Vivian Sky Rehberg is a Senior Research Lecturer at the Willem de Kooning Academy, attached to the KCW-Kenniscentrum WdKA, and an associate of the Rotterdam Arts & Sciences Lab. As an art writer, researcher, and educator, Vivian’s work has been shaped by lifelong encounters with artists and creative practitioners alongside the interdisciplinary study of modern and contemporary art. She obtained her MA in Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University (Stony Brook, New York) and her PhD in art history from Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois) with the dissertation The Rhetoric of Realism: Painting, Politics, and Commitment in France, 1940-56. She moved to Paris in the mid-1990s, where she worked as a museum curator, writer, translator, and art educator before she relocated to Rotterdam in 2012. Prior to joining RASL in fall 2019, to co-develop a transdisciplinary Master program, Vivian was Course Director of the Master Fine Art at the Piet Zwart Institute, where she was also a writing tutor and taught courses in modern and contemporary art history and theory. Vivian has published widely on modern and contemporary art and was a contributing editor and freelance correspondent for frieze magazine for over a decade. She conducts writing workshops in and out of the academy.
Vivian is devoted to study: to fostering more equitable ideals and psycho-social dynamics of learning within art academic education. Her current research interests include the psychology of aesthetics and aesthetic experience, aesthetic emotions and emotional labor, and how emotions are normalized, socialized, shared, inhibited, or communicated within communities of practice and among viewers-receivers-participants. Her most recent writing has engaged with the work of the late British psychoanalyst, educator, and artist Marion Milner, for whom art “conceptualizes the outstanding experience of being alive.”
She is a member of the WdKA-PZI Promiscuous Care Research Group, Erasmus University Art Acquisitions Committee and the WdKA-PZI Advisory Committee on Ethics. Vivian is on the advisory board of Yellow Brick, an artist-run space in Athens, and she also participates in the Word and Image Research Group at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis. She has been a frequent assessor, juror, external examiner, mentor, and advisor for art academies, residencies, cultural initiatives and venues. Vivian continues to explore writing as a practice, and is an enthusiastic amateur cook, gardener, walker, and handicrafter. She lives in Brussels.