Head of School
Charlie White, who succeeds John Carson as Head of the School of Art, is an artist and academic whose work pushes the boundaries of representation in varied genres. His career has encompassed photography, film, animation, public events, popular entertainment and documentary archives. White has more than 20 years of experience as an internationally exhibiting artist, with 14 years in academia, bridging the worlds of art making, pedagogy and school administration.
Before coming to CMU, White was a professor in USC’s Roski School of Art and Design, where he established and was area head of a technology-rich program in digital imaging, video and media theory, which thrived across the school’s undergraduate curriculum. As director of the school’s Master of Fine Arts program from 2007 through 2011, he worked with exceptional artists and teachers, including Sharon Lockhart, Frances Stark, Andrea Zittel and A.L. Steiner, to form one of the most progressive young graduate programs in the United States.
White’s work has been discussed and reviewed in periodicals and journals such as The New York Times, Artforum, Frieze, Flash Art, Modern Painters, The New Yorker, Wired, Lacanian ink, and EXIT Image and Culture. In addition, his works have been included in two Thames and Hudson surveys, The Photograph As Contemporary Art, by Charlotte Cotton, and The Body in Contemporary Art, by Sally O’Reilly, amongst other surveys on contemporary photography and art.
In addition to his studio practice, White has written about contemporary topics related to photography and popular representation, and he has produced numerous public and non-institutional projects, including a collaborative teen pop album and the founding and editorship of “The Enemy,” a critical and cultural journal featuring essays and projects by artists, academics and activists. White’s most recent monographs include Such Appetite, Little Brown Mushroom, 2013, and American Minor, JPR | Ringier, 2009. His most recent project, Music For Sleeping Children, is an experimental pop album focusing on the lives of adolescent girls.
White’s work as been exhibited at institutions around the world, including solo exhibitions at the Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York; FA Projects, London; Loock Gallery, Berlin; Brandstrom Gallery, Stockholm; and LAXART, Los Angeles. Solo institutional exhibitions include the Los Angeles County Museum; Domus Artium in Salamanca, Spain; Oslo Kunstforening in Oslo, Norway; and the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, in Ridgefield, CT.
White’s work has also been included in numerous group exhibitions such as Spectator Sports, curated by Allison Grant at the Museum for Contemporary Photography, Chicago, 2013; the 2011 Singapore Biennial; Nine Lives, curated by Ali Subotnik at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, 2009; The Puppet Show, curated by Ingrid Schafnner and Carin Kuoni for the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, 2008; Art in America Now, organized by the Guggenheim Museum for the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art in China, 2007; and Sympathy For The Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967, curated by Dominic Molon for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 2007. In addition to his exhibition history, White has had six monographs of his work published, and his films have screened at the Sundance Film Festival and Director’s Fortnight at Cannes.
White was a fellow at the Yale Norfolk Summer Program in 1994, received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 1995, and his MFA in 1998 from Art Center College of Design.