“The work’s a combination of radicalism and humanism,” she says. “When I stand in front of these paintings, it forces me to be there in a way I recognize as essential to my well-being.” Artist Roni Horn quoted in Howie Kahn, “Home Is Where the Art Is: The Ryman Family,” Wall Street Journal, November 17, 2015

Courtney J. Martin, Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the Dia Art Foundation, presents “Encounters with Space, Depth and Distance: Robert Ryman, circa 20thC.” The American painter Robert Ryman is well known for his use of achromatic surfaces. Though his work is frequently read as white paintings, Ryman has been deeply engaged with a number of compositional concerns outside of hue or color for more than 60 years. In this lecture, Martin examines Ryman’s interaction with space, depth, and distance as questions of painting, rather than sculpture.

This Tuesday Evenings lecture draws on the 2015 – 2016 exhibition of Ryman’s paintings that Martin curated for the Dia Art Foundation. In a Wall Street Journal article of November 17, 2015, Martin comments on the Dia exhibition: “White is what everyone thinks of when they think of Ryman. I’m hoping we’ll disturb that.” 

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

 

Over the last few years, Kamrooz Aram’s paintings have sought to rehabilitate the status of ornament and pattern within modernist aesthetics. Challenging the epithet ‘decorative’, Aram uses ornament conceptually. 
Murtaza Vali, “Kamrooz Aram: Recollections for a Room,” ArtReview Asia

Kamrooz Aram, a Brooklyn-based artist whose works often challenge a modernist disdain for decoration, shares his thoughts on ornament and its complex relationship to modernist painting and exhibition design as demonstrated in his own varied practice in which painting, collage, sculpture, and the art of display operate as equals. Aram’s paintings reveal the essential role that ornament played in the development of Modern art in the West. He complicates the correlation between ornament and decoration, asserting the history of ornament as a drive toward the absence of figuration, a movement toward abstraction. His sculptural works and collages utilize exhibition design as a medium, challenging the perceived neutrality of museum installations with deliberate, invented contexts for the objects and images he displays.

This Tuesday Evenings presentation sheds light on the Modern’s exhibition FOCUS: Kamrooz Aram, while casting a wider net, as Aram’s practice invites viewers to reconsider conventional definitions of ornament and the decorative, insisting that the same kind of meaning can be found in ornamental forms as one would find in abstract painting. For Artforum’s January 3, 2017, “500 Words,” Aram notes, “I tend to embrace some of the more taboo subjects in art. For instance, making something that’s emotional, or that has a spiritual presence—these are things that are difficult to talk about because they’re dismissed, by academia mostly, as things that lead to subjectivity and sentimentalism. But not all emotions lead to sentimentality, and not all definitions of spirituality have to do with subjectivity.” 

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

Soon after Roy Lichtenstein’s Pop paintings exploded on the art scene in the 1960s, observers grew curious about the popular roots of his work. Critics, curators, and scholars began to trace his borrowed imagery back to the comic books, newspapers, and other commercial printed media from which it came. Michael Lobel

Michael Lobel, Professor of Art History at Hunter College, City University of New York, curator, and author, presents his findings on one of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth’s most popular paintings. Mr. Bellamy, by Roy Lichtenstein, was painted in 1961 in the artist’s signature style of using Ben-Day dots and text balloons to mimic comic books of the day. With occasional insider art-world references accompanying the popular imagery, Lichtenstein’s paintings can be both familiar and enigmatic. This is particularly true of the Modern’s painting. As Lobel states, “While the reference images for most of Lichtenstein’s signature Pop paintings are now known, the source for Mr. Bellamy, an important early canvas in the collection of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, has long gone unidentified.”

In this Tuesday Evenings presentation, “Pop and Its Sources: Reconsidering Roy Lichtenstein’s Mr. Bellamy,” Lobel highlights a new discovery—the original comic strip on which the painting was based—and explores its implications for our understanding of the artist’s work.

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

Having lived and worked fluidly between three different cities (New York, Miami, and his hometown of Lima, Peru), William Cordova creates artwork that deals with his real-life issues of transition and displacement. . . . Often site-specific, Cordova’s installations challenge preexisting histories of the places they occupy and present new perspectives on the fleeting significance of his subjects. Artsy, “William Cordova: Biography”

Each work in this exhibition contains layers of referents and histories, some of which may only be recognizable depending on one’s own personal and cultural background. Chelsea Weathers, “Critics’ Picks,” Artforum, Fall 2017

Kate Green, an art historian, curator, educator, critic, and recent Guest Director of Marfa Contemporary, and Carter Foster, Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Blanton Museum of Art, are in conversation with the artist William Cordova. The focus of this conversation is the installation William Cordova: ankaylli: spatial and ideological terrain, a project Green commissioned Cordova to create for Marfa Contemporary in the fall of 2017.

True to Cordova’s practice, ankaylli: spatial and ideological terrainfeatures a geometric form that is fundamental to nature and has appeared across cultures and times, from prehistoric carvings to pre-Columbian aqueducts to the artist Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty. The installation’s multifarious components circulate on and around the spiral form, directly referencing pre-Columbian traditions, modern art, and the cosmos, three “territories” that are often thought of as distinct but that here overlap, as indeed they do in Marfa.

This Tuesday Evenings presentation, “William Cordova: Frameworks,” holds great promise as Kate Green, curator of the installation in Marfa; Carter Foster, who acquired Cordova’s drawings for the Whitney Museum of American Art during his tenure as curator; and the artist unpack Cordova’s dense project and practice.

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

I think you and I both fell hard for Jeff Shore and Jon Fisher’s room, which is motion-activated, and the sound aspect of it is crucial. Though they’re also the ones who completely obliterated their cylinder by building a square video projection room inside it. Those guys are so, so good. Christina Rees in “A Conversation About Art and the Silos on Sawyer,” Rainey Knudson and Christina Rees, Glasstire, October 30, 2017

Jeff Shore and Jon Fisher, two mixed-media artists based in and near Houston, present a look at their work over the last 20 years as they discuss the various interests that drive their inspiration. Shore and Fisher started their collaborative practice in 2002, with Shore developing the visual aspects and Fisher the auditory. Shore, trained as a visual artist, conceives and builds the sculptural components and operating mechanisms, while Fisher, a musician, builds the electronics, writes the software, and creates the original soundtracks. The result of this collaborative effort is a series of kinetic devices and installations that are mesmerizing and often dumbfounding.

For Tuesday Evenings, Shore and Fisher share their experiences as collaborators and how their works and practices have evolved over time.  

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

Awareness can feel like a bright island in an ocean of namelessness. The unthought and the unseen wash the shores, leaching into the ground of the mind under sagging frames of reference. There is endless erosion of the coastline, a subversive give-and-take. Objects are soaked with feelings and their identities compromised. Abstractions are contaminated. “Land” in Land, ed. Carroll Dunham (New York: Nolan/Eckman Gallery, 1989). Reprinted in Into Words: The Selected Writings of Carroll Dunham

Carroll Dunham, an important New York–based artist working in painting, drawing, and printmaking, discusses his practice, from coming into his own in the late 1970s to his current contributions as a maker and a writer within the continuum of art. Known for a conceptual approach, which includes aspects of abstraction and representation, Dunham is admired, especially by fellow artists, for his authentic and unyielding pursuit of consequential artworks. The artist Paul Chan confirms this admiration in his Publisher’s Foreword for the recently released book Into Words: The Selected Writings of Carroll Dunham: “I have admired Carroll Dunham’s work for many years. I still remember vividly his painting in America Is Hard to See, the inaugural exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art’s new building in 2015. When I entered the room where it hung, I gasped. The painting was at once exuberant, provocative, and entrancing. It literally took my breath.”

This Tuesday Evenings presentation is a special opportunity to hear from one of contemporary art’s most imperative voices and gain insights into a career that developed through a sensitivity to the past, an astute awareness of the present, and a personal insistence on making what needs to be made.  

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

Ron Mueck’s hyper-real sculptures of the human figure are tender portrayals of people in their most intimate, isolated and vulnerable moments. Manchester Art Gallery on the 2008 ARTIST ROOMS exhibition featuring the work of Ron Mueck

Charlie Clarke, Ron Mueck’s long-time exhibition manager, is in conversation with the Modern’s Senior Curator, Andrea Karnes as they discuss the work and career of Ron Mueck, from his first acclaimed sculpture, Dead Dad, to his most recent installation of 100 giant skulls, Mass, with a particular focus on the works in the Modern’s exhibition Ron MueckAfter gaining international attention with Dead Dad in the controversial and popular exhibition Sensation in 1997, Mueck’s first one-person show was at Anthony d’Offay Gallery in 1998. As stated for a recent exhibition at the Sara Hildén Art Museum in Finland, “Mueck has since shown himself to be a major sculptor whose work elicits an immediate emotional response. . .. Mueck’s subject matter – for all its universality – is deeply private, concerning the unspoken thoughts and feelings of all human beings.”

For this Tuesday Evenings presentation, serving as a preview for the exhibition Ron Mueck, which opens February 16, Clarke relays stories of his experiences with the artist and sheds light on the processes and decisions that infuse Mueck’s extraordinary sculptures with an enduring quality that leaves viewers entranced. 

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

Michael Auping is one of the most significant curators of our generation. Through his exhibitions and writings, he has chronicled many of the leading artists of the last decades—often producing definitive treatments on artists from Lucian Freud, Georg Baselitz, and Anselm Kiefer to Frank Stella, Susan Rothenberg, and Bruce Nauman. Auping’s “secret sauce” is his ability to enter the minds and lives of artists, thus grasping not only the artwork itself but its conception, process, and facture. Adam Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director, Whitney Museum of American Art

Michael Auping, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth’s Chief Curator from 1993 to 2017, shares insights gained over 40 years of interacting with some of the most important artists of our time. As a specialist in the international developments of the postwar period, organizing numerous critically acclaimed exhibitions, Auping is one of America’s foremost scholars of contemporary art. Over time and with care, he has developed important relationships with the artists he has come to know and has made it a priority since his time as a graduate student in the mid-1970s to record artists’ words, believing it an essential part of art history. The artist Jenny Holzer, who worked closely with Auping as he curated the U.S. Pavilion for the 1990 Venice Biennale that featured Holzer’s work and received that year’s Golden Lion award for Best National Pavilion, gives a glimpse into Auping’s relationship with art and artists, stating, “Michael is a very good man with a great eye who knows why he loves art, and he can tell you why cogently and with racing excitement. He is a friend to artists for the right reasons.” 

This Tuesday Evenings at the Modern presentation, “40 Years: Talking and Thinking about Art,” is a biographical sketch of Michael Auping’s four-decade career as a renowned curator, relaying stories of artists such as Lucian Freud, Agnes Martin, John Chamberlain, Louise Bourgeois, Bruce Nauman, Jenny Holzer, and Frank Stella. In the related recent publication 40 Years: Just Talking About Art, in which Auping documents scores of conversations he has had with artists throughout his career, he imparts, “After forty years of studying art, I can say with confidence that the artist’s voice is the second-best place to start one’s understanding of art. Looking and experiencing art for yourself is the first.”

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

This captivating installation by Hubbard & Birchler, which supports an impossible dialogue between an elderly son and his young mother, is an impressive example of how “rephrasing” and “rewriting” histories can carry an emotional impact. Claire Walsh, “Notes from Venice,” MAP, August 4, 2017

Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler, an artist couple based in Austin and Berlin, have been working collaboratively in film, photography, and sculpture since 1990. Their suggestive work invites open-ended reflections on place and cinema and, as stated by Jordan Amirkhani in Daily Serving, is “propelled by the artists’ fascination with the open circuits of social life, memory, and history that sit just outside the frame of moving images.”

For Tuesday Evenings, Hubbard / Birchler discuss Grand Paris Texas, the 2008 video piece commissioned by the Modern and described by Jeffrey Kastner for Artforum as interweaving “the physical and social space of a dead cinema, a forgotten song and the inhabitants of a small town,” in relation to their most recent works, Flora and Bust, featured in the Swiss Pavilion of the 57th Venice Biennale for the exhibition Women of Venice, curated by Philipp Kaiser.

Generally I think my work is the research I do. Minerva Cuevas, “Bridging Borders: Minerva Cuevas,” Extended PlayArt21, March 24, 2017

Minerva Cuevas, based in Mexico City, is a conceptual artist who generates projects in response to politically charged contexts. Employing irony and humor, Cuevas’s work provokes reflection on politics and the potential impact of local actions on the enforcement of fair labor practices and the redistribution of monetary flow. Her practice encompasses a wide range of supports – including painting, video, sculpture, photography, and installation – through which she investigates certain power structures that underlie social and economic ties. Cuevas’s interdisciplinary projects combine aspects of anthropology, product design, and economics in order to explore different ways of intervening in the urban space and museums and galleries. Interventions include hacking public utilities to provide discounted or free services, as in the case of Mejor Vida Corp., which she founded in 1998, and her recently founded International Understanding Foundation; as well as her poetic marking of river stones for her 2010 performance Rio Bravo Crossing.

For Tuesday Evenings, Cuevas’s presentation is centered on research-based projects formally developed through the use of socio-cultural strategies, including actions such as marking a crossing point in the Chihuahuan desert at the US-Mexico border, or multidisciplinary processes such as the simultaneous collaboration with the SFMOMA and public libraries around the subject of public knowledge. She explores the possibilities of generating positive social impact from the sphere of culture.

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

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