College Art Association

CAA News Today

The National Council on the Arts, the advisory body of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), will meet in a public session on Friday, October 30, 2009, which will include a tribute to the late Merce Cunningham. The meeting will be held in Room M-09 of the Nancy Hanks Center, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, in Washington, DC. This is the first council meeting at which Rocco Landesman will participate as NEA chairman.

In addition to council business, the public session will feature a tribute to the late choreographer Merce Cunningham. Douglas Sonntag, NEA director of dance, will lead the presentation, which will also include remarks from the dance critic Suzanne Carbonneau, the choreographer Elizabeth Streb, and Trevor Carlson, executive director of the Cunningham Dance Company. These colleagues of Cunningham will discuss their experiences working with the choreographer and his major contributions to the contemporary dance field.

The complete meeting schedule is as follows:

  • 9:00 AM: Chairman Rocco Landesman’s Opening Remarks
  • 9:30 AM: White House/Congessional/Budget Updates
  • 9:45 AM: Tribute to Choreographer Merce Cunningham
  • 10:45 AM: Application and Guidelines Review/Voting
  • 11:15 AM: General Discussion, Closing Remarks, and Adjournment

The National Council on the Arts is convened three times per year to vote on funding recommendations for grants and rejections; to advise the chairman on application guidelines, the budget, and policy and planning directions; and to recommend to the president nominees for the National Medal of Arts.

Including the chairman, there are fourteen members: James Ballinger, Miguel Campaneria, Ben Donenberg, JoAnn Falletta, Lee Greenwood, Joan Israelite, Charlotte Kessler, Bret Lott, Jerry Pinkney, Stephen Porter, Barbara Ernst Prey, Frank Price, Terry Teachout, and Karen Wolff. The council also has six ex-officio members from Congress: Robert Bennett (R-UT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Patrick J. Tiberi (R-OH); appointment by majority and minority leadership of the remaining members of Congress to the council is pending.

The editorial board of Art Journal seeks interested CAA members to join us at the 2010 Annual Conference in Chicago for a roundtable discussion on the sense of time in modern and contemporary art.

Critics, scholars, and particularly artists are invited to propose discussing specific artworks, projects, and texts that engage aspects of temporality and art. Artists working in all mediums seem increasingly interested in examining contemporary experiences of time—how subjectivity is being shaped by socially mediated time and how we as subjects might do some shaping of our own; in tracking the social and political implications of the interactions among the many temporalities currently operative across the globe; in understanding the presences of the past today; in treating history and the future as domains for time travel; in exploring time itself as a medium; and in providing opportunities to escape the present—or even history itself. Does modernity’s chronophilic–chronophobic dialectic still capture our sense of being simultaneously tied to our times yet unable to identify with them?

Led by Terence Smith, a member of the Art Journal editorial board, the discussion will be recorded and may provide material for publication in a future issue. The discussion will take place on Thursday, February 11, 2:00–4:00 PM, at a conference location to be announced.

Participation is by invitation. Please send a brief email describing your interest in the topic and how you foresee contributing to the discussion to tes2@pitt.edu. Invitations to participate will be sent in early January. Deadline: November 30, 2009.

Filed under: Annual Conference, Art Journal

Recent Deaths in the Arts

posted by October 27, 2009

CAA recognizes the lives and achievements of the following artists, scholars, curators, photographers, collectors, architects, museum directors, and other professionals and important figures in the visual arts.

  • Maurice Agis, a London-born sculptor and creator of Dreamspace, an inflatable, interactive sculpture that explores color, form, movement, light and sound, died on October 12, 2009, at the age of 77
  • Maryanne Amacher, a composer of site-specific sound installations that explore psychoacoustic properties, died on October 22, 2009. She was 66
  • Ruth Duckworth, a modernist sculptor of abstract ceramic forms, a muralist, and a ceramics teacher at the University of Chicago, died on October 18, 2009, at the age of 90
  • Amos Ferguson, a Bahamian folk artist known for his depictions of biblical scenes and of the landscape and culture of his country, died on October 19, 2009. He was 89.
  • Gerald Ferguson, an artist who established the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, where he taught for thirty-eight years, as a major international center of conceptual art, died on October 8, 2009, at the age of 72
  • Suzanne Fiol, the founder of Issue Project Room, an art and performance space in Brooklyn, died on October 5, 2009. She was 49
  • Nat Finkelstein, the house photographer for Andy Warhol’s Factory for three years in the mid-1960s, died on October 2, 2009. He was 76
  • Donald Fisher, a cofounder of the Gap who collected modern art and supported the arts and civic culture in San Francisco, died on September 27, 2009, at the age of 81
  • Anne Friedberg, an art historian, theorist, and teacher whose work combined media and film studies, art history, and architecture, died on October 9, 2009, at the age of 57
  • Bernard Leo Fuchs, an illustrator whose works for Cosmopolitan, Sports Illustrated, and TV Guide combined realism with avant-garde techniques, died on September 17, 2009. He was 76
  • Lawrence Halprin, a landscape architect whose best-known works include the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, DC, and Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, died on October 25, 2009 at the age of 93
  • Jenelsie Walden Holloway, an artist, advocate for African American art, and a teacher at Spelman College for thirty-eight years, died on October 15, 2009, at the age of 89
  • Henry T. Hopkins, former director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Hammer Museum, founder of the Huysman Gallery in Los Angeles, and professor and chair of the Department of Art at UCLA, died on September 27, 2009, at the age of 81
  • Barry Horn, executive director of the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art in Brownsville, Texas, died on October 24, 2009. He was 59
  • Michael Komechak, a teacher of English and art and a curator at Benedictine University in Illinois, where he helped to acquire over 3,700 works of art from around the world, died on August 19, 2009. He was 77
  • Barbara Morris, a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum who was one of the first scholars to treat the study of Victorian art and design as an academic discipline, died on July 15, 2009, at the age of 90
  • Robert M. Murdock, an independent curator and scholar of modern and contemporary art who was also a museum director and curator, died on October 8, 2009, at the age of 67
  • Emile Norman, an artist and sculptor whose best-known works are the glass mosaic window and sculptural reliefs created for a Masonic temple in San Francisco, died on September 24, 2009. He was 91
  • Irving Penn, a fashion photographer whose elegant, minimal works appeared in the pages of Vogue and on the walls of museums, died on October 7, 2009, at the age of 92
  • Monica Pidgeon, an editor at Architectural Design who promoted the work of major modernist architects, died on September 17, 2009. She was 95
  • Don Ivan Punchatz, an illustrator of novels, magazines, and the first Star Wars film poster, died on October 22, 2009, at the age of 73
  • Richard Robbins, a painter, etcher, and sculptor who was the head of fine art at Middlesex University in London, died on July 28, 2009, at the age of 82
  • George Sample, an architect who founded the nonprofit Chicago Architectural Assistance Center, which provided design and construction support to inner-city neighborhoods, died on October 4, 2009. He was 90
  • Harry Sefarbi, a painter and teacher at the Barnes Foundation whose colorful paintings can be found in many museum collections, died on September 28, 2009. He was 92
  • Charles Seliger, an Abstract Expressionist painter whose small works of imaginary forms were influenced by Surrealism and automatism, died on October 1, 2009, at the age of 83
  • Nancy Spero, an artist and feminist who combined drawing, painting, collage, and printmaking to create politicized work, died on October 18, 2009 at the age of 83. She was a member of Women Artists in Revolution and a founding member of A.I.R. Gallery, which promotes women’s art
  • Alfred Brockie Stevenson, an American realist painter known for his nostalgic images of American life, died on September 1, 2009. He was 89
  • Dietrich von Bothmer, curator emeritus of Greek and Roman antiquities at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a professor at the Institute of Fine Art at New York University, died on October 12, 2009, at the age of 91. He helped to develop the museum’s collection of Greek vases into one of the largest in the world

Read all past obituaries in the arts on the CAA website.

Filed under: Obituaries, People in the News

The renowned photographer Dawoud Bey will deliver the keynote address during Convocation at the 2010 CAA Annual Conference in Chicago. A resident of the conference city, Bey is Distinguished College Artist and Associate Professor of Art at Columbia College Chicago. He is the second photographer in four years to speak at Convocation, with Duane Michals delivering the keynote address at the 2007 conference in New York.

Convocation, which also includes the presentation of the CAA Awards for Distinction, takes place at the Hyatt Regency Chicago on Wednesday evening, February 10, 2010, 5:30–7:00 PM. The event is free and open to the public.

Bey earned a BA at Empire State College and an MFA at the Yale University School of Art, and he has been teaching for more than thirty years. He began his artistic career in 1975 with a series of photographs, Harlem, USA, that was later exhibited in his first solo exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1979. He has since had numerous exhibitions worldwide, at such institutions as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Barbican Centre in London, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Wexner Center for the Arts in Ohio, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, where his works were included in the 2000 Whitney Biennial.

Since 1992 he has completed several collaborative projects working with young people and museums together in a broad dialogue that seeks to create an engaging space for art making and institutional interrogation. These projects, such as photographs from the Character Project, have also been aimed at broadening the participation of various communities served by these institutions.

The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis organized a midcareer survey of his work in 1995 that traveled to institutions throughout the United States and Europe. A major publication, Dawoud Bey: Portraits, 1975–1995, was published in conjunction with that show. Aperture published his latest project, Class Pictures, in 2007 and mounted an exhibition of this work that has been touring museums nationally.

Bey’s works are included in permanent collections of art museums worldwide, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Brooklyn Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, among others. He has received numerous fellowships over the course of his career, including those from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

A writer as well as an artist, Bey has published critical writings on contemporary art in books and journals throughout the US and Europe. He is the author of several groundbreaking essays, including “The Black Artist as Invisible (Wo)Man” in the catalogue for High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting, 1967–1975 (2006), in which he places the work of African American artists Al Loving, Joe Overstreet, Howardena Pindell, and Jack Whitten within this important era in art history. Bey is also the author of “David Hammons: In the Spirit of Minkisi” (1994), which was one of the first texts to place this important African American artist within the tradition of Black Atlantic cosmological tradition. This essay appeared as the catalogue essay for Hammon’s survery exhibition at the Salzburger Kunstverein in Vienna. Closer to home, his text “Authoring the Black Image” was published in the Art Institute of Chicago’s book The VanDerZee Studio, accompanying the eponymous exhibition from 2004.

The above portrait photograph is © Bart Harris.

Fall 2009 Art Journal Published

posted by October 21, 2009

In her editor’s introduction to the Fall 2009 issue of Art Journal, Judith Rodenbeck discusses a text by Erwin Panofsky that she relates to the current interest in reenactment. Making a further connection to the four essays and the roundtable discussion in the current issue, she suggests that “Panofsky’s insistence on the detailed and intertwined study of form, content, and context here bears reconsideration, albeit under the revised skies of our own time.”

In “Imperious Griffonage,” Hajime Nakatani explores the role of the Chinese written character in the work of the artist Xu Bing and several of his contemporaries, finding that both the standard script characters and Xu’s inventive pseudocharacters show curious signs of a life of their own. In an essay that contextualizes Jo Baer’s paintings and writing of the late 1960s, Patricia Kelly accentuates the artist’s innovative exhibition strategies, intended to engage the viewer in a participatory manner.

Jane McFadden writes about the art of Walter de Maria in “Earthquakes, Photoworks, and Oz,” focusing first on his photoworks of the 1960s and then on his best-known work, The Lighting Field, and its mediation through photography. In her essay on the reception of Louise Bourgeois’s 1964 Stable Gallery exhibition, Elyse Speaks examines the consistency of the artist’s treatment of themes of the body and the home.

Art Journal assembled an expert panel of scholars for a critical discussion of the promises and pitfalls of transcultural exchange in The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860–1989, a 2009 exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum. Alexandra Munroe, the chief curator of the exhibition, responds.

In the Reviews section of this issue, Clark Buckner considers three recent books on curatorial and exhibition practice, Marc James Léger examines two books about art and activism, and Soraya Murray evaluates two books on new-media art.

Filed under: Art Journal, Publications

Technology in the Arts has published a free report, entitled Virtual Gallery Software Review, that reviews and compares three software applications—Virtual Galleries, Image Armada, and SceneCaster/3D Scenes—designed to help artists, curators, and art organizations create three-dimensional virtual exhibitions. This type of technology can provide not only a useful alternative experience for audiences that cannot physically attend a live exhibition, but it can also potentially help students and professionals learn about exhibition planning and installation.

The task of building virtual galleries or exhibitions can often be daunting and costly. Despite software that facilitates the development of virtual environments for conferences, commercial expos, and education, solutions for creating virtual art exhibitions have been scarce. For these reasons, two important criteria for the study were ease of use and user-friendly design. The primacy of these criteria also prompted the researchers to exclude Second Life because of its steep learning curve for environment creation.

Researchers looked for five features desirable in an application used by artists and arts professionals: ease of creating an exhibition; quality of images; flexibility of creating an exhibition; ease of navigation in the three-dimensional space; and ease of publishing or distributing the gallery. The report contains individual descriptions of the three applications, as well as comparisons of their features, such as Mac and PC compatibility, hardware requirements, internet-based viewing, and image and lighting manipulation.

Technology in the Arts, an organization that explores the intersection of arts management and technology, offers services such as consulting, professional-development training, webinars, an online resource directory, monthly podcasts, and a discussion-based blog. It is part of the Center for Arts Management and Technology, an applied research center at Carnegie Mellon University exploring ways in which arts managers can employ online technologies to meet their organizational goals and engage audiences more effectively.

Filed under: Exhibitions, Publications, Research — Tags:

CAA invites members in the tristate area of New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey to attend an upcoming panel on orphan works, entitled “Lost and Found: A Practical Look at Orphan Works.” The program is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Lost and Found: A Practical Look at Orphan Works
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Meeting Hall, New York City Bar Association, 42 West 44th Street, New York

How should the law treat “orphan works”? Please join us as we discuss proposals that would enable copyrighted works to be used when their owners cannot be located to obtain necessary permissions. What should be the obligations of potential users with respect to searching for copyright owners? How should infringement claims be handled if a copyright owner emerges? Do different types of copyrighted works present unique issues? What roles might registries and recognition and detection technologies play? Our speakers will address these and related questions, focusing on orphan images.

June M. Besek, executive director of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media, and the Arts, is the panel moderator. Speakers are:

  • Brendan M. Connell, Jr., Director and Counsel for Administration, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
  • Frederic Haber, Vice President and General Counsel, Copyright Clearance Center
  • Eugene H. Mopsik, Executive Director, American Society of Media Photographers
  • Maria Pallante, Associate Register for Policy and International Affairs, US Copyright Office
  • Charles Wright, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Legal and Business Affairs, A&E Television Networks

“Lost and Found” is sponsored by the Art Law Committee (chaired by Virginia Rutledge) and the Copyright and Literary Property Committee (chaired by Joel L. Hecker) of the New York City Bar Association, in conjunction with Columbia Law School’s Kernochan Center for Law, Media, and the Arts.

CAA invites members in the tristate area of New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey to attend an upcoming panel on orphan works, entitled “Lost and Found: A Practical Look at Orphan Works.” The program is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Lost and Found: A Practical Look at Orphan Works
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Meeting Hall, New York City Bar Association, 42 West 44th Street, New York

How should the law treat “orphan works”? Please join us as we discuss proposals that would enable copyrighted works to be used when their owners cannot be located to obtain necessary permissions. What should be the obligations of potential users with respect to searching for copyright owners? How should infringement claims be handled if a copyright owner emerges? Do different types of copyrighted works present unique issues? What roles might registries and recognition and detection technologies play? Our speakers will address these and related questions, focusing on orphan images.

June M. Besek, executive director of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media, and the Arts, is the panel moderator. Speakers are:

  • Brendan M. Connell, Jr., Director and Counsel for Administration, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
  • Frederic Haber, Vice President and General Counsel, Copyright Clearance Center
  • Eugene H. Mopsik, Executive Director, American Society of Media Photographers
  • Maria Pallante, Associate Register for Policy and International Affairs, US Copyright Office
  • Charles Wright, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Legal and Business Affairs, A&E Television Networks

“Lost and Found” is sponsored by the Art Law Committee (chaired by Virginia Rutledge) and the Copyright and Literary Property Committee (chaired by Joel L. Hecker) of the New York City Bar Association, in conjunction with Columbia Law School’s Kernochan Center for Law, Media, and the Arts.

The CAA Annual Conference is the world’s largest international forum for professionals in the visual arts. More than four thousand artists, art historians, curators, educators, and students are expected to meet February 10–13, 2010, at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago.

2010 Annual Conference Website

The conference website, which contains registration information, travel and hotel details, Career Services features, reception and meeting listings, special events, and more, was launched yesterday.

The conference website expands on the 2010 Conference Information and Registration booklet that will arrive in members’ mailboxes later this month; new material and information will be added regularly between now and February.

Listings of session titles and chairs are also available on the conference website. Full session details, including the names of panelists and their paper titles, will be posted soon.

Register Online Now

Online registration opened yesterday. You can also buy tickets for other events, such as the Gala Reception, professional-development workshops, and postconference tours. Alternatively, you may use the printed forms in Conference Information and Registration.

Early registration is available through December 11, 2009:

  • Members: $155
  • Student and retired members: $90
  • Nonmembers: $280

Reserve Your Hotel Room

CAA was able to renegotiate cheaper hotel rates at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, the headquarters hotel, to help save conference attendees even more money. See Travel & Lodging on the conference website for full details.

Filed under: Annual Conference, Membership

Many journals are sufficiently preserved digitally and housed in print repositories so that some libraries can responsibly withdraw their own print holdings, according to a new report published by Ithaka S+R. Written by Roger Schonfeld and Ross Housewright, “What to Withdraw: Print Collections Management in the Wake of Digitization” takes a system-wide approach to the needs of libraries and their users collectively, rather than focusing on regions, systems, or consortia.

“Libraries are right to push aggressively into the digital future but should do so with an awareness about risk and tradeoffs,” said Housewright, an analyst at Ithaka S+R, the strategy and research arm of the nonprofit organization ITHAKA, which is also the parent company of JSTOR and Portico.

Looking at reasons for retaining and preserving physical copies of scholarly journals, “What to Withdraw” proposes minimum time periods that require libraries to give access to both print and digital versions. It then offers a minimum number of required print copies to retain. Based on this analysis, the report concludes that certain print journal backfile sets are well enough digitized and contain few enough images that it is unlikely there will be future demand for them by users.

Some print materials, the authors warn, may not yet be ready for broad withdrawal without risk. For these materials, several strategies are recommended to give libraries more flexibility. First, organizations responsible for digitization programs should provide more transparency on the quality of their digitization work and participate in ongoing efforts to upgrade the quality of their scans. In addition, libraries should form deeper partnerships with publishers and other digitizers.

“There is an opportunity before us to make a system-wide impact on print collection management,” said Housewright, “but in order to do so libraries and digitizers need to commit to collaboration at a level unseen today.”

Filed under: Libraries, Publications, Research — Tags: