Aliza Shvarts is an artist and theorist who takes a queer and feminist approach to reproductive labor and language. Her current work focuses on testimony and the circulation of speech in the digital age. Her work first came to international attention in 2008 she was an undergraduate at Yale and the university censored her senior thesis, which dealt with self-managed abortion. This early work defined an area of inquiry she continues to explore as an artist and arts advocate: how the body means and matters, and how the subject consents and dissents.
Her artwork been shown across Europe, Latin America, and the US at venues including the Tate Modern (London), the Athens Biennale, Galerie Maria Bernheim (Zurich), and the LOOP International Film Festival (Barcelona), Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Universidad de Chile, SculptureCenter (NYC), Participant Inc (NYC), LACE (Los Angeles), and the Slought Foundation (Philadelphia). Her solo exhibitions include Off Scene, at Artspace (New Haven, 2018); Purported at Centre for Contemporay Art FUTURA (Prague, 2019) and Art in General (NYC, 2020); and Hotline, a joint-commission from the 8th Floor/ Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation (NYC, 2020) and A.I.R (NYC, 2020). Her writing has been published in Whitechapel Documents in Contemporary Art: Practice, The Feminist and Queer Information Studies Reader, TDR/The Drama Review, Women & Performance, and The Brooklyn Rail. She has given interviews for October, Artforum, eflux podcast, Art in America, The Cut, and BOMB among other platforms. She has written liner notes for the metal band SunnO))) and appeared as a guest commentator on MTV.
Shvarts received her BA (Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude) from Yale University and her PhD in Performance Studies (with distinction) at New York University, where her dissertation received the Monroe Lippman Memorial Award for Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation. Other awards include 2008 Lloyd Mifflin Prize for English at Yale, 2017 Franco Coli Dissertation Award from NYU, and 2019 Young Scholar Award from the International Association for Aesthetics. Shvarts was a 2014 recipient of the Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, a 2014-2015 Helena Rubinstein Fellow in Critical Studies at the Whitney Independent Study Program, a 2017 Critical Writing Fellow at Recess Art, a Joan Tisch Teaching Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art (2015-2019), a 2019-20 A.I.R. Gallery Artist Fellow, and 2020 Artist Fellow at the National Arts Club.
Shvarts cofounded the Arts Research Collective (ARC), an incubator for experimental and socially engaged arts education; developed queer theory curriculum as faculty for the Leslie-Lohman Museum Queer Artist Fellowship; and has lectured and taught widely, including at Harvard University, Brown University, Columbia University, Barnard College, New York University, Pratt Institute, Sotheby's Institute of Art-New York, and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. She currently serves as Director of Artist Initiatives at Creative Capital and teaches at the Parsons School of Design.
Upcoming + Current Exhibitions
An Imagination of Bodily Autonomy, April 22 - June 25, 2023, Galerie im Saalbau, Berlin, Germany.
"Abortions Will Not Let Your Forget," November Magazine, No. 32: https://www.novembermag.com/content/abortions-will-not-let-you-forget
"Viva Ruiz with Aliza Shvarts: Freedom, Abortion, and Art," The Brooklyn Rail (May 2022): https://brooklynrail.org/2022/05/criticspage/Viva-Ruiz-with-Aliza-Shvarts
"Toward a Reparative Pedagogy: Art as Trigger, Art as Repair," Art Journal Open (April 2022): https://artjournal.collegeart.org/?p=16702