Alex Fialho

Alex Fialho's picture
Contemporary art, activist artistic response, HIV/AIDS scholarship, critical race studies, queer theory
B.A. Art History, with Departmental Honors and Distinction, Stanford University, 2011

Alex Fialho (he/they) is a PhD candidate in Yale University’s Combined PhD program in the History of Art and African American Studies. As an art historian and curator, his research and writing focus on modern and contemporary art, Black feminist and queer theory, and AIDS cultural studies. Fialho’s dissertation thinks through photography by African American artists and archives of their work as apertures onto AIDS-related art histories.

Fialho worked for five years as Programs Director of the New York-based arts non-profit Visual AIDS, facilitating projects around the history and immediacy of the ongoing AIDS pandemic, while intervening against the widespread whitewashing of HIV/AIDS cultural narratives. As an Oral Historian for the Smithsonian Archives of American Art’s Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, he conducted extensive oral histories with fifteen cultural producers including Gregg Bordowitz, Douglas Crimp, Nan Goldin, Lyle Ashton Harris, & Julie Tolentino.

Fialho’s writing has been published in exhibition catalogs for the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, Socrates Sculpture Park and the Andy Warhol Museum, among others. Fialho has also presented research on the queer artistic juvenilia of Glenn Ligon and Keith Haring at the College Art Association Annual Conference and at New York University’s Fales Library.

Since 2016, with collaborator Melissa Levin, Fialho has stewarded the legacy of artist Michael Richards. In 2021, Fialho and Levin co-curated Richards’ first museum retrospective—Michael Richards: Are You Down?—at the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami. The exhibition was recognized by Frieze magazine as one of the “Top 10 Shows in the United States of 2021.” Fialho and Levin also co-curated the survey exhibition Michael Richards: Winged at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (2016) and the Stanford Art Gallery (2019). At Stanford, they organized the interdisciplinary academic symposium “Flight, Diaspora, Identity, and Afterlife: A Symposium on the Art of Michael Richards.”

Fialho received a B.A. in Art History with Honors and Distinction from Stanford University.

Combined Ph.D. with History of Art