frank davis Memorial Lecture Series

Histories in Transition

Re-Inventing Landscape Traditions for the Present

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

17.30 - 18.30, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

wide expanse of snow-covered landscape with lone figure in the centre
Hunter on Sea-Ice, North West Greenland, 2012. Photo: Mariele Neudecker

Speaker(s): Professor Mark Cheetham (University of Toronto) and Mariele Neudecker (artist and senior lecturer, Bath Spa University)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Ayla Lepine

The first lecture of the 2012 Frank Davis series is a conversation between art historian and curator Professor Mark Cheetham (University of Toronto) and the artist and lecturer Mariele Neudecker (Bath Spa University). Following presentations from each speaker about their engagement with traditions of landscape and the possibility of a contemporary sublime, they will be in conversation about their approach, experiences, and current interests regarding landscape, history and representation.

Mark Cheetham presentation summary:

To what extent are current practices in the genre of landscape art related to those consolidated in Britain, France, and especially Germany c. 1800? Mark Cheetham will ask whether "nature" is the same conceptually as it was when landscape was an ascendant art form, and if American and European Land Art from the 1960s and 1970s worked within the traditions of the landscape genre. His analysis of these models and a range of contemporary works will form the basis for an engagement with the remarkable landscapes of Mariele Neudecker.

Mark A. Cheetham is the author and editor of a dozen books on art theory, art, and visual culture from c. 1700 to the present and is active as a curator of contemporary art. His book, Artwriting, Nation, and Cosmopolitanism in Britain: The “Englishness” of English Art Theory was published in 2012. Cheetham teaches art history at the University of Toronto.

Mariele Neudecker presentation summary:

‘Towards a Contemporary Sublime’ is an illustrated representation as an overview of Mariele Neudecker’s practice, which investigates the formation and dissemination of cultural constructs. She has been researching and exploring questions surrounding historical and personal representation of place, time and consciousness, particularly in the context of the Northern European Tradition. At the core of her work is the human interest and relationship to landscape and its images that are used metaphorically for the ‘human condition’. She has been exploring different means of interacting with audiences across a wide range of venues, where crossovers of music, science and fine art communities were possible.

Mariele Neudecker lives and works in Bristol, UK. She uses a broad range of media including sculpture, film and installation. Recent projects include: 2011, Otherworldly: Artist Dioramas and Small Spectacles, MAD Museum, New York, Screaming From The Mountain: Landscapes and Viewpoints. Sörlandets Kunstmuseum, Norway and 2012 a solo exhibition: Parhelion, Thomas Rehbein Gallery, Cologne, Germany.

The 2012 Frank Davis Memorial Lecture Series explores intersections between modernity and historicism worldwide. It extends and enriches the Research Forum project Revival: Utopia, Identity, Memory and interacts with the provocative Research Forum theme, ‘The Quick and the Dead’. Spanning art, architecture and design across America, Europe and Asia from the nineteenth century to the present, each lecture demonstrates the allure and the value of the past in forming challenging responses to new circumstances. Interrogating the nature of revival, historicism and transnationalism, the series engages with nature and artifice, ritual and memory, and the flexible meanings of materials, images and structures that simultaneously inhabit traditional and innovative territory.

Sponsored by the FM Kirby Foundation and The Prince's Foundation

Traditionally sponsored by the F M Kirby Foundation, this year the Frank Davis Memorial Lecture Series is also sponsored by The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community; Transforming Lives through Engaging, Educating and Empowering People.

“The Prince's Foundation believes that sustainably planned, built and maintained communities improve the quality of life of everyone who’s part of them. They help us both live better at a local level and start dealing with the broader global challenges of urbanisation and climate change. Our goal is a future where all of us can take part in making our communities more sustainable. We're working with everyone from local residents groups to governments to make it happen.” See

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