How does care manifest in contemporary art? How do artists visualize kinship? These are some of the questions guiding this thesis. In considering the depiction of care in contemporary art, there is a limited application of the concept. Understood through the scope of feminist discourse on the sexual division of labor, care becomes restrained the context of familial obligation according to the nuclear family structure, such as in the case of parental obligation. This characterization of care implies that it is a burden upon the care provider and functions to exploit labor, especially on the part of women. However, this thesis proposes an expanded analysis of care, shifting the focus in order to accommodate for care as it appears in queer kinship networks. Applying a theoretical framework drawing upon feminist theory, disability studies, and Crip theory, this thesis examines the artwork of contemporary American artist Park McArthur, whose work reflects her embodied experiences of disability. Reflecting her position as a disabled adult who receives care, McArthur employs a variety of media in her body of work. Created in conversation with minimalist and conceptualist art, her interrogation of care contributes to the theoretical inquiries being made with Crip theory, disability studies, and feminist theory.

Degree Date

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name



Art History


Anna Lovatt

Second Advisor

Roberto Conduru

Third Advisor

Randall Griffin

Subject Area

Art History/Criticism/Conservation

Number of Pages




Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Smu_Scholar_Deposit_Form-signed.pdf (205 kB)
Deposit Form