W. Ian Bourland is a critic and historian of the global contemporary. He holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Chicago and his undergraduate in International Relations from Georgetown University. His research explores the intersections between recent art, the legacy of modernism, and the history of globalization. He has taught or lectured at the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Barnes Foundation, and the Smithsonian, and is an alum of the Whitney ISP in Critical Studies.
Ian's writing on Siah Armajani, Rashid Johnson, Brendan Fernandes, Yto Barrada, Wangechi Mutu, Yinka Shonibare, and others has appeared in a range of publications, from Parasol Unit and Jeu de Paume to Artforum and African Arts. He contributed a chapter to James Elkins's Theorizing Visual Studies, edited Faile: Works on Wood (Gestalten 2014), and is the author of the forthcoming Ghosts of Modernism, on photography and politics in the 1980s. In addition to courses on the history of photography, African-American studies, and art in the twentieth century, he has taught seminars on urban theory and landscape, postcolonialism, and African antiquity and divination.