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Dr Ruth Blacksell

Research Fellow


My research looks at typographic engagements and acts of publishing in practices of 1960s/70s Conceptual Art. I am also interested in the emergence of a contemporary inter-disciplinary territory which, following this historical and theoretical lineage, utilises, cross-references and extends the vocabularies and contexts of art, editorial design and architecture.

As well as presenting regular keynotes and conference papers internationally, I have hosted a series of public-facing events connected with my research at the ICA, London and the Contemporary Artists' Books Conference (CABC), New York.

In 2015, I secured a Collaborative Doctoral Partnership with Tate Library and Archive to investigate the forms, strategies and contexts of publishing in modern and contemporary art practice (1960s to the present day). Extending from this, I am currently developing a research focus on the intersections of art and editorial design through print, digital and/or hybrid forms.

Areas of specialism

  • Editorial design
  • Typography
  • Book design
  • Contemporary and modern art practice
  • Contemporary and modern art history and theory
  • Book arts
  • Publishing arts


  • 2013 PhD / University of Sheffield & British Library (concordat scholarship)
  • 2004 MA in Aesthetics & Art Theory / Middlesex University
  • 1991 BA in Typography & Graphic Communication / University of Reading


Event organisation & chairing at the ICA, London: 'Architecture and the Spaces of Information' (2015 & 2016); 'Art Information: Editorial Strategies, Text-Based Formats, Publishing Contexts' (2013); 'From Visual to Textual: Typography in/as Conceptual Art' (2012).

Panel chairing: 'Spaces of Information' at the Contemporary Artists' Books Conference (CABC), New York Art Book Fair, MoMA PS1 (2016).

Panel presentation: 'Art magazines and magazine art' at the Association of Art Historians' conference, University of Edinburgh (2016).

Keynotes, conference papers and invited lectures at institutions including York University (2017); Hauser & Wirth, Somerset, UK (2015), Chelsea College of Arts, UAL (2014), The Artists Institute, Hunter College, New York (2014) and University of the Arts, Bremen, Germany (2014).

Establishment of AHRC funded Collaborative Doctoral Partnership with Tate Library and Archive (2015).

At Kingston I am connected to three research divisions: Centre for Research through Design / Contemporary Art Research Centre / Research Cities, Architecture, Landscape, Environment


Number of items: 19.


Blacksell, Ruth and Walker, Stephen (2016) Architecture and the spaces of information. Architecture and Culture, 4(1), pp. 1-8. ISSN (print) 2050-7828

Blacksell, Ruth (2016) Categories and order systems : Claude Parent and the Serving Library. Intersections of architecture, art and editorial design. Architecture and Culture, 4(1), pp. 73-89. ISSN (print) 2050-7828

Blacksell, Ruth (2015) Studio International. The Burlington Magazine, 157(1347), pp. 430-431. ISSN (print) 0007-6287

Blacksell, Ruth (2013) From looking to reading : text-based conceptual art and typographic discourse. Design Issues, 29(2), pp. 60-81. ISSN (print) 0747-9360

Walker, Sue, Edwards, Viv and Blacksell, Ruth (1996) Designing bilingual books for children. Visible Language, 30(3), pp. 268-283. ISSN (print) 0022-2224


Blacksell, Ruth and Walker, Stephen, eds. (2016) Architecture and the spaces of information. Taylor & Francis. 162p. (Architecture and Culture, no. 1) ISSN (print) 2050-7828

Book Section

Blacksell, Ruth (2016) From visual to textual : typography in / as conceptual art. In: Glasmeier, Michael and Prill, Tania, (eds.) Typografie als Kunstlerisches. Hamburg, Germany : Hamburg: Textem-Verlag. pp. 113-142. ISBN 9783864851254

Conference or Workshop Item

Blacksell, Ruth (2017) Reading Art-Language: the publication in/as art practice. In: Looking at Art-Language: Artists Magazines 1969-1985; 12 October 2017, University of York, UK. (Unpublished)

Blacksell, Ruth (2016) Claude Parent & Dexter Sinister/The Serving Library : Intersections of architecture, art & editorial design. In: Architecture and the Spaces of Information / Part 2; 11 Sep 2016, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Blacksell, Ruth (2016) Refusing cultural confinement : magazine works then and now. In: Art magazines and magazine art : AAH2016 Annual Conference and Bookfair; 07 - 09 Apr 2016, Edinburgh, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Blacksell, Ruth, Di Franco, Karen and Hunt, Andrew (2016) Spaces of information. In: The NY Art Book Fair : Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference; 15-18 Sep 2016, New York, U.S.A.. (Unpublished)

Blacksell, Ruth [Arranger] (2015) Architecture and the spaces of information, Part 1. In: Architecture and the spaces of information, Part 1; 15 September 2015, The Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

Blacksell, Ruth (2015) From visual to textual : typography in/as art. In: The Message and the Medium; 19 Oct 2015, Bruton, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Blacksell, Ruth (2014) From visual to textual : typography in / as conceptual art = Typografie als künstlerisches Ereignis seit den 1960er Jahren. In: Typografie als Kunstlerisches Ereignis seit den 1960er Jahren [Typography as an Artistic Event since the 1960s]; 09 - 10 Dec 2014, Bremen, Germany.

Blacksell, Ruth [Speaker] (2014) From visual to textual : typography in/as conceptual art. In: Graphic Design Guest Lectures; 13 May 2014, London, U.K..

Blacksell, Ruth, De Bondt, Sara, Crowley, David, Cruz, Juan, Demay, Sophie, Grandal Montero, Gustavo, Halifa-Legrand, Lola, Holder, Will, Hudek, Antony, Lacey, Patrick, Lassinaro, Kaisa, Lewandowska, Marysia, Morgan, John, Muggeridge, Fraser, Phillpot, Clive and Vulkan, Bar (2014) Please come in the show. In: Please Come in the Show; 10 Jun 2014, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Blacksell, Ruth (2014) Ruth Blacksell contrasts the Pop lineage and Warhol’s acts of publishing with the progression from looking to reading in text-based and editorial engagements of Conceptual artists. In: Art-Information : Editorial Strategies, Text-based Formats, Publishing Contexts; 26 Apr 2014, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Blacksell, Ruth (2012) From visual to textual : typography in/as conceptual art. In: In numbers : serial publications by artists since 1955; 29 Feb 2012, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)


Blacksell, Ruth (2012) Typography after conceptual art. (PhD thesis), University of Sheffield.

This list was generated on Sun Jul 22 04:33:47 2018 BST.

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