research forum visiting professor lecture

The Monster Picasso

Thursday, 5 May 2011

16.00 - 17.30, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

Speaker(s): T. J. Clark (Professor Emeritus of Modern Art at the University of California, Berkeley; and Visiting Professor, University of York)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Professor Caroline Arscott

This lecture focuses on the large painting Picasso did in 1927, Painter and Model, now in Tehran. It examines the turn in Picasso's work in the later 1920s towards an imagery of sex and violence, and, more generally, the meaning of monstrosity in his art. In particular, it asks how the new extreme imagery affected Picasso's distinctive feeling for space, and whether it led him to reconfigure the worldview that was Cubism.

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 of Art, University of London. He has taught at various places in England and the USA, and, since 1988, at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is George C. and Helen N. Pardee Chair Emeritus. He now lives in London. Clark is the author of a series of books on the social character and formal dynamics of modern art, including 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). In Spring 2005 Verso published a polemical analysis of the present crisis in world politics, written by him jointly with Iain Boal, Joseph Matthews, and Michael Watts (a.k.a. "Retort"), entitled Afflicted Powers: Capital and Spectacle in a New Age of War. Clark's last book was The Sight of Death: An Experiment in Art Writing (Yale University Press, 2006), a study of two landscape paintings by Nicolas Poussin and a reflection on the nature of looking repeatedly over time. He is in the process of turning his Mellon Lectures on Fine Art, delivered at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. in Spring 2009, into a book entitled Picasso and Truth: From Cubism to Guernica.

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