Professor Rebecca Fortnum Joins the RCA School of Fine Art

The Royal College of Art is pleased to welcome artist, writer, curator and academic Professor Rebecca Fortnum as Senior Tutor for Research in the School of Fine Art. Professor Fortnum brings a wealth of research interests and experience that will undoubtedly enrich the RCA. 

Rebecca Fortnum's practice spans writing and fine art; her undergraduate study was in English Literature and Language, and her postgraduate  study was in Fine Art. She was Research Fellow with the Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Art at Lancaster University (2004–9), leading a project called Visual Intelligences that investigated the methods of processes of material fine art practices. In 2009 Fortnum became Reader of Fine Art at University of the Arts London, and in 2013 she was appointed Professor of Fine Art at Middlesex University, London. 

Fortnum's specialist interest in women artists resulted in the 2007 publication, Contemporary British Women Artists: In Their Own Words, which contains interviews with twenty artists including Christine Borland, Tacita Dean and Tracey Emin. Her most recent publication is On Not Knowing: How Artists Think, published by Black Dog, which she co-edited with Lizzie Fisher in 2013.

Fortnum was instrumental in founding the London artist-run galleries Cubitt and Gasworks. She also established Paint Club, an informal painting research network in 2008, and is Founding Editor of the Journal of Contemporary Painting published by Intellect. Recent exhibitions include The Imagination of Children and a solo exhibition, Absurd Impositions, both at the V & A’s Museum of Childhood (2011–12). Her  solo exhibition, Self Contained, was at the Freud Museum in 2013 and was accompanied by a book published by RGAP.

In 2014 Fortnum co-curated, Just What is it That Makes Today’s Art Schools So Different, So Appealing symposium at the ICA London and co-edited a special edition of the Journal of Art, Design and Communication in Higher Education on the challenges of Fine Art pedagogy.

Fortnum has received awards from organisations including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, British Council, Arts Council of England, British School in Rome, AHRC, the Art House’s Space for 10 award for mid-career artists, and the METHOD Cultural Leadership Programme.

As Senior Tutor for Research, Fortnum’s role at the RCA will encompass all aspects of staff research in the School of Fine Art, as well as strategic planning, grant submission and overseeing Fine Art MRes, MPhil and PhD students. 

Fortnum said, 'I am delighted to be joining the RCA and the School of Fine Art's staff team, which includes so many highly respected artists and researchers. I am also thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to the School's research vision and student culture.'