Molly Warnock, Johns Hopkins University, Clark Fellow (Spring 2016)
“Simon Hantaï after Pliage”
Originally presented on March 15, 2016
The Hungarian-born French painter Simon Hantaï (1922–2008) is well known for the abstract, often very large-scale canvases he produced between 1960 and 1982 in the medium he called pliage, or “folding.” These paintings are central to Hantaï’s reputation as one of the earliest and most important artists in Europe to have noticed and responded powerfully to the work of Jackson Pollock. By contrast, little attention has been paid to the painter’s practice in the final twenty-six years of his life, a period distinguished both by his increasing absorption in his personal archives and by his production of several distinct suites of photographically based and digitally transformed versions of previously completed canvases. Drawn from Warnock’s current work-in-progress, this talk proposes a new reading of Hantaï’s oeuvre from the lens of these largely unfamiliar and rarely exhibited investigations.
Update from Molly Warnock
I am pleased to report that the book project I researched during my time at the Clark, Simon Hantaï and the Reserves of Painting, is due out this June, though it remains to be seen how the ongoing disruptions will impact the final stages of production. The conversations that I had with my fellow Spring 2016 Clark Art Institute Fellows—Julie Ault, Stephen Campbell, Juliet Koss, and Kavita Singh—and with other members of the intellectual community I was fortunate to experience in Williamstown—Marc Gotlieb, Mark Haxthausen, Michael Ann Holly, Keith Moxey, Jason Mientkiewicz, and Mary Roberts—provided my project a jolt of adrenaline at a crucial moment and helped to shape the manuscript until the very end. Special thanks are also due to Deborah Fehr for the weekly grocery runs and so much more.
Next Up in the Archives
July 7: Delinda Collier, “Natural Media—Light, Water, and Wind—In Souleymane Cissé’s Finye (1982) and Yeelen (1987)”
July 14: Tamara Sears, “Wilderness Urbanisms: Architecture, Landscape, and Travel in Southern Asia”