Charlotte Matter is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Institute of Art History and the scientific coordinator of the specialized Master’s program Art History in a Global Context. Her doctoral thesis, titled The Politics of Plastics: Feminist Approaches to New Materials in Art, 1960s and 1970s, explored how women artists and critics challenged sexist discourses in art and claimed plastics as feminist substances. Examining the works of Lea Lublin and Carla Accardi in particular, as well as Nicola L, Margarita Paksa, Niki de Saint Phalle, and Alina Szapocznikow, the study reflected on gender and materiality in relation to notions of labor, social reproduction, sexuality, and sickness. The dissertation also considered the global boom of exhibitions on plastics and the discourse on these new industrial materials in art, juxtaposing the perspectives of critics such as Lucy R. Lippard and Pierre Restany.
In 2019/2020, Charlotte Matter was a research fellow at the Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History within the Rome Contemporary initiative and a resident at the Istituto Svizzero di Roma. In early 2018, she conducted archival research in Buenos Aires. From 2016 to 2017, she was assistant at the Chair of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of Zurich’s Institute of Art History. Previously, she coordinated the research project New Art Histories: Connecting Ideas, Objects and Institutions in Latin America. She completed her studies in art history and film studies at the University of Zurich in 2015 with a Master’s thesis on the work Tropicália by Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica, examining the shift in meaning between the two exhibition contexts in Rio de Janeiro (Museu de Arte Moderna, 1967) and London (Whitechapel Gallery, 1969).
Charlotte Matter is co-initiator of the research project Rethinking Art History through Disability and a founding member of CARAH – Collective for Anti-Racist Art History. Since summer 2023, she is co-editor of the Sculpture Journal at Liverpool University Press.