Joseph Henry

Joseph Henry 2022

Research Interests

  • Euro-American modern art; expressionisms; art and labor; drawings and prints; primitivism and colonialism; queer visual culture; historiography


  • BA (Joint Honours), Art History and German Studies, McGill University

Joseph is Ph.D. Candidate in the art history program at the CUNY Graduate Center and an inaugural Diamonstein-Spielvogel Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His dissertation, “Spiritualized Machines: Die Brücke, Expressionism, and Wilhelmine Modernity,” argues for the structuring prominence of the machine and industrial production for the emergence of German Expressionism, in particular the art of the artist group known as Die Brücke (The Bridge). Focusing on their educational background in design and architecture, the project sees expressionism as mediating a new German subject informed by both the country’s accelerated capitalism and a primitivizing emphasis on affect and feeling. The formal and political questions posed by this movement, the dissertation contends, anticipate contemporary dynamics of work, affective labor, and burnout. In addition to funding from the Metropolitan Museum, Joseph has received DAAD, Mellon, and Whitney Independent Study Program fellowships. For the 2021-22 year, he was a Joan Tisch Teaching Fellowship at the Whitney Museum of American Art and in 2020-21 he held a Mellon-Marron Museum Research Consortium Fellowship at the Museum of Modern Art in the Department of Drawings and Prints. In 2019, he acted as Scholar-in-Residence at the Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. His writing on contemporary art has appeared in publications like Artforum, Art in America, Frieze, Texte zur Kunst, and several exhibition catalogues.