terra foundation for american art visiting professor

Gerald Murphy, Americanisme, and the Metonymic Mode

Thursday, 10 May 2012

16.00 - 18.00, Research Forum South Room

Speaker(s): Angela Miller (Professor, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Washington University; and Terra Foundation for American Art Visiting Professor, The Courtauld)

Ticket/entry details: Open to postgraduate students and history of art teaching staff

Organised by: Professor Caroline Arscott

This seminar will look at two distinct modalities within early 20th century American modernism, from the period from 1915 to 1935. For the purposes of comparison, we will begin with the “native” modernists around the figure of Alfred Stieglitz, committed to expressionist forms of organic abstraction, and then turn to the transatlantic figure of Gerald Murphy, whose self-referential and ironizing gestures point toward a deflation of the organicist and metaphoric character of a nation-centered modernist expression. We will consider different modes of meaning-making within these two very different aesthetic and cultural formations, and their social and political corollaries.

Angela Miller teaches Art History at Washington University in St. Louis. She has lectured and published in a range of areas spanning from the 16th century to the mid-20th. Her work has focused on constructions of cultural nationalism, and on the politics of form in the arts. Miller’s 1993 book Empire of the Eye: Landscape Representation and American Cultural Politics, 1825-1875, won awards from the Smithsonian Institution and the American Studies Association. She is a lead author, along with five others, of American Encounters: Art, History, and Cultural Identity (Pearson, 2008), an integrated history of the arts from pre-conquest to the present. Recent publications include an essay on the American reception of Surrealism, the US Popular Front, and Dia/Beacon’s Zoe Leonard exhibition. She was the inaugural Terra Professor of American art in Paris in 2010, and a visiting scholar at the JFK Institute for North American Studies in Berlin in November 2010.

For further information about the Terra Foundation for American Art and this initiative see www.terraamericanart.org

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