Department of Art and Design
The MFA in Studio Art program sponsors a professional visiting who teaches two courses (MFA Seminar in Theory and Criticism I & II) and works with students on independent study projects. The visiting critic also serves on student project committees and gives public lectures and critiques annually. Critics-in-residence have included names such as Eleanor Heartney, Matthew Nichols, David Levi Strauss, Nancy Princenthal, Patricia Phillips, Dominique Nahas, among others.
Eleanor Heartney is the current visiting critic for the MFA Department at Montclair. She is a New York based art writer, cultural critic and curator who has been writing about art since 1981. She is Contributing Editor to Art in America and Artpress and has written extensively on contemporary art issues for such other magazines as Artnews, Art and Auction, The New Art Examiner, the Washington Post and the New York Times. Heartney was the 1992 recipient of the College Art Association’s Frank Jewett Mather Award for distinction in art criticism. Curatorial projects include Public Interventions at the ICA in Boston in 1994, Thresholds, a traveling show on and religion for the South Carolina Arts Commission in 2003 and Party Headquarters for the Pratt Manhattan Gallery in 2008.
Her book projects include a collection of essays published in 1997 by Cambridge University Press under the title “Critical Condition: American Culture at the Crossroads”, “Postmodernism” published by the Tate Gallery Publishers, “Postmodern Heretics: The Catholic Imagination in Contemporary Art” published by Midmarch Arts Press, "Defending Complexity", published by Hard Press editions, and “Art and Today”, a survey of contemporary art from the 1980s to the present published by Phaidon in 2008. She is a co-author of “After the Revolution: Women who Transformed Contemporary Art”, 2007, which won the Susan Koppelman Award. Heartney is a past President of AICA-USA, the American section of the International Art Critics Association. In 2008 she was honored by the French government as a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Heartney has lectured extensively around the country and internationally, and since 2007 has been visiting critic in residence at Montclair State in New Jersey.
Matthew Nichols is a frequent contributor to Art in America magazine, and has worked closely with the International Center of Photography in recent years, writing numerous catalog essays for Ecotopia (2006) and Dress Codes (2009). When he's not at MSU, Matthew is an Assistant Professor at Christie’s Education in New York, where he lectures widely on modern and contemporary American art. He received a B.A. from Vassar College and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University.