo Americano/The American Period, 17 March-8 July 2012
Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Rovereto, Italy

“Writing Light, Writing Lies”
Catalog essay for Spinning Yarns: Photographic Story Tellers. (Curators: Anne Leighton Massoni & Libby Rowe). Ferris State University, Grand Rapids, MI & Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ 2011

“Yours and Mine” (Collaboration with photographer Anne Leighton Massoni)
ASPECT: The Chronicle of New Media Art. V.17: Hi-tech. 2011
“Italian Art circa 1968: Continuities and Generational Shifts”
Carte Italiane Volume 4 (2008)

“Baroque Space in Postwar Italian Painting”
In Kelly Wacker, ed. Baroque Tendencies in Contemporary Art. Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008

“Abstract Expressionism’s Italian Reception: Questions of Influence”
In Joan Marter, ed. Abstract Expressionism: The International Context. Rutgers University Press, 2007

“Bling Bling: Conspicuous Consumption and the Politics of Hip Hop”
Chicago Art Journal—Volume 14, Spring 2004 “Decadence”


“The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl.” (Nasher Museum of Art. Duke University, Durham, NC) exhibition review February 10, 2011.

Critic. Saatchi Online Critic’s Choice. September/October 2010/January 2011
Entries on Dwayne Butcher, Kendra Bulgrin, and Jim Doiron; Saatchi Online Top 10

“Snap Judgments: New positions in Contemporary African Photography” (Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Memphis, TN) exhibition review
SECAC Review Vol. XLI, No. 5, 2009

art:21 Blogger-in-Residence. July 2009

“Paint Made Flesh.” (Frist Center for the Visual Arts. Nashville, TN) exhibition review June 16, 2009.

 “Ottocento da Canova al Quarto Stato” (Scuderie del Quirinale. Rome, Italy) exhibition review
Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide Volume 7, Issue 2 (Autumn 2008).

Conference Panels/ Papers/Lectures:

Chair: “Art History in Italian Studies/Italian Studies in Art History”
2013 American Association of Italian Studies Annual Conference Eugene, OR April 2013

“A Theatre of Struggle: Operatic Neo-Avant-Gardism in Luigi Nono’s Intolleranza 1960
Northeast Modern Language Association Annual Conference Boston, MA March 2013

“Borrowed People | Constructed Places” Panel Moderator.
Society for Photographic Educators Annual Conference San Francisco, CA March 2012

“The Same, Only Different: (Greenbergian?) Binarism in Post-War Italy”
Southeastern College Art Conference Annual Conference Savannah, GA November 2011

“Neither Art nor Craft but Politics and Painting: the Ceramics of Leoncillo Leonardi”
Southeastern College Art Conference Annual Conference Richmond, VA October 2010

“The New Front: Painting in Italy at the Dawn of the Cold War”
Cold War Cultures University of Texas, Austin September/October 2010

Chair: “Landscapes of Modern Italy”
American Association for Italian Studies Annual Conference New York, NY May 2009

Chair: “New Approaches to 20th Century Italy”
College Art Association Annual Conference Dallas, TX February 2008

Chair: “(Re)Viewing Venice”
Southeastern College Art Conference Annual Conference Charleston, WV October 2007

Vedutismo Nuovo: View Painting and Epistemology in Contemporary Venetian Painting”
Southeastern College Art Conference Annual Conference Charleston, WV October 2007

“Emilio Vedova’s Absurdes Berliner Tagebuch and the Impact of Travel on Mid-Century Italian Painting”
American Association for Teachers of Italian/American Association for Italian Studies Joint Convention Genoa, Italy May 2006

“Realism and Abstraction in Italian Painting at the Dawn of the Cold War”
“All-Over: Abstract Expressionism’s Global Context” SUNY Stony-Brook, Manhattan April 2005

“’Till I Got that Thug Life Tatted on My Chest’: 2Pac’s Tattoos and the Bodily Inscription of Hip-Hop Politics”
The Black Body: Imagining, Writing, (Re) Reading, DePaul University, April 2004

“‘Scribblings and Monstrous Things’: Abstraction vs. the Italian Communist Party, Bologna 1948”
The Middle Atlantic Symposium, University of Maryland, College Park, MD and National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. April 2004

“The Art of the Improvisers: Jackson Pollock and Ornette Coleman”
American Cultural Association 2000 Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, April 2000


Department of Art & Art History
College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media
University Nebraska at Omaha
6001 Dodge Street
Omaha NE 68182-0011
(402) 554.2420 Fax: (402) 554.3436