Doug Ashford is a teacher, artist and writer. He is Associate Professor at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art where he has taught three-dimensional design, sculpture, public art and theory seminars since 1989.
In 1981, Ashford became a member of the artists’ collective Group Material, his principal art practice until 1996. Group Material produced over fifty exhibitions and public projects internationally, using museums and other public spaces as cultural arenas in which audiences were invited to imagine democratic forms. Prominent in this history are the exhibitions: The Castle (documenta 8, Kassel, Germany, 1987), Democracy (The Dia Art Foundation, New York, 1988) and AIDS Timeline (The Berkeley Art Museum 1989, Wadsworth Atheneum, 1990, The Whitney Museum, 1991). Group Material’s work in exhibition production, public cultural display, and the aesthetic mobilization of politics continue to affect the world of visual culture and other disciplines.
Since 1996, Ashford has gone on to make paintings, produce exhibitions and publish articles independently, with his creative labor primarily located in the classroom. His most recent publication is Who Cares (Creative Time, 2006), a book project built from a series of conversations between Ashford and an assembly of other cultural practitioners on public expression, beauty, and ethics. Recent exhibitions of paintings include the Sharjah Biennial 10, (2011) and Abstract Possible, Malmo Konsthall; Museo Tamayo and other locations (2010-12) and dOCUMENTA 13 (2012). A collection of essays, Doug Ashford: Writings and Conversation, (Mousse Publishing, 2013), was published on the occasion of his retrospective exhibition at the Grazer Kunstverein.