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Marlena Doktorczyk-Donohue is a cultural theorist, art historian, critic and curator. She is a Full Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History at Otis College of Art and Design, where she serves as Head of the Art History area of study.

Marlena Doktorczyk-Donohue is the Director of the Bruce Beasley Foundation, a multi-million dollar San Francisco/Oakland based non-profit organization dedicated to the display, study and advancement of the art of sculpture. 

She has written on fine art, culture and critical theory for over two decades in the Los Angeles Times, Art in America, Art News, Sculpture, USA Today, the Monitor, the London Arts Newspaper, artltd, Visual Art Source, ArtScene, Art Today, and many others.


She’s authored countless exhibition catalogs, art reviews, essays, as well as the bi-lingual children's


poetry volume, Cuando Palabras Suenan: When Words Dream, undertaken with the Mexican Consul, L.A., and over the years served as editor and contributing editor to Sculpture, Fabric, Artscene, Visual Art Source, to name a few.

In Summer 2022, she contributed the lead essay to a major solo exhibition of LA-based activist artist Kim Abeles for the Fresno Museum of Art and continues to contribute regularly to the New York-based digital publication Introspective. In 2021 she co-organized a 60-year retrospective of sculpture by Bruce Beasley, with a major catalogue at Grounds for Sculpture, New Jersey. In 2019 she helped to organize A New Direction at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. In 2018 she curated Asia/LA—LA/Asia at the ARA Arts Center, Seoul, Korea, including artists like John Baldessari and Masami Teraoka.

Other international/national exhibitions include Critical Connections, and Forms of the Formless, installed at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Beijing and Teda Modern Art Museum, Nanjing; Framing Abstraction at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery; Some City Angels, an overview of LA contemporary art held in conjunction with the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time at Edward Cella Art + Architecture.

At Otis College of Art and Design, Marlena Donohue oversees and teaches Art History Honors classes. She co-teaches the Uniquely Abled class, in which Otis students from all majors work and professionally exhibit with uniquely abled adult artists from the Exceptional Children’s Foundation. Additionally, she co-developed and teaches the Fine Arts Sophomore Seminar series, linking a critique of the Western philosophical canon to concrete studio and current world issues.

Marlena Doktorczyk-Donohue has lectured at Pepperdine University, Mount St. Mary's College, the Cal State Universities, and UCLA.  


Appointments / Honors

2020              Appointed Head, Art History Area, Otis College of Art and Design 

2021-2019     Appointed Director of the Bruce Beasley Foundation, SF/Oakland

2018              Appointed Interim Director, Bruce Beasley Sculpture Center Oakland

2016              Appointed, Director of the Board, Chief Curatorial Administrator for the Bruce Beasley Sculpture Center of the Oakland Museum of Art 

Professional Achievements 

2021   Co-organized Bruce Beasley: A Sixty Year Retrospective, Grounds for Sculpture, New Jersey


2019  Juror, NYU in Beijing Arts Invitational, Beijing Museum of Contemporary Art

2016     California State University, Northridge 2016 Grad Exhibition – Invited Juror/Speaker(see 2016 PAS, Professional Achievements/Administrative Experience). 

2015    Distinguished Teaching Award, Otis College of Art and Design


2015     Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Dept.  COLA Grants/Awards Juror  


2015     Appointed Co-Academic Founder, Assistant Director --Beijing Museum of Contemporary Art Research Institute of Art and Inter-Cultural Studies 


2015     Elected to Board of Directors, Museum of Contemporary Art, Beijing 


2014     USA Liaison/Operations Manager – VibrARTtions International Cultural Projects, Beijing

Teaching Experience

1996 - Present      Full Professor, Otis College of Art and Design

                                     Contemporary Art

                                     Post Modern Theory

                                     Visual Culture

                                     Modern Art History

                                     Gender and Feminism

                                     Undergrad Senior Thesis

                                     Grad  MFA Thesis Public Practice

2000 - 2010        Recurring Visiting Lecturer, California State University Northridge

1998 - 2009        Recurring Lecturer: University of California, Los Angeles, Extension


1986 - 1990        Recurring Lecturer: Pepperdine University

1982 - 1983        Part time TA Instructor USC, under Dr. Eunie Howe, Renaissance Seminar, under Dr. C. Malone, Medieval Art History

Arts and Editorial Administration
Selected Overview

Appointed, Director, The Bruce Beasley Foundation 

Appointed Director, Bruce Beasley Sculptural Center of the Oakland Museum of Art, 2016

Since 2012 I have had a seat on the consulting Board looking to establish a relationship between the Bruce Beasley trust and the Oakland Museum of Art. Bruce Beasley is an internationally noted sculptor who will endow the Oakland Museum with $17,000,000 in buildings and liquid assets to partner with the Oakland Museum in the creation of a satellite exhibition and research space called The Bruce Beasley Sculpture Center of the Oakland Museum of Art. The Center will partner with OMOCA to conserve his artistic legacy, as well as re-fashion the large excellently appointed buildings in his one city block studio complex to function as study, display and community outreach spaces. Bruce Beasley has selected me to oversee this entire  project.  It is non-paid post, and until the artist’s death mainly low density. The papers creating this joint venture have been signed, and conversations and negotiations with Bruce Beasley’s attorneys, the City of Oakland and the Oakland Museum of Art regarding permits, youth programming, grants and joint institutional marketing campaigns have begun. I am in charge of organizing and spearheading this preliminary conceptual phase, with the contractual understanding that at the artist’s death – he remains vital-- I will be in charge of envisioning, administering the entire project.  

Appointed Co-Academic Founder, Assistant Director, Beijing Museum of Contemporary Art Research Institute, 2014-2016

Project Admin. Responsible for oversight/organization/coordination of  international. inter- cultural conferences, panels, symposia with multi cultural scholars/thinkers/artists/students 

No Air/No Art - Responsible for oversight/organization/coordination of “No Art – No Air,” scheduled to begin August, 2015 to August 2016,   Museum of Contemporary Art  and other European museums urban centers; project includes series of “mobile” site specific installations, as well as panels, residences and academic programming addressing the intersections between art, culture and issues related broadly to the  environment.

Youth Plus - Academic Consultant to programming titled "Youth Plus” Sponsored by  China the National Arts Fund,  this is an ongoing international project focusing on Chinese and international artists under the age of 40.   The project will be a yearly event and will feature  be a series of programs including exhibitions, publications, forums and residency, all aimed toward establishing  a comprehensive support platform for artists in all media. All artists within the age range may submit applications to the open call, according to the "Youth Plus” guidelines. The final participants are selected by a rotating jury of global arts professionals, from noted artists, to curators, and scholars. 


Co-Editor in Chief, Fabrik, 2000-2001 — Edited two editions of arts journal, ArtScene Digest,1996-present,

Responsible for oversight of copy editors and all arts writer

Responsible for vetting national writers; mentoring and interfacing with international art critics 

Responsible for coordinating between Digital Design Dept., Editorial Dept; Advertising Dept.


Associate Editor, Visual Art Source, online arts journal 2009-present,

Responsible for oversight of copy editors and all arts writers

Responsible for vetting national writers; mentoring and interfacing with international art critics 

Responsible for coordinating between Digital Design Dept., Editorial Dept; Advertising Dept.

Critical Writing Overview

Contributing West Coat Art Critic/Essayist, Sculpture, Washington, DC, 1989-present 

Art Critic/Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 1985-1990

Contributing Editor, Sculpture Magazine, 1991-1993

West Coast Arts Correspondent, London Art Newspaper, Milan, Italy, 1989-1995

Critic, Op Ed Blogger, Huffington Post : 2010-2011

West Coast Art Critic, Christian Science Monitor, 1986-2003

West Coast Art Critic, USA Today, 1986-2003

Art Critic, Copley Syndication, including Santa Monica Outlook, Breeze and Tribune, 1990-2002.

Selected Publications by Category

Over 1000 art reviews, articles, catalogue essays, book chapters available via web search under “Marlena Donohue.”  Career art reviews/essays too numerous to list separately; selected samples available digitally on request. 

Books/Book Essays

Donohue, Marlena “Bruce Beasley: Gestures,” Museum of Contemporary Art Beijing, Nov 2015

Donohue, Marlena, “Qin Feng: Intersections,” Monograph. Himalaya Museum, Shanghai, June, 2015

Donohue, Marlena, "Ink Techniques in the Works of Huang Zheng -- Contemporary Positions/Ancient Roots". Museum of Contemporary Art Press, Beijing, July, 2014.  

Donohue, Marlena, "Forms of the Formless: Abstraction in Eastern Philosophy and Western Modern Art", in Michael Suh, Marlena Donohue, Eds, Forms of the Formless, Museum of Contemporary Art Press, Beijing, Dec. 2014. 


Doktorczyk-Donohue, Marlena, “The Waitresses in Context.” In Allyn, J., Gauldin, A., Eds., The Waitresses Unpeeled: Performance Art and Life. Otis College of Art and Design: LA, 2011.

Selected Recent Articles, Reviews, Interviews ​

Donohue, Marlena, “Expanded Art Spaces: The Contributions of the ASCO Art Collective,” in Harper, Glenn, Ed. Alternative Public Art. International Sculpture Center, NY, 2013.


Donohue, Marlena, “Bruce Beasley Outdoor Sculptures at UC Berkeley: Public Space/Modern Aesthetics,” University of California sponsored Catalog.  Sept. 2013


Donohue, Marlena, “Winterhalter Portraitist to Royals,” Introspective, New York, April-May, 2016. link 


Donohue, Marlena, Revisiting the Bauhaus,” ArtScene Digest, Jan. 2016


Donohue, Marlena, “Unbound at Edward Cella Art and Architecture,” ARTltd, May/June Issue, 2015. 


Donohue, Marlena, “Ben Jackel at LA Louver Gallery,” ArtScene Digest, April 2015


Donohue, Marlena, “The Tapestries of Peter Paul Rubens at the Getty Center,” Introspective, New York, February, 2015.


Donohue, Marlena, “Diaghelev and the Birth of the Avant Garde,” Introspective, NY, May, 2013


Donohue, Marlena, “Allison Saar at Watts Towers,” Visual Art Source, February, 2015


Donohue, Marlena, "Tim  Ebner  at  Rosamund Felson Gallery," ArtScene, May 2014


Donohue, Marlena, “Georgia O’ Keeffe and the Landscape,” Introspective, New York, April,. 2014


Donohue, Marlena, “Calder and Abstraction,” Introspective, NY, March, 2014


Donohue, Marlena, “David Hockney Goes Digital,” Introspective, New York, Jan.  2014

Donohue, Marlena, “George Bellows at the National Gallery of Art,” Introspective Magazine, NY, April 2013


Donohue, Marlena, “Diaghilev and the Birth of the Avant Garde,” Introspective Magazine, NY, May, 2013


Donohue, Marlena, “Vermeer Visits the Getty Center: A Talk with the Curator,”Introspective Magazine, NY, Feb, 2013


Donohue, Marlena, “Eleanor Antin,” ArtLTD  Mar. 2012


Donohue, Marlena, “Caravaggio and His School,” Introspective Magazine, NY, March 2013


Donohue, Marlena, “Faberge Designs, “ Introspective Magazine, NY, Aug., 2013


Donohue, Marlena, “A Conversation with Peter Shelton,”  Sculpture , Washington DC, Mar. 2012


Donohue, Marlena, Evelyn Hankins on Blinky Palermo at the Hirshhorn Museum, Introspective Magazine NY, 2012


Donohue, Marlena,  Molly Donovan on “Andy Warhol: Headlines at the National Gallery of Art,” Introspective Magazine, NY, 2012


Donohue, Marlena , Britt Salvesen,  on Ellsworth Kelly at LACMA, Introspective Magazine, NY, 2012.


Donohue, Marlena , “Chiyo Ishikawa on Pablo Picasso at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts,” Introspective Magazine, NY, 2012


Donohue, Marlena ,” Lisa Melandri on Beatrice Wood at Santa Monica Museum of Art.” Introspective Magazine, NY,  2012


Donohue, Marlena . Interview: Rose Shoshana and Marta Daho on  Graciela Iturbide at the Van Gogh/Rencontres d’Arles Centre Cultural, Arles, France. Introspective Magazine, NY,  2012.


Donohue, Marlena, “Roy Lichtenstein and the Legacy of Pop at the Chicago Art Institute,  Introspective Magazine, NY, June 2012


Donohue, Marlena, “The Steins Collect: on View at SFMOA,” Huffington Post, 2012


Donohue, Marlena, “Lise Sarfati at Rose Gallery,” Huffington Post, 2012:


Donohue, Marlena, “An Homage to Lucien Freud and Amy Winehouse,” Huffington Post, 2010.

Donohue, Marlena ,“Ruth Weisberg at Jack Rutberg,” Visual Art Source, 2010


Donohue, Marlena , “Editor’s Note: Cheri Gaulke,” Visual Art Source, 2010


Donohue, Marlena , “Ellsworth Kelly at LACMA,”  ArtScene, 2007

Selected Essays/Catalogs

Doktorczyk-Donohue, Marlena, “Framing Abstraction,” in Doktorczyk-Donohue, M., Ed., Framing Abstraction: Mark, Sign, Signifier. Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, LA, 2011.


Annetta Kapon:  A Marxist View, LAX Art, Sept. 2011


Doktorczyk-Donohue, Marlena, “SOS—The Sisters of Survival in Context.” Linton, M;  Gaulke C,  Eds.,Ben Maltz Gallery,LA, 2011.


Doktorczyk-Donohue, Marlena, “Patrick Graham, “ pp 25-29. In Sisley, L., Ed., The Quick and the Dead. Dublin City Gallery Hugh Lane: Dublin, Gallery Press, 2009.


Doktorczyk-Donohue, Marlena, “The Semiotics of the Itsy Bitsy Bikini,” pp. 67-74. In Giuntini, P., Hagen, K., Eds., Garb: A Fashion Theory Reader, Prentice Hall: NY, 2008.


Donohue, Marlena, “Yamandu Canosa, Three Spots,” Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, 2007.. 


Donohue, Marlena, “An Afro American Vision: The Works of Phoebe Beasley.” Exhibition Catalogue, M Hanks Gallery, Los Angeles, California, 2005. 


Donohue, Marlena, “Thomas Skomski.”  Exhibition Catalogue, South Bend Museum of Art, Indiana, 2001


Donohue, Marlena, “The Work of Judith Reifman: Memory and Desire.”  Exhibition Catalogue, Sherry Frumkin Gallery, Santa Monica, California,1994.


Donohue, Marlena,   Heidi Fasnact: Recent Sculpture.  Exhibition Catalogue, Janus Gallery, New York, New York, 1994.


Donohue, Marlena, “The Sculpture of Bruce Beasley.” Exhibition Catalogue, Oakland Museum of Art, with Peter Selz, 1992

Selected Career Artist Interviews


Interview/Essay  Robert Rauschenberg at Pace Wildenstein Christian Science Monitor


Interview Ellsworth Kelly, Christian Science Monitor


Interview Mike Kelly, Sculpture Magazine


Interview, George Segal, Sculpture Magazine


Interview/Essay Elizabeth Murray Christian Science Monitor

Selected Career Journals and Dailies Contributed to

Art in America


Huffington Post

Los Angeles Times 


USA Today

London Art Newspaper

Monitor, Washington DC


Visual Art Source 

Art Scene     

Art Now                    

Art New York                  

New York Magazine 



Daily Breeze

Curatorial Experience

May 2021   Co-Curator, Catalogue Editor, Bruce Beasley: A 60-Year Retrospective, Grounds for Sculpture, New Jersey 

Sept 2020  Co organized VR in Sculpture, Pangolin Gallery, UK.

Sept 2019  Co-organized exhibition of VR assisted sculptures, Autodesk Corp, San Francisco

Nov 2015   Chief Curator Bruce Beasley and Qin Feng: Gestures

Qin Feng is one of the most celebrated contemporary artists working in China today. He is shown internationally (at Asian American Museum, L.A.) and teaches rotating years at Harvard. I curated a two-exhibition venue,  wherein Qin Feng produced in situ installation works (seen here) within and outside the museum, as well as new paintings; Bruce Beasley, internationally shown/noted land sculptor showed new 3-d printed large- scale bronzes. 

Sept. 2015  Co Curator/Juror 

Youth Plus : A Juried Invitational of Asian Artist Under Forty30 Photos

Curators/critics  form London and New York University participated in the selection of 20 artists to receive a stipend and an exhibition at MoCA, Beijing and Teda Modern Museum.  I was one of the lead jurors and designed the installation. Covered extensively by Chinese and European press. 


2015     Curatorial Consultant/Advisor 

Critical Connections: Nineteen International Artists,” Art St. Urban, St. Urban, Lucerne,  Switzerland,  and Museum of Contemporary Art, Beijing, 9, 29 2015 to 10, 29 2015. 


2015     Co-Curator 

With the Director of the Beijing Museum of Contemporary Art, “Forms of the Formless 10: Time/Space. Beijing Museum of Contemporary Art. Beijing, China. April 24, to Oct. 2015


2014     Co-Curator 

With  the Director of the Beijing Museum of Contemporary Art, “Forms of the Formless,” TEDA Museum of Modern Art, Tianjin. Nov 2013 - Jan 2014.


2013     Chief Curator

“Framing Abstraction: Mark, Symbol, Signifier.” Debuted in March, 2011 at the Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles. Major traveling, internationally lent exhibition, co curated  with Peter Selz, Emeritus Art History, UCB. Organized and edited the accompanying catalogue, containing essays on abstraction by me, Selz, other essayists


2011     Chief Curator

 “Some City Angeles.” Guest curator for exhibition of LA artists at Edward Cella Art and Architecture, with Getty funding in support of Pacific Standard Time. Sept., 2011


2008    Co-Curator/Organizer:

 “Omage: The Artists, Designers and Writers at Otis College of Art and Design,” August 2008, Track 16  Gallery, Santa Monica, California

2005    Co-Curator: 

“Excess Baggage: The Conceptual Sculpture of Emilio Garcia,” traveling, 2005.


2003    Co-Curator

 “Mexican Otis: Nine Decades of Alumni Art,” Opened at Mexican Consul  General ,Los Angeles, 2003.


1981-1983    Assistant to Director

Josine Ianco-Starrels, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, 


1980-1982    Curatorial Researcher

J. Paul Getty Villa, Drawings/Photographs Dept., under  Dr. George Goldner, currently at the Met, NY,

Conferences  —  Papers  —  Panels  —  Jurying


March 2015             Juror

Selected by Los Angeles Dept Cultural Affairs as one of five L.A. arts community leaders to evaluate 300 applicants and award four $20,000 COLA grants who  participate in the COLA Annual Exhibition at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery.   



April – May, 2014     Organized Panels/Lectures,

“Forms of the Formless: An Eastern and Western View of Abstraction,” Beijing Museum of Contemporary Art.


December  2013        Panel/Lecture

Tianjin, Dec 2013 “Forms of the Formless: An Eastern and Western View of Abstraction,”  TEDA Museum of Modern Art, Tianjin.


September 2011        Panel 

Art Center, Berkeley, California. Panel/lecture: “Framing Abstraction”


January 2009        Panelist 

Moderator/Speaker on panel: “Art in an Era of Social Change.” Sponsored by LA International Art Fair. Panelists: Kim Abeles, Jerri Allyn, Cheri Gaulke, Renee Petropoulos.


 February  2009                    Panelist

CAA Annual Conference, Los Angeles. Paper/panel: “What’s the Story: The Politics of Narrative in the Public Art Works of Kim Abeles and Cheri Gaulke.”

February . 2007        Panelist

 CAA Annual Conference, New York. Paper/panel: “Feminism in California: Beyond Essentialism and Post Structuralism.”



April . 2007        Panelist/Paper  

LACMA.  Los Angeles Arts Awards, “The Relationship of Fine Art and Digital Media.”


Oct. 2006        Panelist /Paper

Art Historians of Southern California, Annual Conference, Getty Villa, Malibu. Paper delivered and panelist: “Alternative Art History Publishing.”


Professional Affiliations

Association of International Art Critics, AIAC, New York

Art Historians of Southern California


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