CAA News Today
Affiliated Society News for September 2015
posted by CAA — September 09, 2015
Community College Professors of Arts and Art History
After successful sessions at last year’s CAA and FATE Conferences, the Community College Professors of Arts and Art History (CCPAAH) will hold two events at this year’s CAA Annual Conference in Washington, DC. Our business meeting will be held on Friday, February 5, from 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM. Please bring a project idea to share with your colleagues. Our session “In and out of the Studio: New ideas for Art Appreciation” will be held at 12:30 PM on Thursday, February 4. We are looking for additional presenters who are doing interesting things in Art Appreciation. If you are interested in presenting or have any questions, please contact Susan Altman. We look forward to seeing you at the conference!
Japan Art History Forum
Yurika Wakamatsu, PhD candidate at Harvard University, was selected as the winner of the 2015 Chino Kaori Memorial Essay Prize for an essay titled “Feminizing Art in Modern Japan: Noguchi Shōhin (1847-1917) and the Changing Conceptions of Art and Womanhood.” The prize was established by the Japan Art History Forum in 2003 in memory of distinguished colleague Chino Kaori, and is awarded annually to the best research paper written in English on a Japanese art history topic.
American Academy in Rome
The American Academy in Rome (AAR) invites applications for the 2016 Rome Prize competition. Up to thirty fellowships (from six months to two years) are awarded to emerging and established artists and scholars working in a variety of disciplines, including a stipend, room & board, and individual workspace at our eleven-acre center in Rome. Please visit aarome.org/apply for submission guidelines. Applications are due November 1.
AAR presents Bodies of Knowledge, the 2015 – 2016 series of lectures, exhibitions and events. Programming features artists and scholars offering multiple readings across disciplinary and geographical boundaries — questioning assumptions about the ways in which we structure knowledge and how these categories define our understanding of history, identity and culture. Fall events in Rome include a conversation with artist Isaac Julien and curator Mark Nash on filmmaking inspired by architect Lina Bo Bardi, and an exhibition of Cy Twombly photographs, accompanied by a talk with photographer Sally Mann. In New York, the Academy presents an evening on poetry and language with Edward Hirsch and Robert Polito, and a panel discussion on cultural patrimony and collective responsibility with scholar C. Brian Rose, antiquities expert Deborah Lehr and art historian James Cuno. Visit aarome.org for details.
Women’s Caucus for Art
The Women’s Caucus for Art (WCA) is pleased to announce Susan M. King (previously Susan King Obarski), Ph.D., as the incoming president of the organization. An art historian and artist, she teaches at the Laguna College of Art and Design and at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA. Her doctorate in Visual Studies at UC, Irvine, “Surrealism: A Marxist Enterprise in 1930s London,” included a chapter on artist Eileen Agar. She recently reviewed the J.M.W. Turner exhibitions and catalogue for caa.reviews (in press). Susan is a long time board member of WCA and past chair of the Lifetime Achievement Awards. Her two-year term as president begins in February 2016 after the CAA and WCA conferences. One of her key goals is to cross the generational divide of feminist artists, writers, and scholars to engage an open and fruitful dialogue on a range of feminist and activist issues. To that end, she is curating WATER: AN ESSENTIAL CONVERSATION, featuring historical posters from the Center for the Study of Political Graphics and contemporary graphic and video art. Founded in 1972, the WCA is an affiliate society of CAA and a founding member of The Feminist Art Project. More at nationalwca.org.
Renaissance Society of America
The Renaissance Society of America will hold its 62nd annual meeting in Boston, 31 March–2 April 2016. The program will include nearly 700 sessions, with more than 200 in Renaissance and early modern art history. The full, searchable program and schedule can be viewed on our website.
The Renaissance Society of America annually awards short-term grants supporting research projects and publications that aim to advance scholarly knowledge about the Renaissance. Many grants in art history are funded by the generous support of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, through the Kress Mid-Career Research and Publication Fellowships in Renaissance Art History and the Kress Short-Term Research Library Fellowships for Art Historians programs. Please see our website for more information. Applicants must be members of RSA. Application deadline is 1 December 2015.
Public Art Dialogue
The newest issue of Public Art Dialogue (Volume 5, Issue Number 1) has been published. Edited by John Craig Freeman and Mimi Sheller, it is devoted to the theme of Hybrid Space and Digital Public Art. Articles include “Down the Rabbit Hole” by Esther Polak and Ivar van Bekkum; “Networked Monumental: Site, Production, and Distributed Publics—Online, and in Everyday Life,” by Dylan Gauthier; “Future Museums Now—Augmented Reality Musings” by Geoffrey Alan Rhodes; “#sQavengeRhunt: LoVid” by Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus; and “The Digital: A False Division?” by Patrick Lichty. Two interviews by Dorothy Santos are included: Kate Durban and Jim Dessicino. Finally, there are two book reviews: one on Vladimir Geroimenko’s Augmented Reality Art: From an Emerging Technology to a Novel Creative Medium by Lenore Metrick-Chen; and a second on Ricciarda Belgiosojoso’s Constructing Urban Space with Sounds and Music by Shawn Greenlee. More information is available on the journal’s website.
Association of Academic Museums & Galleries
AAMG/Kellogg 2016 Leadership Seminar: Join colleagues from throughout the U.S. and beyond for AAMG’s flagship professional development program at the prestigious Kellogg School Center for Nonprofit Management, Northwestern University. Now accepting applications online. APPLICATION DEADLINE JANUARY 15, 2016.
WHO: Faculty drawn from the Kellogg School of Management Center for Nonprofit Management and seasoned professionals in the academic museum field. Up to 40 Seminar Fellows selected from a national and international application pool by the Application Review Team.
WHAT: A Certificate Program. Intensive, week-long, highly interactive learning and sharing experience with top faculty in the field of leadership and management and academic museum and gallery colleagues from across the U.S. and abroad.
WHEN: June 19 – June 24, 2016
WHERE: Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois (metro-Chicago)
TUITION: $4,500. Limited scholarship funds may be available.
Association for Latin American Art
ALAA has launched a redesigned website aimed at providing current news and events on Latin American art to the public. The website features updated information on the ALAA bylaws, officers, book and dissertation awards, a newsletter archive, and a list of academic programs that offer graduate degrees in art history with a focus on Latin America. A Members Portal allows registered ALAA members to access a membership directory, discover fellow members’ research interests, and contribute to the public Events Calendar.
Triennial Conference: ALAA is pleased to invite proposals for papers to be presented at its Fourth Triennial Conference “Art at Large: Public and Monumental Arts in the Americas.” Hosted by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in collaboration with the Department of History of Art at the University of California, Berkeley, the conference will be held the weekend of March 18–20, 2016 at the de Young Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Deadline September 15, 2015.
Book Award: ALAA announces its Fourteenth Annual Book Award for the best scholarly book published on the art of Latin America from the Pre-Columbian era to the present. Deadline November 15, 2015.
Association for Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey
AMCA is currently accepting submissions for the 2016 Rhonda A. Saad Prize for Best Paper in Modern and Contemporary Arab Art. Established in 2010, the award aims to recognize and promote excellence in the field of modern and contemporary Arab art. The prize honors our respected colleague and dear friend, Rhonda (1979-2010), who was, at the time of her tragic passing, in the process of researching a doctoral dissertation on modern Palestinian art in the Department of Art History at Northwestern University. Over the last five years, the prize has recognized excellence in graduate work completed on a variety of subjects in a number of disciplines at universities in the U.S. and abroad. This year, we are opening the competition to graduate students as well as to recent post-doctoral students who earned a PhD no earlier than 2013.
The prize is offered to a graduate student or recent PhDs working in any discipline whose paper is judged to provide the most significant contribution to the disciplines of Art History and Middle East Studies. Submissions must have been produced between June 2014 and December 2015, must not exceed 35 pages (excluding notes and bibliography), and must not have been previously published or be currently under consideration for publication.
Submissions are due to email@example.com by December 1, 2015. The winner will be announced during the AMCA Members Meeting, held this year at the College Art Association Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, in February 2016. The author of the winning paper will be awarded $500USD and the winning paper will be considered for publication in the Arab Studies Journal, pending the standard review process.
International Forum on Contemporary Islamic Art, Design and Architecture: Where/How does the North meet the East?
Joint Conference of School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University, Association for Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran and Turkey (AMCA) and Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (VCU, Qatar) Date: 7 – 9 October 2015
In October 2015, the School of Art, Design, and Media at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore brought together designers, artists, architects, and academics for a multi-disciplinary conference on contemporary Islamic art, design, and architecture. Although each discipline has its own practice and methodology, when collectively grouped under an Islamic identity, we are forced to redefine the term “Islamic.” While new forms, spaces, images, typographies, symbols, colors, and materials of contemporary Islamic art, design, and architecture share distinct cultural narratives from individual geographies, it remains essential to address how comparative and connective perspectives reorient our understanding of contemporary Islamic visual communication. This three-day conference took place October 7-9 and was an unprecedented forum dedicated to convening professionals and scholars from throughout Asia, Europe, and America who share an investment in contemporary Islamic art, design, and architecture. For more information, visit http://www.ciada2015.com/. Organization Committee: Gül İnanç, Peer Sathikh, Nada Shabout, Sarah Rogers and Dina B.
Association of Art Museum Curators and American Academy in Rome
The Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) and the American Academy in Rome (AAR) are pleased to announce the third year of The Samuel H. Kress Foundation AAMC Affiliated Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. The program is intended to honor exceptional curatorial vision and help curators advance deserving projects. The purpose of the award is to provide essential funding for curators to develop projects that require research in Italy.
The Affiliated Fellowship is a 4-week appointment at the AAR, which includes housing, six lunches and five dinners a week, and access to residence hall kitchens; $1,500 in airfare; and $2,000 stipend. Affiliated Fellows have access to all the AAR facilities (including 24-hour a day access to the library and overall grounds) and all activities that occur at the Academy, such as concerts, exhibitions, conferences, lectures, and tours, etc. If desired, the Fellow can also schedule to give a talk about their project at the AAR during the Fellowship. For more information, visit http://www.artcurators.org/?KressAARFellowship or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Save the date: The 2016 AAMC Annual Conference & Meeting will be May 7 – 10 in Houston, Texas.
Society for Photographic Education
Society for Photographic Education (SPE) offers student member scholarships to offset the cost of attending SPE’s 2016 National Conference in Las Vegas, NV, March 10-13. Each award includes a $550 travel stipend, conference fee waiver, and complimentary one-year membership in SPE. For more information, visit www.spenational.org or contact email@example.com. Application deadline is October 15, 2015, at 11:59 PM EST.
Southeastern College Art Conference
Kevin Cates, Associate Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, has been appointed to the SECAC Board of Directors.
Committee on Diversity Practices highlights for September/October 2015
posted by CAA — September 09, 2015
The CAA Committee on Diversity Practices highlights exhibitions, events, and activities that support the development of global perspectives on art and visual culture and deepen our appreciation of political and cultural heterogeneity as educational and professional values. Current highlights are listed below; browse past highlights through links at the bottom of this page.
New York, New York
June 26–October 12, 2015
“This major retrospective will survey the searing, deeply poetic work of Doris Salcedo (b. 1958, Bogotá, Colombia). Over the past three decades, Salcedo’s practice has addressed the traumatic history of modern-day Colombia, as well as wider legacies of suffering stemming from colonialism, racism, and other forms of social injustice. Originating in lengthy research processes during which the artist solicits testimonies from the victims of violent oppression, her sculptures and installations eschew the direct representation of atrocities in favor of open-ended confluences of forms that are fashioned from evocative materials and intensely laborious techniques. Many of her works transmute intimate domestic objects into subtly charged vessels freighted with memories and narratives, paradoxically conjuring that which is tragically absent. The Guggenheim’s presentation of Doris Salcedo will occupy four levels of the museum’s Tower galleries. It will feature the artist’s most significant series from the late 1980s to the present, as well as a video documenting her remarkable site-specific public projects and architectural interventions.”
Flawlessly Feminine: Women Who Graced the Cover of JET Magazine and Works by Willie Cole
Golden Lady: Works by Mario Moore
Diggs Gallery, Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
July 9–December 2, 2015
“The pairing of two innovative exhibitions honoring women who graced the cover of JET Magazine, and drawings of young women with their favorite literature, is on display at Winston-Salem State University’s Diggs Gallery through December 2. The exhibits feature works by renowned artist Willie Cole and emerging artist Mario Moore.”
Black Like Who?
Birmingham Museum of Art
July 11–November 1, 2015
“Issues regarding visual depictions of blackness in American art have been such highly scrutinized topics in both artistic production and museum exhibitions that one could ask what else is there to examine that has not already been sufficiently analyzed? Black Like Who? answers that inquiry with a question that considers who renders imagery of blackness and contemplates the various reasons why.
Drawing on the Museum’s collection and select loans from Birmingham private collectors, the exhibition surveys a variety of historical and contemporary works, and explores how various representations of blacks in American art have been influenced at particular historical moments by specific political, cultural, and aesthetic interests, as well as the motives and beliefs of the artists. Comprising work by both white and black artists, the diverse works examined in Black Like Who? range from romanticized Civil War depictions painted in the early 20th century by Gilbert Gaul (1855–1919) to a contemporary print by Iona Rozeal Brown (born 1966) that blends hip-hop culture with late 19th-century Japanese art.”
Deana Lawson: Ruttenberg Contemporary Photography Series
Art Institute of Chicago
September 5, 2015–January 10, 2016
“The first installment of the biennial Ruttenberg Contemporary Photography Series features the work of New York–based photographer Deana Lawson. For nearly a decade, Lawson has been investigating the visual expression of global black culture and how individuals claim their identities within it. Her staged portraits, carefully composed scenes, and found images speak to the ways in which personal and social histories, familial legacies, sexuality, social status, and religious-spiritual ideas may be drawn upon the body.
Lawson began her work in and around her Brooklyn neighborhood but has recently branched out nationally and internationally to places such as Louisiana, Haiti, Jamaica, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. While her themes have remained consistent, her landscapes have shifted and broadened—the global scope of the pictures, in her words, “concern and affirm the sacred black body” and speak to a collective psychic memory of shared experiences.
Lawson starts her process by researching communities she has chosen for their cultural histories. Once on site, strangers met through chance encounters become her subjects, selected for a particular expression, mannerism, style of dress, or cultural or religious affiliation. The resulting images are often inspired by multiple trips or planned well in advance. They draw upon Western and African diasporic conventions of self-presentation, popular culture, mythology, and religious rituals and beliefs—emphasizing dialogues among the past, present, and future of black culture.”
Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980
Museum of Modern Art
New York, New York
September 5, 2015–January 3, 2016
“Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980 focuses on the parallels and connections among an international scene of artists working in—and in reference to—Latin America and Eastern Europe during the 1960s and 1970s. The radical experimentation, expansion, and dissemination of ideas that marked the cultural production of these decades (which flanked the widespread student protests of 1968) challenge established art-historical narratives in the West. Artists from Prague to Mexico City developed alternative and ever-expanding networks of distribution and organization, via Paris, Vienna, and Venice, to circumvent the borders established after World War II, local forms of state and military repression, and Western accounts of artistic mastery and individualism. One major transformation across Latin American and Eastern European art scenes was the embrace of institutional critique and an emphasis on the creation of art outside a market context.
The exhibition brings together landmark works from MoMA’s collection by Eastern European artists including Geta Brặtescu, Tomislav Gotovac, Ion Grigorescu, Sanja Iveković, Dóra Maurer, and the anti-art collectives Gorgona, OHO, Aktual, and Fluxus East, as well as Latin American artists such as Beatriz González, Antonio Dias, Lea Lublin, and Ana Mendieta. Particular attention is paid to the group of Argentine artists clustered around the influential Instituto Torcuato Di Tella, including Oscar Bony, David Lamelas, and Marta Minujín, who confronted the aesthetic and political implications of mass media communication—including film, television, and the telex—during a vibrant, experimental period of technological innovation and political tension.
Featuring series of works and major installations, several of which are on view for the first time, Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980 highlights multiple points of contact, often initiated and sustained through collective actions and personal exchanges between artists. The exhibition suggests possible counter-geographies, realignments, alternative models of solidarity, and new ways of thinking about art produced internationally in relation to the frameworks dictated by the Cold War.”
Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms
The Asia Society
New York, New York
September 11, 2015–January 3, 2016
“This exhibition of more than 100 gold objects focuses on the wealth of the golden age of Butuan (pronounced boot’ wan), a polity on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao that rose to commercial prominence in the tenth century and declined in the thirteenth century. Works from ancient polities beyond Butuan, such as those on the islands of the Visayas and Luzon, bear witness to the early use of gold throughout the Philippines. A selection of the most extraordinary objects from a 1981 discovery—now in the collection of the Ayala Museum in Makati City and on view in the United States for the first time—forms the core of “Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms.” The exhibition also includes a few important loans from public and private collections including the Central Bank of the Philippines. Featuring spectacular gold necklaces, chains, waistbands, bangles, ritual bowls, implements, and ceremonial weapons, the exhibition showcases the rich artistry and material wealth of Butuan and related island polities.”
Gates of the Lord: The Tradition of Krishna Paintings
Art Institute of Chicago
September 13, 2015–January 3, 2016
“This fall, the Art Institute of Chicago offers a glimpse into one of the world’s most intimate religious traditions. Bringing together over 100 artworks from private and public collections in India and the United States, Gates of the Lord: The Tradition of Krishna Paintings is the first major U.S. exhibition to explore the unique visual culture of the Pushtimarg, a Hindu denomination from Western India.
Founded in the 16th century by the saint and philosopher Shri Vallabhacharya (1479–1531), the Pushtimarg is a religious community dedicated to the devotion of Shrinathji, a divine image of the Hindu god Krishna as a seven-year-old child. The religious and artistic center of the sect is based in the temple town of Nathdwara (literally, “The Gates of the Lord”), near Udaipur in the state of Rajasthan, India. Scholars and artists have long been fascinated by the distinctive and highly aestheticized manner in which members of this group venerate Shrinathji, as well as by the legacy of miniature paintings created as a record of such worship. This exhibition showcases centuries of pichvais (textile hangings) and miniature paintings that have been created by and for the Pushtimarg in devotion of Shrinathji.
The exhibition takes visitors through a year in Nathdwara, where the daily worship of Shrinathji is characterized by the changing seasons and a bustling festival calendar. Gallery by gallery, visitors are introduced to the pichvais used as backdrops for Shrinathji in his shrine, each uniquely suited to a particular season or festival. The accompanying miniature paintings offer further insight into the Pushtimarg sect: its mode of veneration, history, and important priests and patron families. Enhancing the experience of the sect’s rich culture are festival and devotional music, a shrine reconstruction, and touchscreen kiosks that allow visitors to page through religious manuscripts, an artist’s sketchbook, and a historic photo album. The exhibition concludes with an exploration of the works, sketches, and observations of prominent 20th- and 21st-century Nathdwara artists who have kept the painting tradition flourishing through the present day.
Gates of the Lord comprises drawings, pichvais, paintings, and historic photographs borrowed chiefly from two major private collections in India, the Amit Ambalal Collection (Ahmedabad, India) and the TAPI Collection (Surat, India). These rare loans are augmented by important objects from a number of public and private collections within the United States, including the Art Institute’s own permanent collection, in order to present the richest possible story of Pushtimarg art and tradition.”
Kongo: Power and Majesty
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York, New York
September 18, 2015–January 3, 2016
“Central Africa’s Kongo civilization is responsible for one of the world’s greatest artistic traditions. This international loan exhibition will explore the region’s history and culture through 134 of the most inspired creations of Kongo masters from the sixteenth through the early twentieth century.
The earliest of these creations were diplomatic missives sent by Kongo sovereigns to their European counterparts during the Age of Exploration; they took the form of delicately carved ivories and finely woven raffia cloths embellished with abstract geometric patterns. Admired as marvels of human ingenuity, such Kongo works were preserved in princely European Kunstkammer, or cabinets of curiosities, alongside other precious and exotic creations from across the globe.
Kongo luxury arts from the sixteenth through the eighteenth century—many of which have never been exhibited before—will give an unprecedented historical backdrop to the outstanding work produced by master sculptors active in the same region during the nineteenth century. The array of figurative representations they produced range from miniature ivory finials for the staffs of office of Kongo leaders to the carved-wood commemorative shrine figures positioned above their burial sites.
The presentation will culminate with a gathering of fifteen monumental Mangaaka power figures produced in the Chiloango River region during the second half of the nineteenth century; these will include the celebrated example acquired by the Met in 2008, the original catalyst for the exhibition. For the first time, this electrifying form of expression will be understood as a defensive measure conceived by Kongo leaders to deflect Western incursions into this region of Central Africa.
With works drawn from sixty institutional and private lenders across Europe and the United States, Kongo: Power and Majesty will relate the objects on view to specific historical developments and will challenge misconceptions of Africa’s relationship with the West. In doing so, it will offer a radical, new understanding of Kongo art over the last five hundred years.”
Impressionism and the Caribbean: Francisco Oller and His Transatlantic World
Brooklyn Museum of Art
Brooklyn, New York
October 2, 2015–January 3, 2016
“The painter Francisco Oller contributed greatly to the development of modern art in both Europe and the Caribbean and revolutionized the school of painting in his native Puerto Rico.
Oller emerged from the small art world of San Juan in the 1840s, spending twenty years in Madrid and Paris, where he was inspired by the art of Gustave Courbet and joined the avant-garde circles of such artists as Paul Cézanne, Camille Pissarro, and Claude Monet. While European Romanticism, Realism, and Impressionism formed a critical jumping-off point for Oller’s aesthetic, his most important source of inspiration was Puerto Rico, where he painted tropical landscapes, still lifes with indigenous fruits and vegetables, and portraits of distinguished artists and intellectuals.
This is the first U.S. exhibition to present Oller’s work within both its New and Old World contexts.”
Museum of Modern Art
New York, New York
October 12, 2015–January 31, 2016
“MoMA presents the first comprehensive American survey of the leading contemporary artist Walid Raad (b. 1967, Lebanon), featuring his work in photography, video, sculpture, and performance from the last 25 years. Dedicated to exploring the veracity of photographic and video documents in the public realm, the role of memory and narrative within discourses of conflict, and the construction of histories of art in the Arab world, Raad’s work is informed by his upbringing in Lebanon during the civil war (1975–90), and by the socioeconomic and military policies that have shaped the Middle East in the past few decades.
The exhibition focuses on two of the artist’s long-term projects: The Atlas Group (1989–2004) and Scratching on things I could disavow (2007–ongoing). Under the rubric of The Atlas Group, a 15-year project exploring the contemporary history of Lebanon, Raad produced fictionalized photographs, videotapes, notebooks, and lectures that related to real events and authentic research in audio, film, and photographic archives in Lebanon and elsewhere. Raad’s recent work has expanded to address the Middle East region at large. His current ongoing project, Scratching on things I could disavow, examines the recent emergence in the Arab world of new infrastructure for the visual arts—art fairs, biennials, museums, and galleries—alongside the geopolitical, economic, and military conflicts that have consumed the region. The exhibition emphasizes the importance of performance, narrative, and storytelling in Raad’s oeuvre. The artist will give lecture-performances in MoMA’s Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium multiple times a week for the duration of the exhibition.”
Joaquín Torres-García: The Arcadian Modern
Museum of Modern Art
New York, New York
October 25, 2015–February 15, 2016
“This major retrospective of Joaquín Torres-García (Uruguayan, 1874–1949) features works ranging from the late 19th century to the 1940s, including drawings, paintings, objects, sculptures, and original artist notebooks and rare publications. The exhibition combines a chronological display with a thematic approach, structured in a series of major chapters in the artist’s career, with emphasis on two key moments: the period from 1923 to 1933, when Torres-García participated in various European early modern avant-garde movements while establishing his own signature pictographic/Constructivist style; and 1935 to 1943, when, having returned to Uruguay, he produced one of the most striking repertoires of synthetic abstraction.
Torres-García is one of the most complex and important artists of the first half of the 20th century, and his work opened up transformational paths for modern art on both sides of the Atlantic. His personal involvement with a significant number of early avant-garde movements—from Catalan Noucentismo to Cubism, Ultraism-Vibrationism, and Neo-Plasticism—makes him an unparalleled figure whose work is ripe for a fresh critical reappraisal in the U.S.”
Welcome to CAA’s International Desk!
posted by Rosemary O’Neill — September 09, 2015
With this new initiative, CAA applauds and supports the growing internationalization of our organization. Whether in the fields of art history, visual arts, design, visual culture, or museums, CAA members are increasingly working as scholars, artists, or curators beyond borders and across the globe. This new page on the CAA website, launched by the CAA International Committee, is in recognition of the growing number of international scholars who have joined our organization as a result of the CAA-Getty International Program and in recognition of CAA members’ participation in the arts, design, and museum fields globally.
The International Desk’s editorial goal is to provide a site for all CAA members to access news on global topics such as recent scholarship (summaries or descriptions), current issues in teaching and research, scholarly- and practice-based collaborations across borders, and international exhibition reviews of interest. Our goal is to expand content sources with news from our membership-at-large as this page develops.
We hope you find our inaugural stories of interest and look forward to future submissions from throughout CAA’s membership. The only criterion is that the topic be international in scope. Please send proposals for articles to Janet Landay at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rosemary O’Neill, Chair
CAA International Committee
A Letter from Buenos Aires
posted by CAA — September 09, 2015
Fernando Martínez Nespral is a professor in the School of Architecture, Design, and Urbanism at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina and a participant in the 2014 CAA-Getty International Program.
This past July, there was a thought-provoking exhibition on view in Buenos Aires at the Museo de Arquitectura y Diseño (Museum of Architecture and Design), known as MARQ. Titled Secciones, this collection of drawings by Santiago Nicolás Lovecchio added a lively local commentary to the form versus function debate in architecture.
MARQ was founded by the Central Society of Architects to explore the architecture of Argentina, from its history and heritage to contemporary issues and projects. It is the first museum in the country dedicated specifically to architecture, and its activities have continued to grow since it opened fifteen years ago. The museum is situated in an old railway building on the Avenida del Libertador, sharing the Buenos Aires Museum Mile with the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts), Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo (National Museum of Decorative Arts), Museo de Arte Hispanoamericano (Museum of Spanish American Art), and Museo de Arte Latinoamericano (Museum of Latin American Art), among others.
Lovecchio’s exhibition presented a series of digitally enhanced pencil and ink sectional drawings of detailed plans for imaginary buildings. Each one juxtaposes clear references to landmarks of architectural history with the typical shapes and traditional forms of domestic architecture in Buenos Aires.
This local perspective on history makes sense when we consider the biography of its author. Lovecchio is a young Argentine who combines his work as a practicing architect with his teaching of architectural history. In this exhibition, he courageously addressed a subject that is at the center of academic discussions about architecture in Argentina today. I am referring to the Dwelling Theory, which favors the analysis of architecture as a setting for the activities of those who live in the buildings, rather than the study of forms.
Thus, in Ninfeo, Lovecchio includes straightforward references to Italian grottos. Similarly, in Casa para dos caballos/caballeros (House for Two Horses/Knights) and especially Casa para dos señoritas bienudas (House for Two Distinguished Ladies), he includes elements reminiscent of the interior spaces in Sir John Soane’s Museum in London. Particularly in the latter two cases, references to the architecture, customs, and lifestyles of Argentina’s upper classes in the early twentieth century come to light with remarkable vividness. They harken back to the Anchorena Palace (now the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and the Errázuriz Palace (now the National Museum of Decorative Arts), both examples of upper-class residences in Buenos Aires.
The academic, monumental architecture that characterizes the heritage of Buenos Aires, as seen in the abovementioned drawings, is also evident in Invernadero (Greenhouse) and the fabulous Casa cúpulas (House of Domes). But the most attractive element in these imaginary architectural studies is the critical irony that seeps lucidly through Lovecchio’s drawings. Different eras, designs, and ways of living are superimposed and reveal new perspectives and interpretations of the past and present.
The work El porteño burguesón (The Buenos Aires Bourgeoisie) starkly displays—as only sectional drawings do—the intimacies of the typical apartments and apartment dwellers of Buenos Aires’s middle class, and it combines these traditional, conservative forms with an oneiric artificial cloud of glass polygons that recall complex underground mechanisms and outdated boilers from the Industrial Revolution.
But in my opinion, La manzana porteña (Buenos Aires City Block) is where the architecture of Buenos Aires is most starkly illuminated. The drawing shows the miseries of real-estate speculation and its promise of Patios de aire y luz (Courtyards for Air and Light), as we say here—that do not provide either—along with the chaos of cables, air conditioners, and tiny windows that coexist with modest traditional houses from a previous era that are still part of our time.
The title of the exhibition, Secciones, alludes to the structural cross sections depicted in the drawings, but in Spanish, sectional drawings are called cortes (cuts, or slices). So the choice of the word secciones undoubtedly refers to the idea that Lovecchio’s sections show more than just buildings. His drawings explore nuances, complexities, and contrasts that exceed traditional interpretations of architecture.
In sum, Lovecchio’s works bring a bold, young, and specifically Argentine point of view to the ever-present idea of the “complexity and contradiction of contemporary architecture” that Robert Venturi wisely warned us about almost half a century ago.
For more information, see the MARQ website or Facebook page. To enjoy these drawings online, see santiagonlove.tumblr.com or the recent article published on Plataforma Arquitectura (text in Spanish).
Between Democracies 1989–2014: Remembering, Narrating, and Reimagining the Past in Eastern and Central Europe and South Africa
posted by CAA — September 09, 2015
Judy Peter is head of the Department of Jewellery Design and Manufacture at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa and a 2012 participant in the CAA-Getty International Program.
In 2012, I was one of twenty international art historians from developing countries who received a travel grant funded by the Getty Foundation to attend the CAA Annual Conference in Los Angeles. One of the objectives of the CAA-Getty International Program is to encourage and strengthen conversations between developing countries about the commonality, diversity, and parallel histories in the discursive field of visual culture. To this end, Cristian Nae, a participant from Romania, and I conceptualized the research project “Between Democracies 1989–2014: Remembering, Narrating, and Reimagining the Past in Eastern and Central Europe and Southern Africa” (EESA). This transnational collaboration brings together scholars and artists from Eastern and Central Europe and South Africa, and draws from their cultural and disciplinary diversities and cohesions to contribute to the generation of knowledge.
Over the past three years, the EESA project has expanded to include conveners, curators, and institutions. Ljiljana Kolesnik from the Institute of Art History in Zagreb, Croatia, collaborated on the project until May 2015; Karen von Veh, a 2013 CAA-Getty program alumnus from the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, was included as a convener and curator for the project in 2013; and Richard Gregor, a 2013 CAA-Getty program participant from the Dom umenia/Kunsthalle Bratislava in the Slovak Republic, joined the project as a curator in 2013.
In 1994, new ideological and political shifts in South Africa were entrenched by a neoliberal democracy. Postapartheid South Africa was initially marked by nation-building strategies such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, idealistic notions of the Rainbow Nation, and the African Renaissance, all of which functioned as vehicles to grapple with the social constructions of identities in a new South Africa. These strategies reflected a rationalization of the postcolonial recovery with a sense of self and place, and they were premised on the assumptions of interchange, mixing, inter/transculturations, hybridity, and creolization. The realities of postcolonial negotiations eroded this naïve enthusiasm, however, and South African art is still located in unresolved identities and remains in search of a recovery of self. Many artists also continue their artistic practices of the “struggle years” by employing forms of activism or social commentary to highlight the ongoing inequalities that have not been erased with the removal of the old regime.
Regarding Eastern and Central Europe, Nae states: “East and Central Europe also emerged from a totalitarian regime twenty-five years ago with the demise of socialism. The collapse of the Berlin Wall prompted a reimagining of the formerly divided Europe on the grounds of different political imagined realities, economies, and bio-political regimes. Artists and curators revisited the logic of modernity and explored its unrealized possibilities, while at the same time questioning contested territorial marks and processes of un-belonging. In relation to temporality, issues of identity and reconstruction of the private and the collective selves became central themes in the recently unmarked and de-territorialised territorialized places of the ‘former East’. Thus, the question of coping with the socialist past and its heritage has been an important political issue in much of the art after 1989, overlapping issues of gender, ethnicity, class, and national belonging.”
The EESA project consists of exhibitions, conferences, roundtable discussions, and peer-reviewed publications. Participants have presented, published, and curated texts and artworks, raising questions about how, why, and when the theoretical and artistic practices of these nations respond to the constructs of place and political disruption, memory and commemoration, transforming ideologies, and new contexts of acculturation. The project has considered to what extent an existing critical methodology, informed by postcolonial theory, psychoanalysis, and post-Marxist theory, contributes to understanding these discursive constructions. It also questions whether new interpretive principles should be envisioned in order to deal with a comparative perspective, with the internal disparities inhabiting these imaginary geographies.
At the 2016 CAA Annual Conference in Washington DC, Nae, von Veh, Gregor, and I will lead a roundtable discussion on these issues with the new group of CAA-Getty International Program participants. It will take place in advance of the EESA group’s second annual conference in September 2016 in Bratislava. Not only has this collaborative project enlarged our understanding of regional comparisons in a postcolonial world, but we hope it will provide a model for future cross-cultural projects among CAA members.
 Cristian Nae, email message to author, 2013.
You never know where opportunities will lead you…
posted by Karen von Veh — September 09, 2015
Karen von Veh is associate professor of art history at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa and participant in the 2013 CAA-Getty International Program.
In 2013 I was one of the lucky recipients of a Getty travel grant to attend the CAA Annual Conference in New York. The first time I met the other grantees was when we had to give a short presentation about our research interests and show examples of the work we were studying. Ding Ning from Peking University was one of our group. Shortly after we returned to our home countries, he contacted me to ask about the possibility of showcasing the art of South Africa as an invited “special exhibition” for the Beijing Biennale in September 2015. Each year the biennale invites selected countries to produce what they call “special exhibitions” and to date they have never had exhibitions from anywhere in Africa. An exhibition of South African art would therefore be a “first” for them and a huge opportunity for us in South Africa—not only to showcase the excellence of our art production but also to align with the drive for cooperation between the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and the various cultural and economic exchange programs that are currently underway.
Special exhibitions at the Beijing Biennale are expected to be showcases of the invited country’s cultural (fine art) production, and we decided to use this exhibition to reflect on the perceived state of our fledgling democracy. After the long struggle to introduce a democratic system and freedom for all in South Africa, one might imagine that an exhibition reflecting the current state of our democratic society might be a very cheerful and upbeat affair. However, twenty-one years after apartheid, we are still seeing the aftereffects of institutionalized inequalities, and the pace of change is not necessarily fulfilling citizen’s expectations. Annie E. Coombes’s book, History after Apartheid: Visual Culture and Public Memory in a Democratic South Africa (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003), argues that cultural manifestations both reflect and affect this change in social structures and relationships. Transition is a difficult state to occupy; often beliefs or behavioral practices are so normalized that change is virtually impossible without a catalyst to shake us out of complacency and awaken us to the possibilities of alternative practices and thoughts. I believe that intellectually engaged, socially conscious art is just such a catalyst.
Bearing this in mind, my cocurators and I have chosen works by a cross section of high profile established artists—those who have been part of the struggle toward democracy and who have seen and reacted to both the good and the bad changes brought about by the new dispensation (William Kentridge, Diane Victor and David Koloane would be examples of this category). These artists have established careers and are well known at home and internationally. In addition, we made a careful selection of young emerging contemporary artists who we believe are embarking on successful careers and who have something pertinent to say about the condition of our society for the future of the youth. All the artists selected acknowledge the role of contemporary art in South Africa as a catalyst for change and raise social and political issues. Their work comments on the real impact of twenty-one years of democracy—a democracy that has allowed them the artistic freedom to comment incisively on some of the continuing challenges arising from inherited and ongoing inequality in society. The chosen examples also illustrate South Africa’s achievements in various traditional media (drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture) and, in addition, we have included some examples of digital media and/or mixed-media works.
As I write this, we are packing up the works for transport to China and preparing to travel there ourselves in mid-September to set up the exhibition. Thinking back to the initial invitation to visit New York in 2013, I had no conception at the time of where this opportunity might lead in the future, and what fruitful projects might come from the contacts made on this occasion.
Kim Berman’s monotype is a reminder of the 2009 xenophobic attacks in South Africa. She records the tented camps put up by local authorities and aid organizations to house dispossessed foreigners, who were victims of violence and intimidation. A barbed-wire fence running through the center of the image is reminiscent of records from the Anglo Boer War concentration camps of the early 1900s. Berman is perhaps suggesting that little has changed in terms of difference, intolerance, and unequal power relations.
Image: Kim Berman, Rifle Range I, Roodepoort, 2009, monotype, 78 x 108 cm (artwork © Kim Berman)
Mary Sibande performs her alter ego, Sophie, clad in Victorian attire. The color of her dress refers to the Zionist Christian Church (ZCC) uniform, and she is wielding a Zionist prayer stick. Sibande refers to the conflation of Christianity and traditions of ancestral worship that exist within the ZCC. This cultural overlap illustrates her search for identity as a young black woman living in the Westernized culture of contemporary South Africa. Her Sophie persona thus explores postcolonial South African identity and critiques stereotypical depictions of women, especially black women, in society.
Image: Mary Sibande, I put a spell on me, 2009, digital pigment print, 90 x 60 cm (artwork © Mary Sibande)
CAA as a Global Site for International Collaboration
posted by CAA — September 09, 2015
Parul Dave Mukherji is a professor in the School of Arts and Aesthetics at Jawajarlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India. In 2013 she was a participant in the CAA-Getty International Program.
When I attended the College Art Association’s 101st Annual Conference in New York as a participant in the 2013 CAA-Getty International Program, little did I realize the long-term benefits of interacting with scholars from different parts of the world. While learning about different art-history teaching and research methodologies in areas as far flung from my native India as South Africa, Eastern Europe, Turkey, and China, among others, it was meeting art historians from neighboring countries such as Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh that laid the groundwork for future collaboration and the possibility of rethinking South Asian art history in both global and regional terms. It is indeed ironic that I “discovered” art historians from these South Asian nations in New York.
When Stephen Ross and Allana Lindgren invited me to contribute a chapter about South Asian visual arts to their edited volume, The Modernist World (New York: Routledge, 2015), I was reluctant to represent the art histories of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka and wanted to invite art historians from these regions to write about their own art histories. The CAA-Getty Program played a key role by offering a global platform for art historians from diverse regions to meet and exchange notes about their research and pedagogical practices. Meeting a fellow participant, a young art historian from Bangladesh, AKM Khademul Haque, helped me develop a fuller account of South Asian modernism and paved the way for future collaborations. Haque, Simone Wille, and T. Sanathanan, and I coauthored the chapter “Visual Arts in South Asia” in The Modernist World.
‘Massacre of the Innocents’
posted by CAA — September 09, 2015
Musarrat Hasan is an advisor to the Institute of Art and Design and professor of art history at Lahore College Women’s University in Lahore, Pakistan. She was a 2013 participant in the CAA-Getty International Program.
In Pakistan, the Taliban and many other militant groups have carried out terrorist activities for the last several years, killing thousands of people through suicide bombings and other horrific attacks. Their aggression has now been greatly curtailed through the joint efforts of the military and the citizens of Pakistan. However, on December 16, 2014, seven gunmen affiliated with the Taliban conducted a terrorist attack on the Army Public School in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. They entered the school and fired on school staff, teachers, and children, killing 145 people, including 132 schoolchildren between eight and eighteen years of age.
Worldwide protest and expressions of horror at this outrage followed immediately. The artists of Pakistan, like their fellow citizens, were greatly shaken by the brutal event. Through their national organization, the Artists’ Association, they decided to make their outrage public. During a meeting of the organization’s executive committee, under the leadership of Mian Ijaz ul Hassan, the group condemned the Peshawar attack and voted to devote the upcoming annual exhibition to artistic responses to this violence. The organization sent out a notice to members and all other artists in universities, cultural bodies, and international members, announcing that the annual show would be postponed by about three weeks so that all members and other artists could participate. The title for the exhibition would be ‘Massacre of the Innocents’ and it would be about the suffering of innocents all over the world.
Although Pakistani artists have previously responded to national and international events of tragic and human significance, I do not recall a collective public response to current events by artists carried out with such immediacy. There have been instances of commissioned murals years after the event, but this sort of action was unprecedented.
At the Lahore College Women’s University, the faculty members were also motivated to participate and decided to collectively produce the mural that is illustrated here. They pooled funds to buy oil paints, panels of stretched canvas, and other materials required for the mural. I was honored to supervise the creation of this work from conception to completion. We decided not to dwell on the gruesome murders but instead to celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of the headmistress who faced the Taliban with courage and gained time for hundreds of students to escape, even though she herself was killed in the process.
The final mural is 8 x 13 feet and demonstrates the painting skills and commitment of fourteen young faculty members who worked on weekdays and late into the night, putting their hearts and souls into the timely completion. The faculty members of the Lahore College Women’s University who worked on this project were Rifaat Dar, Aasma Majeed, Amber Muneer, Aqsa Rehan, Sadia Murtaza, Samina Naseem, Farah Khan, Ghazala Anjum Shirazi, Nighat Mahboob, Rehana Salman, Rabia Yaseen, and Maryam Baber.
The exhibition at Lahore was a great success. It stirred the community and also inspired many other artists to participate in a subsequent exhibition held at the National Art Gallery in Islamabad. The Shakir Ali Museum in Lahore collaborated with the Artists’ Association in this endeavor. The exhibition is scheduled to travel to other major cities such as Peshawar and Karachi later this year.
News from the Art and Academic Worlds
posted by Christopher Howard — September 09, 2015
Each week CAA News publishes summaries of eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.
The Great Debate: Why Galleries Could Take Even More Money from Their Artists
The cultural researcher and Larry’s List cofounder Magnus Resch concluded, based on a survey of eight thousand art galleries in the US, UK, and Germany, that running an art gallery is tough, with more than half turning over less than $200,000 a year and 30 percent running in the red. It’s his solutions—many of them classic business techniques—that have whipped up the debate. None more so than the suggestion that most artists should be paid only 30 percent of sales, not the traditional 50/50 split. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)
Fixing Grad School
Talk about graduate school being broken is beginning to sound like a broken record. Yes, it’s too focused on preparing students to become the tenure-track professors that populate academe’s endangered-species list. Yes, the better part of a decade is probably too long to spend as an apprentice, forgoing a living wage and likely accruing debt. And yes, too many people never finish. So now what? (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)
Clearing Up Ambiguity
So what is it about ambiguity that it has to be praised to high heaven by all and sundry? Above all, how did it come to take on, at least for some, a cloak of liberal righteousness, to shift from being an aesthetic to a moral virtue, as if the text that wasn’t clear, that didn’t state its preferences clearly, were ethically superior to the text that does. In every other sphere of expression, ambiguity is a flaw. (Read more from the New York Review of Books.)
Part of Your World: On the Arts and Well-Being
What’s the most important issue in the arts? Is it declining audiences? The fact that it’s so hard to make a living as an artist? Changing demographics and cultural equity? Unsustainable business models? New technologies? Government funding? Arts education? Gentrification? Creative place-making? Spend any time reading up on arts policy and philanthropy or attending conferences in the arts and you’ll see plenty of attention devoted to all of these topics and more. (Read more from Createquity.)
Inquiry: Art History for All
That an art history–trained graduate has highly desirable and eminently transferable skills across a range of art and nonart professions ought to be good news for art history going forward, especially as there is evidence that the areas of the UK economy related to culture are growing faster than others, and outperforming the economy as a whole. (Read more from Apollo.)
The ABC of Art Criticism: Some Recent How Tos
It has often been said that writing about art is like dancing about architecture. Nearly as often, it has also been said: But I’m going to do it anyway. Whether or not the dance analogy captures all the futilities and elations of the endeavor, writing about art, experience proves, is an activity unlikely to abate. Indeed, as art’s institutional and popular reach has grown ever more expansive in the early twenty-first century, the proliferation of adjunct written discourses has perhaps never been greater. (Read more from Hyperallergic.)
The Meaning of “Inclusiveness” in a Job Ad
Lots of job ads for faculty positions include a sentence along these lines: “Inclusiveness and diversity are academic imperatives and thus are university goals, and your letter should articulate how you will cultivate diversity on our campus.” Does that mean the search is only open to minority candidates? (Read more from Vitae.)
How to Be an Adjunct (and Also a Cliché)
Understand that behind the hierarchical sense of superiority there is a cowering insecurity among the tenured who are beginning to see themselves as the minority they are. Hear them throw around the phrases “student-centered learning” and “student concerns.” Figure out “student-centered learning” is a euphemism for “good customer service,” and “student concerns” means “faculty gossip.” Realize all this language increasingly dehumanizes adjuncts and students. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)
CAA’s Fair Use Code Receives a Key Endorsement
posted by Christopher Howard — September 04, 2015
On September 3, the Visual Resources Association announced its endorsement of CAA’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts, bringing to seven the number of leading associations to support this work. (https://www.collegeart.org/news/2015/07/13/caas-fair-use-code-receives-important-new-endorsements/) In its expression of support, VRA stated: “The Visual Resources Association (VRA) heartily endorses the College Art Association’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts. This code attempts to find consensus across varied constituencies working in the field of visual arts, offering useful models for bridging the divide between those who produce works of art, those who study works of art in academic settings, and those who preserve and provide access to the work produced by the first two groups…. To visual resource and allied image professionals, a key strength of the CAA Code lies in its codification of the historically scrupulous nature of our community of practitioners. In its recommendation that practitioners continue to follow accepted professional standards for metadata, privacy and confidentiality, and the consistent use of terms and conditions, the CAA Code provides a resolute assertion on behalf of our community of practice that courts may refer to when considering fair use parameters.”
Founded in 1982, the Visual Resources Association is a multi-disciplinary organization dedicated to furthering research and education in the field of image and media management within the educational, cultural heritage, and commercial environments. The Association is committed to providing leadership in the visual resources field, developing and advocating standards, and offering educational tools and opportunities for the benefit of the community at large. VRA implements these goals through publication programs and educational activities. For more information about the association, see http://vraweb.org/.
CAA welcomes other endorsements, and encourages organizations in the field to recommend the Code to members. CAA representatives are happy to address questions and to make educational presentations. To make arrangements for a presentation, whether by webinar, conference call, or in person, please contact me at email@example.com. The Code and supporting materials are available at www.collegeart.org/fair-use.
The creation of CAA’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.