Ashton Cooper is a curator, writer, and art historian based in Los Angeles. Her research focuses on the history of painting and sculpture in the U.S. after 1960 and examining gesture, abstraction, and expression from queer feminist perspectives.
She is currently the Luce Curatorial Fellow at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, where she was part of the curatorial team for Made in L.A. 2023: Acts of Living. As an independent curator, she has organized nine solo and group exhibitions in non-profit and gallery spaces in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Vienna.
She writes regularly for Artforum, and has contributed to ArtReview, Mousse, Contemporary Art Review LA, and other publications. Recent writing projects include a catalogue essay on the groundbreaking feminist artist Renate Bertlmann for her retrospective at Belvedere 21 in Vienna and the text “The Feminine Absurd” for the Made in L.A. 2023 catalogue.
In 2023, she earned a PhD in Art History from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. A specialist in modern and contemporary art, she is committed to queer, feminist, and anti-racist approaches to art historical thinking. Her dissertation, “How hard to give form to oneself honestly”: Liberation Politics and the Remaking of Painterly Expression in 1970s New York, focused on artists Harmony Hammond, Al Loving, and Howardena Pindell.