For Immediate Release
November 15, 2016
Williamstown, Massachusetts—Clark Fellow Robert Slifkin presents the free lecture “The New Sense of Fate: Detrital Monumentalism in Postwar American Sculpture" at the Clark Art Institute on Tuesday, November 29 at 5:30 pm. The talk will be held in the Michael Conforti Pavilion.
The lecture examines a body of sculpture created following the end of the Second World War that featured pitted and mottled surfaces, irregular and coarse patination, and figural fragmentation. This simulated dilapidation produced what many saw as a sculptural similarity to the painterly gesture of Abstract Expressionism. These sculptures served as imaginary harbingers of what the world would like after the next war by evoking signs of destruction and dilapidation traditionally associated with the archaeological past.
Robert Slifkin is an associate professor of fine arts at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. He is the author of Out of Time: Philip Guston and the Refiguration of Postwar American Art (University of California Press, 2013), which was awarded the Philips Book Prize. At the Clark, is working on a book project entitled The New Monuments and the End of Man: American Sculpture Between War and Peace, 1945-1975, which will consider the intertwined histories of sculpture and nuclear war in postwar U.S. culture.
The Clark Art Institute, located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. Acting as convener through its Research and Academic Program, the Clark gathers an international community of scholars to participate in a lively program of conferences, colloquia, and workshops on topics of vital importance to the visual arts. The Clark library, consisting of more than 270,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. The Clark also houses and co-sponsors the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.
The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $20; free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. For more information, visit or call 413 458 2303.
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