Miwon Kwon is a professor of contemporary art and chair of the Department of Art History. Trained in architecture, she holds a M.A. in photography, and has extensive curatorial experience from her tenure at the Whitney Museum of American Art in the early 1990s. She received her Ph.D. in architectural history and theory from Princeton University in 1998, the same year in which she joined the faculty at UCLA to teach contemporary art history (post-1945).
Kwon's research and writings have engaged several disciplines including contemporary art, architecture, public art and urban studies. She was a founding co-editor and publisher of Documents, a journal of art, culture, and criticism (1992-2004), and serves on the advisory board of October magazine. She is the author of One Place After Another: Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity (MIT Press, 2002), as well as lengthy essays on the work of many contemporary artists, including Francis Alÿs, Michael Asher, Cai Guo-Qiang, Jimmie Durham, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Barbara Kruger, Christian Marclay, Ana Mendieta, Josiah McElheny, Christian Philipp Müller, Gabriel Orozco, Jorge Pardo, Richard Serra, James Turrel and Do Ho Suh, among others.
She co-organized a major historical exhibition in 2012 entitled "Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974," with Philipp Kaiser, which was on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and traveled to Haus der Kunst in Münich, Germany, that same year. The College Art Association gave the exhibition catalogue of the same title (published by Prestel) the 2013 Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award for the most distinguished catalogue in the history of art, published in the English language under the auspices of a museum, library or collection.