Yve-Alain Bois headshot

Yve-Alain Bois

School of Historical Studies

Art History


Historical Studies

Field of Study

Art History

A specialist in twentieth-century European and American art, Bois is recognized as an expert on a wide range of artists, from Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso to Piet Mondrian, Barnett Newman, and Ellsworth Kelly. He has curated and co-curated a number of influential exhibitions, including Piet Mondrian, A Retrospective (1994); L’informe, mode d’emploi (1996); Matisse and Picasso: A Gentle Rivalry (1999); and Picasso Harlequin 1917–1937 (2008). His books include Ellsworth Kelly: Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings, Reliefs, and Sculpture: Vol. 1, 19401953 (2015); Matisse in the Barnes Foundation (2015); Art Since 1900 (with Benjamin Buchloh, Hal Foster, and Rosalind Krauss, 2004); Matisse and Picasso (1998); Formless: A User’s Guide (with Rosalind Krauss, 1997); and Painting as Model (1990). Bois is currently working on several long-term projects, foremost among them the five-volume catalogue raisonné of Ellsworth Kelly’s paintings and sculptures. 

Dates at IAS

School of Historical Studies


École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris
Doctorat de III cycle (Ph.D.)
Université Paris VIII
License de Lettres Modernes
École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris


Awards: Prix Pierre Daix 2015; Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres 2002; Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Award 2001
Editorships: October, Editor 1991–; Macula, Cofounder 1976
Lectureship: 2020 A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Memberships: American Academy of Arts and Sciences; American Philosophical Society


Harvard University
Joseph Pulitzer, Jr., Professor of Modern Art 1991–2005; Chair of the Department of History of Art and Architecture 2002–05
Johns Hopkins University
Professor 1989–91; Associate Professor 1984–89; Visiting Associate Professor 1983–84
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Chargé de recherche 1981–83; Attaché de recherche 1977–81