Much of Christian’s research has focused on pre-1945 German art, particularly Expressionism and Dada, but in the last eight years he has increasingly worked in a post-1945 field, especially with respect to five German artists selected from the Tate/National Galleries of Scotland collection ARTIST ROOMS, namely August Sander, Gerhard Richter, Georg Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer, and Joseph Beuys. Edinburgh College of Art has been the official hub of the Tate/NGS research partnership on ARTIST ROOMS, and Christian worked as the lead on German art for this partnership, organising many symposia and publishing many projects.
Of key interest in terms of the history of Edinburgh College of Art is Christian’s work on the exhibition Strategy: Get Arts. In the late summer of 1970, Edinburgh College of Arts acted as the venue for this ground-breaking and highly influential exhibition, curated by the gallerist Richard Demarco in conjunction with the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, which featured Beuys, as well as other now canonical figures of post-1945 art, such as Gerhard Richter, Blinky Palermo, Sigmar Polke and Günter Uecker. They represented a radical new generation of artists from the ‘Düsseldorf school’, artists distinct from their predecessors in the various pre-war circles of Expressionism and Dada.
Christian fully explores this important history in a recent Tate Papers issue on Beuys, which he guest edited. This forms part of a wider project on Beuys at ECA, including documentaries and podcasts, which will be available on a University of Edinburgh website before the 50th anniversary of Strategy: Get Arts, in the summer of 2020.