Our so-called “pillow talk” is so much about what we do. Not the specifics of how we make our work or what happened in the studio today as much as what it’s like to move your work from your mind to the studio to the world and, like, what exactly are we doing being artists in the 21st century? Laurie Simmons, interview with Sheila Heti for Interview magazine, March 4, 2014

Artists Laurie Simmons and Carroll Dunham, both represented in the Modern’s collection, are in conversation for this extraordinary Tuesday Evenings presentation in conjunction with the museum’s survey Laurie Simmons: Big Camera Little Camera. Simmons and Dunham, two celebrated artists in today’s art world, discuss the role art plays in their life as wife and husband and how a life together informs their art. Having concurrent solo shows in New York last spring, Simmons at Salon 94 and Mary Boone Gallery and Dunham at Gladstone Gallery, the couple gave an extensive and enlightening interview for Artnet News in which Simmons recalls a lecture, similar to this one, eight years ago wherein the couple compared images from different stages of their work and, somewhat surprisingly, found just “how much of an unconscious dialogue there was…”

As Dunham lays out in his text for the Big Camera/Little Camera catalogue, “Laurie Simmons and I have been a couple for forty years, married for thirty-five. ‘Partners,’ the current term of art for such an arrangement, actually applies to us, as we have raised two children and conducted two separate but parallel art practices while both living and being together.” There is a lot of history and a lot to be learned from two artists who are gracious enough to share their work and experiences as independent artists who have made a special life together.

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

The strange emotional pull in each picture comes from the artist’s obsessive need to make it. Calvin Tomkins, “A Doll’s House: Laurie Simmons’s Sense of Scale,” New Yorker, December 10, 2012

Artist Laurie Simmons discusses the making of the Modern’s major survey Big Camera/Little Camera with the exhibition’s curator, Modern Senior Curator Andrea Karnes. Simmons is a hands-on artist who has participated wholly with Karnes in presenting the most honest and compelling survey of a career possible. Karnes’s abiding interest in Simmons’s work is evident in this inquisitive and insightful exhibition that probes themes of gender and cultural expectations that, as presented here, are consistently relevant across time. As noted by Karnes in her catalogue essay, “Finding Jane,” “Examining key works over the span of Simmons’s career elucidates how photography became the ideal framework for her observations of archetypal Western gender roles—a topic as potent today as it was when she first began making art.”

This special presentation offers insight into Simmons’s work featured in the exhibition, her career, and the processes and premise of Big Camera/Little Camera as a collaborative effort between artist and curator.

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

Making things is a process by which to explore a universe out of reach, from within the limitations of our finite form. Jonathan Marshall

Austin-based artist Jonathan Marshall investigates historical perspectives and how they relate to a sense of place, conveying his commitment to making and sharing ideas as a means of declaring one’s presence on this planet at this time, what he sees as the thread that has connected the ancient language of art since its inception.

Marshall’s Tuesday Evenings presentation, titled “WAS HERE,” is framed by a few probing questions concerning the relationship of the individual to a larger whole, resilience and limitations, and the necessity of systems within the bigger scheme of things. The press release for his recent solo exhibition by the same title, at GRIMM gallery in New York, explains that “hand-making images that organize and convey information is the manner by which Jonathan Marshall reflects on this big picture.” As is crucial to his own practice, Marshall incorporates other artists, survivors, adventurers, and great craftspeople into his presentation while ruminating on making in relationship to broader concerns of the life and use of objects in the world.

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

Olujimi’s work challenges established modes of thinking that commonly function as “inevitabilities.” Brainard Carey in an interview with Kambui Olujimi, Yale Radio, 2018

Artist Kambui Olujimi explores the political landscape in relationship to his art practice and presents his work in public spaces and his collaborations with For Freedoms, a platform for civic engagement, discourse, and direct action for artists in the United States. In particular, Olujimi shares his own contribution to For Freedoms’ Fifty State Billboard projects. He also discusses work in which he pursues a variety of interests, including Zulu Time, an exhibition traveling through 2019, Blood from Stone, and the film Where Does the Time Go..., which premiered at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Olujimi’s praxis is both broad and deep. He works within the realm of ideas rather than within an exclusive medium or discipline, as is evident through his output that includes writing, making, and directing. For example, a fascinating series of interviews with African American artists discussing the impact of continued affronts to the citizenship, personhood, and freedom of persons of color informed his novella and exhibition monograph Wayward North (published by Art in General) and are as much a part of his artistic oeuvre as the charged sculptures, drawings, films, and collages that have brought him recognition as an artist. 

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

Bradford’s figures are all generically human yet singular in their execution, as if they tripped out of the brush and landed in unpredictable ways. As a fulcrum to build and drive her storylines, she uses the goofy little things that paint and accidental shapes can do. And hidden in her cavalier brushwork are wise and focused decisions.

Michael Frank Blair, “Katherine Bradford at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth,” Glasstire, December 9, 2017

Katherine Bradford, a Brooklyn-based artist recognized for her historically informed and intuitively painted canvases, was featured in the Modern’s FOCUS: Katherine Bradford, fall of 2017. As Modern curator Alison Hearst explains in the exhibition publication, “Katherine Bradford is known for her vibrant palette and eccentric compositions. Often built up over months and sometimes years, Bradford’s paintings are textured, semi-transparent coats of acrylic paint, with hints of pentimenti exposed in the finished surface. Her recent works revisit several of her favored motifs, such as ships and swimmers — traditional and enduring subjects seen throughout art history.”

In this Tuesday Evenings presentation, Bradford is back to share insights into the paintings featured in her FOCUS exhibition, as well as other works and the enduring path of her practice as a devoted painter and longtime member of the New York art community.

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

“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.

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