Noted Scholars Gather in Williamstown for the Clark Symposium Art, Theory, and the Critique of Ideology, 1975–95, April 21

For Immediate Release

March 26, 2012

WILLIAMSTOWN (MA)—Noted U.S. and international scholars will gather at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on Saturday, April 21 for the Clark Symposium Art, Theory, and the Critique of Ideology, 1975–95. This symposium draws together scholars to reexamine the birth of the art historical study of contemporary art.

Convened by Thomas Crow (Institute of Fine Arts at New York University) and Jonathan Katz (University at Buffalo), the symposium will attempt to assess the main intellectual currents that changed the study of later modern and contemporary art in the last part of the twentieth century. What exactly happened? What took hold and what didn’t? What worked and what is up for serious revision? What were some unintended consequences of the period’s more hopeful ambitions? What lessons can be drawn that point to new directions in research and to fresh ways of comprehending that enhanced knowledge? Have particular institutions and professional networks created a canonical range of methodologies, themes, or issues considered acceptable in the study of contemporary art and the reappraisal of modernism? The symposium hopes to reexamine what was, in effect, the birth of the art historical study of contemporary art.

The emphasis of the symposium will be placed on dialogue and discourse. Each participant briefly will introduce a text that she or he considers formative in shaping, questioning, and/or opening the field of contemporary art history. Texts and their introductions will be paired to draw out (or contrast) affinities and methodologies, and the discussion that follows each pairing will be among all participants. We expect a day where there is as much antagonism and resistance as agreement in this unpacking of a dense recent history. A list of texts is available online at http://clarkart.edu/research/content.cfm?ID=429

The participants include: David Breslin (Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute); James Elkins (School of the Art Institute of Chicago); Briony Fer (University College London); Hal Foster (Princeton University); Matthew Jesse Jackson (University of Chicago); Mignon Nixon (The Courtauld Institute of Art); Alison Pearlman (California State Polytechnic University, Pomona); Katy Siegel (Hunter College); Robert Slifkin (Institute of Fine Arts at New York University); Theodore Triandos (University of Delaware); and Paul Wood (The Open University).

The symposium begins with a light breakfast at 8:30 am and concludes with a reception at 5:00 pm. Tickets are $20 and $15 for students (includes breakfast and reception). For more information and tickets, please visit clarkart.edu or call 413.458.0524.

The Clark is one of the country’s foremost art museums and a dynamic center for research and higher education in art history and criticism. It is one of only a few art museums in the U.S. that is also a major research and academic center, with an international fellowship program and regular conferences, symposia, and colloquia, as well as an important art research library. The Clark, together with Williams College, jointly sponsors one of the nation’s leading M.A. programs in art history.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, MA. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (open daily in July and August). Admission is free through June 15. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

Calendar Listing

April 21: Noted U.S. and international scholars will gather at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on Saturday, April 21 for the Clark Symposium Art, Theory, and the Critique of Ideology, 1975–95. This scholarly symposium draws together scholars to reexamine the birth of the art historical study of contemporary art. The symposium begins with a light breakfast at 8:30 am and concludes with a reception at 5:00 pm. Tickets are $20 and $15 for students (includes breakfast and reception). For more information and tickets, please visit clarkart.edu or call 413.458.0524. For more information and tickets, please visit clarkart.edu or call 413.458.0524. The Clark, 225 South Street, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 413 458 2303, clarkart.edu.

Contact: 
pr@clarkart.edu

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