Spring 2016 Graduate Seminar: A TED Talk-worthy lineup of lectures by the art world’s creative vanguard

Left to right: Brice Marden, Stanley Whitney, Charles Ray, Anne Wagner

Left to right: Brice Marden, Stanley Whitney, Charles Ray, Anne Wagner

ArtCenter’s Graduate Seminar lecture series is a forum for graduate students, members of the ArtCenter community and the general public to enter into dialogue with internationally recognized artists, critics and art historians. The seminar—a core component of the College’s Graduate Art program, and organized this spring by faculty member Jack Bankowsky—takes place Tuesday evenings throughout the fall and spring terms. Admission is free for the general public.

Unless otherwise indicated, lectures take place in the L.A. Times Auditorium on ArtCenter’s Hillside Campus, 1700 Lida Street, Pasadena 91103. Check our website to confirm dates, times and locations for the lecture series and for more information about the Graduate Art program.

January 22: Brice Marden

Brice Marden received an MFA from the Yale School of Art and Architecture in 1963. It was at Yale, under instruction from artists including Alex Katz and Jon Schueler and working alongside students Richard Serra and Chuck Close, that Marden arrived at the rectangular format and muted, extremely individualized palette that characterize his early monochromatic panels.

Over the course of his career Marden’s work has developed to reveal the range of influences he has absorbed during his travels throughout the world. The light and landscape of the Greek island of Hydra and the art, landscape, and culture of Asia are manifested in the heightened colors and calligraphic gestures of his more recent work, which, expanding beyond the strictures of Minimalism, reincorporates landscape and the figure into abstract painting while reconnecting it with Abstract Expressionism and non-Western traditions.

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, presented a retrospective exhibition of Marden’s work in 2006, and he has been the subject of one-person exhibitions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Documenta IX, Kassel; and the Serpentine Gallery and Tate Gallery, London. Marden (born 1938) lives and works in New York.

January 26: Stanley Whitney

When the Studio Museum in Harlem opened its fall 2015 exhibition, Stanley Whitney: Dance the Orange, the New Yorker responded with a piece nothing short of rhapsodic. And here’s how the Studio Museum described the Yale-educated NY-based artist: He is a “painter whose intensely color-based abstractions have won steadily mounting recognition since the mid-1990s. The exhibition will feature twenty-eight paintings and works on paper created between 2008 and 2015, including the 2013 title work. Following time spent in Italy and then later in Egypt in the mid-1990s, Whitney developed the weighty, almost architectural approach that has now become his signature style. Rhythmic and lyrical, with a combination of pre-ordained structure and improvisation inspired in part by his love of jazz, the square-format paintings arrange rectangles of vivid, single colors in a deliberately irregular grid, with the close-fitting, many-hued “bricks” or “tiles” stacked vertically and arrayed in horizontal bands.”

February 9: Anne Wagner

An art historian, critic and teacher, Anne M. Wagner writes on a range of topics in 19th, 20th, and 21st century art, especially sculpture. Class of 1936 Professor Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley, she is now based in London, where in 2013-14 she was Visiting Professor at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Other positions held since her move abroad include the post of Henry Moore Foundation Research Curator at Tate Britain, 2010-11; Visiting Distinguished Professor at the University of York, 2010-13; and Mellon Residential Fellow in Arts Practice and Scholarship at the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for the Arts and Inquiry at the University of Chicago, 2012. Her books include Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux: Sculptor of the Second Empire, 1986; Three Artists (Three Women), 1996; and Mother Stone: The Vitality of Modern British Sculpture, 2005. A House Divided: On Recent American Art appeared in 2012. About this book, a reviewer observed: “Wagner always starts with the process of encountering specific works of art. Descriptive but never prescriptive, she avoids generalization and cuts through critical commonplace. She shows how the work of art also puts the viewer to work. Focusing on canonical artists, she inspires us to see new things in art that we thought we already understood, and to look again at things we had earlier dismissed” (Times Higher Education Supplement, 24 May 2012). With T. J. Clark, she is the curator of Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life, a major exhibition staged at Tate Britain in 2013, as well as the co-authored book that accompanied the show. Her articles and essays have appeared in such journals as Art History, Representations, October, the London Review of Books, and Artforum.

February 16: Charles Ray

Last fall, the Art Institute of Chicago produced the first major exhibition devoted to celebrated Chicago-born, Los Angeles–based sculptor Charles Ray since a midcareer retrospective in 1998, this display of 19 works fills the second floor of the Modern Wing and flows into the museum’s South Garden, presenting a full range of Ray’s most recent achievements with particular emphasis on figurative experiments.

On technical and formal levels, Ray has been redefining the possibilities of contemporary sculptural practice since the early 1980s. His recent pioneering use of solid, machined aluminum and stainless steel is entirely new to the history of art, its reflective qualities and fluid effects belying the tremendous weight of many of Ray’s life-size and over-life-size works. As the exhibition demonstrates, Ray’s latest sculptures evidence a verisimilitude that can range in a single work from painstakingly exact to a softer, more stylized rendering. The works, materially and conceptually dense, often emerge from a long process of study, experimentation, refinement, and meticulous execution. Ray himself has described his objects not as the product of an obsessive practice but rather as the manifestation of “discipline and persistence.” With works sometimes ten years in the making, Ray’s process can be likened to a river eroding or reshaping stones over time.

This intensive working method, along with the sculptures’ highly technical creation and carefully controlled display, yields works that are timeless yet utterly contemporary. Throughout the exhibition, viewers can trace themes of boyhood, sleep, ghosts, self-portraiture, and myths of American popular culture, as well as recognize references to Classical statues and the revival of ancient techniques such as bas relief. Yet there are also many conceptual aspects to Ray’s work—space and time, physical and psychological presence—that form a matrix of migrating allusions and allegorical meaning.

February 23: Jordan Wolfson presented by Jan Tumlir

Jordan Wolfson: Over the past decade, Wolfson has become known for his thought-provoking works in a wide range of media, including video, sculpture, installation, photography, and performance. He pulls intuitively from the world of advertising, the Internet, and the technology industries to produce ambitious and enigmatic narratives. However, instead of simply appropriating found material, the artist creates his own unique content, which frequently revolves around a series of invented, animated characters.

Jan Tumlir: The Wallace Herndon Smith Distinguished Professor of Art at Washington University in St. Louis, Tumlir is also an art writer, ArtCenter faculty member and curator who lives in Los Angeles. He is a founding editor of the local art journal X-TRA, and his articles appear regularly in Artforum, Aperture, and Flash Art. He has written catalog essays for such artists as Bas Jan Ader, Uta Barth, John Divola, Jorge Pardo, Cyprien Gaillard, and, most recently, James Welling.

March 1: The Art World We Deserve

The roundtable discussion will start at 6:30pm instead of the customary 7:30pm and will feature author/curator, Robert Nickas, curator, Alison Gingeras, designer Brendan Dugan, painter Laura Owens and curator/gallerist Wendy Yao.

March 8: T.J. Clark

T. J. Clark, was born in Bristol, England in 1943, took a B.A. in Modern History at Cambridge, and a Ph.D. in Art History at the Courtauld Institute, University of London. He taught at various places in England and the USA, and from 1988 to 2010 at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is George C. and Helen N. Pardee Chair Emeritus. Clark is the author of a series of books on the social character and formal dynamics of modern art: The Absolute Bourgeois: Artists and Politics in France 1848-1851 (1973); Image of the People: Gustave Courbet and the 1848 Revolution (1973); The Painting of Modern Life: Paris in the Art of Manet and his Followers (1984); and Farewell to an Idea: Episodes from a History of Modernism (1999); as well as Afflicted Powers: Capital and Spectacle in a New Age of War (written with “Retort,” 2005); The Sight of Death: An Experiment in Art Writing (2006); Picasso and Truth: From Cubism to Guernica (2013); and a book accompanying an exhibition at Tate Britain, co-authored with Anne M. Wagner, Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life (2013). A book-cum-pamphlet on current politics, Por uma esquerda sem futuro, was just published in Brazil.

March 15: Sarah Michelson and Anne Iobst (DANCENOISE) in conversation with Jay Sanders

Sarah Michelson is a choreographer and performer who synthesizes performance, installation, sound, and architectural elements in unexpected ways. Recent works include Devotion (2011), Dover Beach (2009), and commissions from Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oaks Project (The Experts), the Walker Art Center (Daylight (for Minneapolis)), and the Brooklyn Academy of Music (Dogs). She is the recipient of the Der Foerder Prize, Arts International’s DNA Project Grant, multiple NEFA National Dance Project grants, multiple MAP Fund grants, a Creative Capital Award (2006), the Alpert Award in the Arts (2006), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2009), and the Whitney Biennial Bucksbaum Award (2012); and has served as a resident artist of On the Boards, Montclair State University, and the Walker Art Center. She has served as associate director of Movement Research, editor-in-chief of Performance Journal, and is currently an associate curator of dance at The Kitchen.

Anne Iobst is a performance artist who created DANCENOISE in collaboration with Lucy Sexton. Dancenoise entered the New York and Washington, D.C., art and club scene in 1983, performing at venues such as WOW Café, the Pyramid, 8BC, Performance Space 122, Franklin Furnace, The Kitchen, La Mama and King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut. Their work has also been presented around Europe as well as at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.[2][3] In addition to their work under the title Dancenoise, Iobst and Sexton, along with Jo Andres and Mimi Goese, were frequent collaborators with Tom Murrin, an East Village performance artist known for his monthly celebrations in honor of the full moon.[4] Dancenoise is a recipient of National Endowment of the Arts Choreographic Fellowships and a Bessie Award for New York Dance and Theatre.

Jay Sanders joined the Whitney Museum as curator and curator of performance after co-organizing the 2012 Biennial. Since then he has delved into the Whitney archives, which contain photographs and ephemera from performances dating back to the 1960s: Cecil Taylor, Trisha Brown, Lucinda Childs, Bruce Nauman, and Philip Glass are among the artists represented. In this Whitney Stories video, Sanders recalls the Museum’s history of presenting performance alongside visual art, and illuminates plans for the Whitney’s new home, which opens in May with a 170-seat theater space.

March 22: Wayne Koestenbaum

Born in 1958, Wayne Koestenbaum attended Harvard University and received an MA in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD from Princeton University. After being named co-winner of the 1989 Discovery/The Nation poetry contest, he published his first collection of poetry, Ode to Anna Moffo and Other Poems (Persea, 1990), which was chosen as one of The Village Voice Literary Supplement’s “Favorite Books of 1990.”

His other books of poetry include Blue Stranger With Mosaic Background (Turtle Point Press, 2012); Best Selling Jewish Porn Films (Turtle Point Press, 2006); Model Homes (BOA Editions, 2004); The Milk of Inquiry (Persea, 1999); and Rhapsodies of A Repeat Offender (Persea, 1994).

About his poetry, David Lehman has said, “Wayne Koestenbaum has been writing poems so dashing and poignant, so sexy and savvy, that it’s hard not to like them. He puts wordplay at the service of autobiography, and autobiography at the service of the ceaseless inquiry into the origins of woe, the mysteries of sex, and the dialectic of the brain and crotch.”

Koestenbaum is also widely known as a cultural critic for his books on Jackie Kennedy and opera: Jackie Under My Skin: Interpreting an Icon (FSG, 1995) and The Queen’s Throat: Opera, Homosexuality and the Mystery of Desire (Poseidon Books, 1993), which was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award. His other books of criticism include My 1980s and Other Essays (FSG, 2013); The Anatomy of Harpo Marx (University of California Press, 2012); Andy Warhol (Viking, 2001); Cleavage: Essays on Sex, Stars, and Aesthetics (Ballantine Books, 2000); and Double Talk: The Erotics of Male Literary Collaboration (Routledge, 1989). He has also published several novels, including Humiliation (Picador, 2011) and Hotel Theory (Soft Skull Press, 2007).

Koestenbaum received a Whiting Writer’s Award in 1994 and taught in Yale’s English department from 1988 to 1996. He has taught painting at the Yale School of Art since 2003 and lives in New York City where he is a Distinguished Professor of English at the CUNY Graduate Center.

March 29: Michael Krebber

Michael Krebber has long explored the premises, challenges, and possibilities of painting and has made investigative contributions to this discourse. He is a professor at the Städelschule since 2002 and was awarded the 2015 Wolfgang Hahn Prize, along with R. H. Quaytman, earlier this year.

Selected solo exhibitions include: Systemic Relevance, Galerie Buchholz, Berlin, Germany, 2014; STOPICE, dépendance, Brussels, Belgium, 2013; Les escargots ridiculisés, CAPC, musée d’art contemporain, Bordeaux, France, 2012; C-A-N-V-A-S, Uhutrust, Jerry Magoo and guardian.co.uk Painting, Greene Naftali, New York, USA, 2011; FROM MCB TO MBC, Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles, USA, 2010; Pubertät in der Lehre/Puberty in Teaching, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, Germany, 2008; Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris, France, 2007; sometimes it snows in april, presentation with Rachel Harrison, The McAllister Institute, New York, USA, 2006; Michael Krebber, Secession, Vienna, Austria, 2005; warm up (how I hit a snob), Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles, USA, 2004.

Selected group exhibitions include: R. H Quaytman and Michael Krebber, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany, and Call and Response, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York, USA, 2015; We not, Galerie Buchholz, Cologne, Germany, 2014; Hamlet, Mise-En-Scène, Jack Smith in Frankfurt, Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 2012; Provisional Painting, Modern Art, London, UK, 2011; Gambaroff, Krebber, Quaytman, Rayne, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway, 2010; At Home/Not At Home: Works from the Collection of Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg, CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, USA, 2010; The Most Contemporary Picture Show, Actually, Kunsthalle Nuernberg, Germany, and Grey Flags, Sculpture Center, New York, USA, curated by Anthony Huberman and Paul Pfeiffer, 2006; Conditions of Display, The Moore Space, curated by Gean Moreno, Miami, USA, 2007; Formalismus, Kunstverein Hamburg, Germany, and Rhinegold: Art from Cologne, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, UK, 2004; Hier ist dort 2, Secession, Vienna, Austria, 2002.

April 5: Trisha Donnelly

Trisha Donnelly (born April 22, 1974 in San Francisco) is a contemporary artist who is particularly well known as a conceptual artist. Donnelly works with various media including photography, drawing, audio, video, sculpture and performance.[1] Donnelly received her MFA from Yale and is now a Clinical Associate Professor of Studio Art at New York University.

April 12: Roe Ethridge

Roe Ethridge’s photography emanates from his direct experience of the world. His focus is multiple and restless, capturing the vivid and intimate details of his various locales. He integrates conceptual photography with commercial work, including out-takes from his own shoots and borrowed images already in circulation in other contexts. With this democratic attitude, Ethridge works to capture the vivid and intimate details of his shifting locales within photography’s classic genres of portrait, landscape, and still life.

Roe Ethridge (b. 1969, Miami, FL) received a BFA in photography at The College of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. His work has been shown extensively at institutions around the world, including MoMA/PS1 (2000), Barbican Center, London (2001), Carnegie Museum of Art (2002), Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2005), The Whitney Biennial (2008), Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010), Les Recontres D’Arles, France (2011). In 2011 he was shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. His first major retrospective, curated by Anne Pontégnie, was exhibited at Le Consortium in Dijon before traveling to Museum Leuven, Belgium in 2012. Gagosian Gallery’s first exhibition of Ethridge’s photographs took place in Los Angeles in 2006.


Support for the spring 2016 Graduate Art Seminar series was generously provided by the following: Blum & Poe, David Kordansky Gallery, Margo Leavin, Alan Hergott and Hannah Hoffman Gallery.

Media contact 
ArtCenter College of Design, Office of Public Relations: (626) 396-2251 / proffice@artcenter.edu

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