Marlena Donohue is a Full Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History at Otis College of Art, a 90-year old, private Arts and Liberal Studies college in Los Angeles, where she also directs all Art History curriculum. Marlena Donohue has also taught at Pepperdine University, Mount St. Mary's College, the Cal State Universities, UCLA, as well as other respected colleges.
Since 2017, Marlena Donohue serves as the Director of the Bruce Beasley Foundation, an Oakland based non-profit organization dedicated to the display, study and advancement of the art of sculpture particularly in disadvantaged areas such as West Oakland.
Marlena Donohue has written on fine art, culture and critical theory for over two decades in the Los Angeles Times, Art in America, Art News, Sculpture, USA Today, the Monitor, the London Arts Newspaper, artltd, Visual Art Source, ArtScene, Art Today, and many others.
Additionally, she has authored innumerable exhibition catalogs, art reviews, reader essays, as well as the bi-lingual children's poetry volume, Cuando Palabras Suenan: When Words Dream, undertaken with the Mexican Consul, L.A.
For two decades, Marlena Donohue has been a working editor, most recently for the arts journals ArtScene and Visual Art Source, and for the arts quarterly Fabrik -- where she edited writers such as the New Yorker’s Lawrence Weschler.
In 2021 she co-organized a 60-year retrospective of sculpture by Bruce Beasley, with a major catalogue at Grounds for Sculpture, New Jersey. In 2019 she helped to organize A New Direction at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art; in 2018 she curated Asia/LA—LA/Asia at the ARA Arts Center, Seoul, Korea, including artists like John Baldessari and Masami Teraoka.
Recent international/national exhibitions include Critical Connections, and Forms of the Formless, installed at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Beijing and Teda Modern Art Museum, Nanjing; Framing Abstraction at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Some City Angels, an overview of LA contemporary art held in conjunction with the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time at Edward Cella Art + Architecture.