research forum visiting professor lecture


Women's Time: Martin and Truitt in the Moment of Minimalism

Thursday, 3 February 2011

16.00 - 17.30, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

rear view of Agnes Martin in her studio facing a line drawing
Alexander Lieberman, Agnes Martin in her New York studio, c. 1960

Speaker(s): Anne Wagner (Henry Moore Foundation Research Curator, Tate National; and Visiting Distinguished Professor, University of York)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Professor Caroline Arscott

For us moderns, time has changed. No longer does it feel like a river, or a piece of music setting the tempo of our dance. Instead it has become a quantity, an investment, which we save, borrow, waste and spend. Often we run out of it, though occasionally we have a little to spare. Only then, like our machines, do we switch "off".

It was the forms of Minimalism that in the 1960s were most successful, and most influential, in reducing art's temporal demands to, well, a minimum, for both viewer and maker alike. Repetition and geometry were the movement's primary means, as by now is well known. But what is much less obvious is how and why some users of these straightforward '60s devices aimed for-and achieved-such utterly different perceptual effects. Anne Truitt, for example, speaks of her sculpture's ability to "disarm time". And in Agnes Martin's paintings, each line marks the duration of its making in and as its trace.

In "Women's Time”, Anne Wagner will consider the implications of the work of these two artists, not least in terms of the challenges they level at Minimalism and the modern repackaging of time.

Anne M. Wagner, The Henry Moore Foundation Research Curator at Tate Britain, was for many years a professor in the Department of History of Art at the University of California, Berkeley, where she remains the Class of 1936 Chair Emerita. Her work has appeared in such journals as Artforum, Representations, October, and The Threepenny Review. Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux: Sculptor of the Second Empire, was published in 1986, and Three Artists (Three Women) in 1996. In 2005, her third book, Mother Stone: The Vitality of Modern British Sculpture, came out from Yale University Press. A book of her essays, A House Divided: On Recent American Art, will appear in 2011. In progress is Behaving Globally, which has been commissioned by Princeton University Press for a new series called Essays on the Arts.



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