Unlike most famous artists, KAWS has something few in visual art actually enjoy: rabid fans who wait on line for days just to see what his latest project will be. What makes this even more noteworthy is that he himself is a fan, subject to the same process of collecting stuff as a way of constructing one's identity as the kids around the globe who fetishize his work.

Carlo McCormick, Paper Magazine, November 4, 2013

Carlo McCormick, a critic and curator living in New York City, uses his unique insights and longterm friendship with the artist KAWS to set up the Modern's exhibition KAWS: Where the End Starts. With the perspective of a friend and the concerns of a cultural critic, McCormick wrote in Paper Magazine, for which he is senior editor, “Years ago John Waters told Paper that one of the things he loved best about art was that it was a hermetic little world that totally intimidated most people, and while we must agree with that, there are occasionally those exceptional figures like KAWS, who are able to reach a vast audience in utterly direct ways, that are ultimately transformative.”

Having written extensively on KAWS since early in the artist’s career, McCormick provides an art historical and cultural context for the work seen in this exhibition. His Tuesday Evenings lecture, titled “KAWS and Effect,” offers insight into figurative, narrative, and comic tangents in art that have influenced the work of KAWS. Featuring art from the KAWS’s personal collection, McCormick’s presentation looks at how outré historical figures such as Peter Saul, H. C. Westermann, Martin Wong, Keith Haring, and movements like the Hairy Who in Chicago and postwar Japanese pop have inspired and informed KAWS's own personal iconography and style.

A video recording of this lectures will be available on the Modern's Youtube.

Roberto de Leon and Ross Primmer take a native approach with their practice—no matter the location. David Sokol, “Locally Sourced,” Cultured Magazine, June/July 2015

Roberto de Leon, Jr. / FAIA, LEED AP, a partner and co-founder of De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop (DPAW), presents the ideas behind his environmentally and regionally sensitive practice for Tuesday Evenings at the Modern in conjunction with Fort Worth AIA’s 2016 Design Awards.

DPAW is a collaborative design studio focusing on public projects with a cultural, civic, or not-for-profit basis with a working methodology that draws inspiration from regional traditions of craft and fabrication, placing an emphasis on the potential of conventional materials and construction methods. Through an immersive process of research and investigation, the studio cultivates an understanding of contextual specificity as a nuanced relationship between place, time, and local culture. The strength of DPAW’s work has been recognized through numerous honors and awards and has been exhibited at many venues, including, most recently, the 2014 Istanbul Design Biennial and the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial.

De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop purposefully embraces a design rigor aimed at simplicity and precision, with the underlying premise that innovation necessarily equals economy.

A video recording of this lectures will be available on the Modern's Youtube.

Ryan McGinness' approach to art and the art world is sardonic yet earnest, a mature version of the rebellious ethos that defined his youth in 90s skate culture. He’s soft-spoken and very tall, a gentle giant from Virginia Beach, long and far away from his current space on the top floor of a six-story former factory in New York's Chinatown. Beckett Mufson, “Ryan McGinness Thinks You’re Looking at Art Wrong,” The Creators Project, April 22, 2016

Ryan McGinness, a New York–based artist who grew up in the surf and skate culture of Virginia Beach, Virginia, is now known for his extensive vocabulary of original graphic drawings that use the visual language of public signage, corporate logos, and contemporary symbology. For Tuesday Evenings at the Modern, he presents “The Logic of this Work Is Stronger than the Logic of the World in Which it Exists.”

McGinness is credited with elevating the status of the icon to fine art through his paintings, sculptures, installations, and books. Concerned with the perceived value of forms, he assumes the power of this visual language in order to share personal expressions. The New York Times noted, “In the past decade, McGinness has become an art star, thanks to his Warholian mix of pop iconography and silk-screening.” Vogue declared, “Ryan McGinness is a leading pioneer of the new semiotics.”

A video recording of this lectures will be available on the Modern's Youtube.

Merris’ sensibility is as organic and fluid as it is rigorous, as filled with wonder as it is informed by a sense of scientific reason, and it consistently navigates between such positions, seeing them not as oppositional, but naturally and intimately connected.

Dean Daderko, 2014

October 4: Benjamin Merris

Benjamin Merris brings his sense of wonder and thoughtful consideration of the world around him to Tuesday Evenings at the Modern, sharing his ideas and decisions in making his way and his mark as an artist. Attending Glasgow School of Art in Scotland for his graduate degree, Merris now lives and works in Brooklyn, while traveling and showing internationally.

For their Hudson, New York, inaugural exhibition All Ways Always, Jeff Bailey Gallery wrote that Merris’s paintings, sculpture, photographs, and outdoor installations are “process oriented, and combine painterly abstraction with an embodied naturalism.” This association with nature is signature for Merris, as suggested by many of the exhibitions in which his work is featured or included, such as The Secret Life in summer 2015 at Murray Guy Gallery in New York, which brought together cross-generational artists who “approach the natural world with an intuitive sense of curiosity and profound inventiveness.”

Curator Dean Daderko, who included Merris in the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston 2013 group exhibition Outside the Lines, explains the artist’s approach as follows, “Through his various experiments with painting, abstraction, nature and culture, Merris’ sense of play and curiosity is palpable and contagious, arousing and satisfying our curiosity. In his work, Merris seems dedicated to the camper’s edict: ‘leave it better than you found it.’”

A video recording of this lectures will be available on the Modern's Youtube.
Curator of Education, Terri Thornton's blog post following this lecture.

Kandel’s new book “The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind and Brain” takes us back to turn-of-the-century Vienna, the place of his birth, and he writes about the salons there, where artists could mingle with writers and physicians and scientists. . . . But this isn't just an art history book. Kandel also gets deep into the science of the mind, what happens in the brain when we see a beautiful work of art, how it affects our emotions, how we recognize objects and faces, too. It is written by a neuroscientist, after all. Ira Flatow, Science Friday, NPR

Eric R. Kandel, MD, University Professor and Kavli Professor at Columbia University, Director of the Kavli Institute for Brain Science, Co-director of the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, and Senior Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, presents on his 2012 book The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, From Vienna 1900 to the Present. Dr. Kandel has received 23 honorary degrees and numerous awards and other forms of recognition in various aspects of his career, including the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2000, and The Age of Insight won the Kreisky Award in Literature, Austria's highest literary award.

Dr. Kandel explains, “The central challenge of science in the twenty-first century is to understand the human mind in biological terms. . . . I take up this central scientific challenge in The Age of Insight by focusing on how the new science of mind has begun to engage with art.” To relate present-day brain science to the Modernist painting of Vienna in 1900, he outlines in simple terms our current understanding of the cognitive psychological and neurobiological basis of perception, memory, emotion, empathy, and creativity. He then examines how cognitive psychology and brain biology have joined together to explore how the viewer perceives and responds to art.

A video recording of this lectures will be available on the Modern's Youtube.
Curator of Education, Terri Thornton's blog post following this lecture.

My biggest challenge in writing this book has been to leave the series as free as Stella leaves the novel. Before I could set it free however, I had to take it in, to see and to know its proliferating parts. Robert K. Wallace, from “Pictorial Voyage, More Than Meets the Eye” in Frank Stella’s Moby-Dick: Words and Shapes

Robert K. Wallace, Regents Professor of English at Northern Kentucky University and author of many books, including Frank Stella’s Moby-Dick: Words and Shapes, opens our fall 2016 Tuesday Evenings at the Modern season with his lecture “Pursuing Frank Stella’s Moby-Dick in Body, Mind, and Words.” For this special presentation, Wallace shares highlights from his physical and intellectual journey in trying to follow, and then interpret, Frank Stella’s twelve-year pursuit of Melville’s Moby-Dick—from the first prints and painted reliefs of the mid-1980s to the concluding prints, reliefs, and sculptures of the mid-1990s. Beginning in the early 1990s, Wallace interviewed Stella several times a year in his New York studio. He saw prints and sculptures in production at Tyler Graphics and Tallix Foundry, and he traveled to Japan and Europe to see as many of Stella’s Moby-Dick works in person as possible. In the wake of these various kinds of research, the ultimate challenge was to try to convey in words what Stella had achieved in his own pictorial terms in relation to the novel. This is one of our last opportunities to focus on aspects of Frank Stella: A Retrospective before this popular exhibition closes the following Sunday.

A video recording of this lectures will be available on the Modern's Youtube.

Curator of Education, Terri Thornton's blog post following this lecture.

What is a word for collaboration between material will and human intention that implies generation rather than decay?
Martha Tuttle, artist statement

Martha Tuttle is a New York-based artist whose solo debut, Martha Tuttle: Metaxu, at Tilton Gallery in New York, brought her most recent body of work critical attention, with David Ebony describing it as “understated and graceful” in his “Top 10 New York Gallery Shows This Winter.” Cait Munro reviewed the show for artnet news, writing, “While mass production and digitization continue to dominate the contemporary art conversation, 26-year old Martha Tuttle . . . is doing something refreshingly measured and tactile.” As the daughter of poet Mei-mei Berssenbrugge and artist Richard Tuttle, and having spent a great deal of her childhood in New Mexico, Martha Tuttle has an affinity for natural materials and meditative processes. She rigorously dyes, rubs, folds, weaves, and beats her materials, which include silk, wool, paper, hematite, woad, indigo, and logwood, into her luminous abstract wall reliefs that are clearly cared into being. Quoted in Munro’s review, Tuttle comments, “It’s important to me to be able to touch every part of something that I make. I find that if I spend a long time with something, it heightens that relationship that I have with it.”

For Tuesday Evenings, Martha Tuttle shares her thoughts and experiences in the making of her work. 

Martha Tuttle was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1989. She graduated from Bard College in 2011 and received her MFA in Painting and Printmaking from The Yale School of Art in 2015. She has held residencies at the New Mexico School of Poetics in Ojo Caliente in 2012, and in Grinnell, Iowa, in 2011. She received a Josef Albers Foundation Travelling Fellowship, as well as the Donald C. Gallup Research Fellowship from the Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscript Library, Yale University, in 2014. She has exhibited her work in group shows throughout the US and Europe, and recently had her first solo exhibition in New York. She currently lives and works in New York.

A video recording of this lectures will be available on the Modern's Youtube.

Curator of Education, Terri Thornton's blog post following this lecture.

Frank Stella, artist featured in Frank Stella: A Retrospective, in conversation with Modern Chief Curator Michael Auping

Over a 40-year career as a curator, I’ve interviewed hundreds of artists, each of them different and challenging in their own ways. However, “different” and “challenging” don’t begin to describe Frank Stella. Words like obsessed, relentlessly deductive, argumentative, self-critical, and “Malden, Massachusetts tough” (his birth place) come to mind; as do well-mannered, and well-educated (Andover and Princeton). . . . At nearly 80 years of age, Stella still seems one step ahead of the game, remaining the hyper, complex personality and deconstructionist of abstraction that brought him to international attention in the late 1950s. Michael Auping, “The Un-secret World of Frank Stella,” Voices in Contemporary Art (November 2015). 

Frank Stella and the Modern’s chief curator, Michael Auping, are in conversation as we anticipate the opening of Frank Stella: A Retrospective on Sunday, April 17. Auping, the curator and co-organizer of the exhibition, and Stella have spent several years contemplating and discussing the work and ideas behind an exhibition that spans the artist’s entire career, which began strong in 1959 at the age of 23, straight out of Princeton, with the now-historic Black Paintings and has never rested or settled as Stella continues to address the issues of painting today.

As Deborah Solomon queried for the New York Times, as a preview to the exhibition’s opening at the Whitney Museum of American Art last fall, “What does it mean that Frank Stella, 79, the champion of abstract art, has been tapped for the inaugural retrospective at the new building?” After a few proposals, Solomon goes on to ultimately answer her own question with, “Mr. Stella has done more than any other living artist to carry abstract art, the house style of modernism, into the postmodern era.”

For Tuesday Evenings, Michael Auping and Frank Stella address the forthrightness, diligence, shifts, and allegiances of the artist’s impressive career as reflected in Frank Stella: A Retrospective.

Frank Stella (b. 1936) is one of the most important living American artists. Since his first solo gallery exhibition at Leo Castelli Gallery in 1960, Stella has exhibited widely throughout the US and abroad. Early in his career, his work was included in a number of significant exhibitions that defined the art of the postwar era, including Sixteen Americans, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1959; Geometric Abstraction, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1962; The Shaped Canvas, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1964–65; Systemic Painting, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1966; Documenta 4, Kassel, 1968; and Structure of Color, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1971. He has  received many awards and honors, including First Prize at the International Biennial Exhibition of Paintings in Tokyo (1967); Orde des Arts et des Lettres from the French Government (1989); Gold Medal for Graphic Art Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York (1998), and the National Medal of Arts (2010). Frank Stella: A Retrospective is organized by Michael Auping, Chief Curator, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, in association with Adam D. Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

A video recording of this lectures will be available on the Modern's Youtube

Curator of Education, Terri Thornton's blog post following this lecture.

Minus the gold leaf, they function like pictures with pronounced textual elements — in other words, illustrated manuscripts for the 21st century.
Christian Viveros-Fauné, “Fernando Bryce, One-of-a Kind Copyist, On View in Chelsea,” Village Voice, December 15, 2015.

Fernando Bryce is a New York- and Lima-based artist, renowned in his home country of Peru and recognized internationally for his “mimetic analysis,” in which he culls archives for print materials such as advertisements, newspaper articles, and propaganda pamphlets in order to faithfully reproduce a carefully chosen selection for his own ink-on-paper “reconstructions.”

Bryce’s most recent exhibition, at Alexander and Bonin in New York this past fall, addressed the discourse of universal values during the 1940s and 1950s with three major works: The Book of Needs, Arte Nuevo, and ARTnews 1944–1947. He chronicled the changing international climate at the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War and surveyed media representation of the subsequent cultural shifts. Art historian Andrea Giunta writes for the exhibition, “Through his method of mimetic analysis, [Bryce] reproduces and renews the archive he has compiled around this system of representations that drew a triangle between Paris, New York and Buenos Aires. The meticulous copying of the original gives new life to the written word and to everything these texts and images condensed. . . . By bringing this archive into the present he clearly goes beyond a simple archeology of the past.”

For Tuesday Evenings, Fernando Bryce shares his scrupulous and deliberated approach to artmaking that produces such ambitious works. 

Fernando Bryce (b. 1965 Lima) currently lives and works in Lima and New York. In 2011, a major survey of his work, Drawing Modern History, was organized by the Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI) and traveled to Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC), Mexico City, and Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA). His work has been exhibited internationally, including at Manifesta 4, Frankfurt am Main, 2002; 8th International Istanbul Biennial, 2003; 26th Biennial of São Paulo, 2004; 54th Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, 2005; T1: The Pantagruel Syndrome, Castello di Rivoli, Turin, 2006; and the 11th Biennale de Lyon, 2011.

A video recording of this lectures will be available on the Modern's Youtube

Curator of Education, Terri Thornton's blog post following this lecture.

What persists is an understated elegance and a sensitivity to gesture, color, and composition in fragmentary pictures: a silhouetted figure, a masked face, a veined arm. Presented in an oval format . . . the images might have been spied through a keyhole, and their Old Master allusiveness isn’t contradicted by the suggestion of dust and sweat.
New Yorker
, review of Arne Svenson: The Workers at Julie Saul Gallery, 2015

Arne Svenson is a New York-based artist whose work has led him down numerous and varied paths of visual exploration, from landscape photographs of Las Vegas to portraits of sock monkeys, forensic facial reconstructions, and medical museum specimens. The Modern recently acquired three works from Svenson’s significant Neighbors series: Neighbors #38, Neighbors #44, and Neighbors #52. First and foremost in Svenson's practice is to seek out the inner life, the essence, of his subjects, whether they be human, inanimate, or something in between. He uses his camera as a reporter uses text, to create a narrative that facilitates the understanding of that which may lie hidden or obscured. This narrative, at times only a whisper or suggestion, weaves throughout his diverse body of work. He is currently working on a series shot in Sweden, The Forest, which explores the dichotomous relationship between photography and painting, the "sweet-spot" where perceived reality and fiction meet.

For Tuesday Evenings, Arne Svenson shares work and ideas from throughout his career, including his most recent endeavors.

Arne Svenson was born in 1952 in Santa Monica, California. His photographs have been shown extensively in the United States and Europe and are included in numerous public and private collections, including the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Carnegie Museum of Art. Self-taught, with an educational and vocational background in special education, Svenson is the author/photographer of many books, including Prisoners, Sock Monkeys (200 out of 1,863) with Ron Warren, The Neighbors, and the upcoming Unspeaking Likeness. His most recent exhibitions are The Workers at the Julie Saul Gallery in New York, 2015, and The Neighbors at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, 2016.

A video recording of this lectures will be available on the Modern's Youtube

Curator of Education, Terri Thornton's blog post following this lecture.