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Marlena Donohue

Marlena Donohue
Professor
Teaches In
Fine Arts
Interdisciplinary Studies
Liberal Arts and Sciences
Bio/Affiliation: 

Marlena Doktorczyk-Donohue (MarlenaDonohue.net) is a Full Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History and serves as Head of the Art History area of study, where she also oversees and teaches the Art History Honors classes.

Outside of Otis, Marlena Doktorczyk-Donohue serves as the Director of the Bruce Beasley Foundation, a multi-million dollar San Francisco/Oakland based non-profit organization dedicated to the display, study and advancement of the art of sculpture.  

She has written on fine art, culture and critical theory for over two decades in the Los Angeles Times, Art in America, Art News, Sculpture, USA Today, the Monitor, the London Arts Newspaper, artltd, Visual Art Source, ArtScene, Art Today, and many others. She’s authored countless exhibition catalogs, art reviews, essays, as well as the bi-lingual children's poetry volume, Cuando Palabras Suenan: When Words Dream, undertaken with the Mexican Consul, L.A., and over the years served as editor and contributing editor to Sculpture, Fabric, Artscene, Visual Art Source, to name a few.

In Summer 2022 she contributed the lead essay to a major solo exhibition of LA-based activist artist Kim Abeles for the Fresno Museum of Art and continues to contribute regularly to the New York-based digital publication Introspective. In 2021 she co-organized a 60-year retrospective of sculpture by Bruce Beasley, with a major catalogue at Grounds for Sculpture, New Jersey. In 2019 she helped to organize A New Direction at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. In 2018 she curated Asia/LA—LA/Asia at the ARA Arts Center, Seoul, Korea, including artists like John Baldessari and Masami Teraoka.

Along with Meg Cranston, Chair of Fine Arts, Marlena Donohue teaches the Fine Arts Sophomore Seminar series, linking a critique of the Western philosophical canon to concrete studio and current world issues. Along with Michele Jaquis, Otis Director of Interdisciplinary Studies, she helped develop and teaches the Uniquely Abled class, in which Otis students from all majors work and professionally exhibit with uniquely abled adult artists from the Exceptional Children’s Foundation.

Other international/national exhibitions include Critical Connections, and Forms of the Formless, installed at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Beijing and Teda Modern Art Museum, Nanjing; Framing Abstraction at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Some City Angels, an overview of LA contemporary art held in conjunction with the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time at Edward Cella Art + Architecture.

Marlena Donohue has previously lectured at Pepperdine University, Mount St. Mary's College, the Cal State Universities, and UCLA.  

Awards/Honors: 

Otis College Distinguished Teaching Award, 2017