how to look at reinhardt and conceptual art

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

12.00 noon, Research Forum South Room

Speaker(s): Michael Corris (Meadows School of the Arts, Dallas)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Sarah Wilson (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

What does Ad Reinhardt — a painter, a satirist, a critic and a political activist — have to do with Conceptual Art? What relation could one possibly draw between the political gestures of a late-1960s New York avant-garde artist and a late-1930s New York avant-garde artist who helped to organise labour unions for artists and newspaper workers, and attacked virtually every friend and colleague associated with Abstract Expressionism for being corrupt and too eager to please the establishment? What does any Conceptual artist — for whom the diminished importance of the object of art and the supremacy of language in art is an article of faith — have in common with an artist who valued painting to such an extent that he devoted the last seven years of his life to painting "the same painting, over and over again"? If influence in art is like a chess game, with moves and counter moves, then what do we call a Conceptual artist who claims Reinhardt as a precursor? It all depends on how you look at it.

Michael Corris (PhD History of Art, University College London, 1996; MFA Painting/Media, MICA, Baltimore, 1972; BA Art with Honors, Brooklyn College, 1970) is an artist and writer on art. Corris is Professor of Art and Chair of the Division of Art, Meadows School of the Arts, a post he took up in November 2009. Prior to this appointment, Corris taught for 19 years in universities throughout Great Britain.

Corris’ writings on contemporary art have been widely published in international journals and magazines, such as Art Monthly, Artforum, Art History, art+text, and are included in Alex Alberro & Blake Stimson (eds), Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology (MIT Press, 1999). Recent publications include Conceptual Art: Theory, Myth and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2004), Ad Reinhardt (Reaktion Books, London, 2008), Non-Relational Aesthetics (London, 2008) (with Charlie Gere), and Art, Word & Image: 2,000 Years of Textual/Visual Interaction (Reaktion Books, London, 2010) with John Dixon Hunt and David Lomas.

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