Ms. Thea is a writer, curator, advisor and critic. Her book, On Curating / Interviews with 10 International Curators was launched and published by DAP in 2009. The foreword was written by Hans Ulrich Obrist and the interviewees include: Joseph Backstein, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Okwui Enwezor, Charles Esche, Massimiliano Gioni, RoseLee Goldberg. Mary Jane Jacob, Virginia Perez-Ratton, PiLi and Rirkrit Tiravanija.
Her first book, foci interviews with 10 international curators, published in 2001 by Apexart Curatorial program, boasts a number of foreign translations. The foreword was written by Barry Schwabsky and includes interviews with Dan Cameron, Hou Hanru, Yuko Hasegawa, Maria Hlavajova, Kasper Koenig, Barbara London, Vasif Kortun, Rosa Martinez, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Harald Szeemann.
Her articles, reviews and interviews have been published in countless publications among them, Parkette, artforum.com, arttnet.com and Atlántica -- where she also served as the English editor for the 45th issue. Thea is a contributing editor at ArtAsiaPacific and Sculpture Magazine. She also served on the editorial board for Heresies V a Feminist Publication on Art and Politics.
A curator and essayist, Thea worked with the Architectural Institute of America and The Canal Street Billboard Projects, Skidmore College Gallery and The Hofstra University Museum. She worked as a curatorial assistant and coordinator to the curator Amnon Barzel for his exhibitions, Remote Connections, at the Graz Museum in Austria, and Art Focus, in 1996-7 in Jerusalem and Denmark. In the 1980's Thea was a curatorial advisor to Artists Representing Environmental Art. In 2004, she was invited as a distinguished visiting scholar to the American Academy in Rome
Thea's BA in Political Science was from Columbia University where she also studied African Art history with Douglas Fraser. In 1976, she received her MA from Hunter College City University of New York, where she studied with Leo Steinberg, Robert Morris and Robert Barry. Her Master's Thesis was an investigation into the symbols of power found in the mask of the Bundu and Sande society of the Mende people in West Africa. The thesis, published in 1979 in HeresiesV was groundbreaking -- viewing the mask as a non-exoticized object relating to its purpose and aesthetics in its own culture and how this analysis impacts on contemporary issues of gender and the western gaze.
Carolee Thea is an art historian and studies artworks, their concepts and structures and their relationship to today's concerns: globalization, emerging countries, gender, the end of empire, the postcolonial juncture, collectives, formal issues, the digital era, the evolution of the 21st century museum, theories of exhibitions as in the biennial and curatorial practice. Combining an astute knowledge of art history and contemporary insider savvy, she is an advisor to select individuals and to new and seasoned collectors.