Professor David Cottington


I am Professor of Art History, a position which I've held for twelve years at Kingston. I arrived in 2005 (from Falmouth University) as Director of Postgraduate Studies  The following year I was appointed to my Professorship; two years later I returned to full-time academic work, teaching across undergraduate and postgraduate courses and supervising PhDs, as well as pursuing my research and writing interests in the field of twentieth-century modernist and postmodernist studies. 

Within this field, my focus has been, from the start of my research career, on the work of the 20th and 21stC artistic avant-gardes. I've published three books on the cubist movement in Paris, but more recently I'm researching the history and theories of the avant-garde as a cultural formation. My The Avant-Garde: A Very Short Introduction appeared in 2013, and I'm currently writing a book on the Paris and London avant-gardes of c1885-1915 for Yale University Press.

Academic responsibilities

Professor of Art History


  • PhD in Art History, Courtauld Institute of Art, 1985.

Teaching and learning


My initial area of research, from my PhD on, was the cubist movement in Paris c1905-1915, on which I published three books (one scholarly and--I think--pioneering, one a survey and one an introduction). This broadened into an interest in the avant-garde as a concept and cultural formation, its histories, theories and significance. I believe that I'm opening up a new and significant avenue of understanding of both aspects of this subject; my 2013 book The Avant-Garde: A Very Short Introduction for Oxford UP presented an analysis that brought together the history of the steady co-option of the avant-garde formation by the cultural forces of capitalism, and the repeated efforts made through the last hundred years to recuperate its originating ideology in opposition to these. My present work is on a scholarly book, for Yale University Press, which develops this dialectical approach into a substantial and detailed methodology of historical analysis.

Research student supervision

Main supervision

Other supervision


Number of items: 25.


Cottington, David [Reviewer] (2020) Book Review of: 'The European avant-gardes, 1905-1935 : a portable guide' by Sascha Bru. Konsthistorisk tidskrift/Journal of Art History, 89(3), pp. 227-229. ISSN (print) 0023-3609

Cottington, David (2012) The formation of the Avant-Garde in Paris and London, c. 1880-1915. Art History, 35(3), pp. 596-621. ISSN (print) 0141-6790

Choi, Gyoung Soon, Oehlmann, Ruediger and Cottington, David (2010) Discovering chances for cross-cultural colour design. International Journal of Advanced Intelligence Paradigms, 2(2/3), pp. 140-158. ISSN (print) 1755-0386

Soon Choi, Gyoung, Oehlmann, Ruediger and Cottington, David (2008) A study on cross-cultural understanding of color in design. Journal of Digital Interaction Design, 7(2), pp. 59-69.

Cottington, David (2007) Reading between the lines: Pettibon, Picasso and the future of drawing. TRACEY: Contemporary Drawing Research, ISSN (online) 1742-3570


Cottington, David (2022) Radical art and the formation of the avant-garde. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300166736 (In Press)

Cottington, David (2013) The Avant-Garde: a very short introduction. Oxford, U.K. : Oxford University Press. 136p. (Very short introductions) ISBN 9780199582730

Cottington, David (2005) Modern art: a very short introduction. Oxford, UK : Oxford University Press. 152p. ISBN 0192803646

Cottington, David (2004) Cubism and its histories. Manchester, UK : Manchester University Press. 306p. (Critical perspectives in art history) ISBN 0719050030

Cottington, David (1998) Cubism. London, UK : Tate Gallery. 80p. (Movements in modern art) ISBN 1854372513

Cottington, David (1998) Cubism in the shadow of war: the avant-garde and politics in Paris, 1905-1914. New Haven, USA : Yale University Press. 256p. ISBN 0300075294

Book Section

Cottington, David (2018) Cubisme et cubismes. In: Briend, Christian , Coulandre, Ariane and Leal, Brigitte, (eds.) Repenser le Monde. Paris, France : Centre Pompidou. (In Press)

Cottington, David (2018) The transnational hierarchies and networks of the artistic avant-garde ca. 1885-1915. In: Jalava, Marja , Nygard, Stefan and Strang, Johann, (eds.) Decentering European intellectual space. Leiden, Netherlands : Brill. pp. 65-87. (European studies, (35)) ISBN 9789004364530

Cottington, David (2017) "Une audace tranquille": La Fresnaye, le cubisme et l’avant-garde avant 1914. In: Lucbert, Francoise and Chevrefils Desbiolles, Yves, (eds.) Par-dela le cubisme: etudes sur Roger de La Fresnaye, suivies de correspondances de l’artiste. Rennes, France : Presses Universitaires de Rennes. pp. 71-88. (Art et Societe) ISBN 9782753552623

Cottington, David (2013) Made in Paris: cubismo e avanguardia. In: Eyerman, Charlotte, (ed.) Cubisti cubismo. Milan, Italy : Skira. ISBN 9788857219035

Choi, Gyoung Soon, Oehlmann, Ruediger and Cottington, David (2010) Free Association versus Recognition: Sensitivity for Chance Discovery in Cross-Cultural Color Design. In: Lovrek, Ignac , Howlett, Robert J. and Jain, Lakhmi C., (eds.) Knowledge-Based Intelligent Information and Engineering Systems. Berlin : Springer. pp. 727-733. (Lecture Notes in Computer Science, (5178)) ISSN (print) 0302-9743 ISBN 9783540855644

Cottington, David (2009) Modernities and avant-gardes: London and Paris 1900-1914. In: Harris, Trevor, (ed.) Art, politics and society in Britain (1880-1914): aspects of modernity and modernism. Cambridge Scholars. pp. 23-40. ISBN 9781443813648

Cottington, David (2009) Networks and boundaries of the early twentieth century avant-gardes: the Cubist House, the Omega Workshops and the 'cubist moment'. In: Glynne, Jonathan , Hackney, Fiona and Minton, Viv, (eds.) Networks of design: proceedings of the 2008 annual international conference of the Design History Society (UK) University College Falmouth 3-6 September. Baca Raton, USA : Universal Publishers. pp. 416-420. ISBN 9781599429069

Locke, Hugh [Interviewee] and Cottington, David [Interviewer] (2008) Hew Locke on drawing and sculpture : in conversation with David Cottington. In: Duff, Leo and Sawdon, Phil, (eds.) Drawing: the purpose. Bristol, U.K. : Intellect Books. pp. 107-117. ISBN 9781841502014

Conference or Workshop Item

Cottington, David (2009) Historicising the 'historic avant-garde'. In: Revising/revisiting the Avant-Garde.; 3 July 2009, Kingston-upon-Thames, UK. (Unpublished)

Cottington, David (2009) Like mushrooms overnight: a conjunctural analysis of the emergence of the avant-garde. In: Historizing the Avant-Garde; 20-22 Nov 2009, Copenhagen. (Unpublished)

Soon Choi, Gyoung, Oehlmann, Ruediger and Cottington, David (2008) Towards a framework for cross-cultural colour design. In: Seoul design conference; 9 Oct - 12 Oct 2008, Seoul, Korea.

Cottington, David (2008) Modernities, modernisms and avant-gardes: London and Paris 1900-1914. In: Modernity and Modernism in Fin-de-siecle Britain (1880-1914); 16 May 2008, Tours, France. (Unpublished)

Choi, Gyoung Soon, Oehlmann, Ruediger, Dalke, Hilary and Cottington, David (2007) Discovering color semantics as a chance for developing cross-cultural design frameworks. In: 11th International Conference on Knowledge-Based Intelligent Informational and Engineering Systems/17th Italian Workshop on Neural Networks; 12 Sept - 14 Sept 2007, Vietri sul Mare, Italy.

Choi, G. Soon, Oehlmann, R., Dalke, H. and Cottington, D. (2007) Cross-cultural comparison of color preferences between English and Korean subjects. In: 6th International Workshop on Social Intelligence Design; 2 July - 4 July 2007, Trento, Italy.

This list was generated on Thu Mar 30 07:04:35 2023 BST.