Contemporary Art and the Stakes of Criticism
 
 Ed Ruscha,  Ex Libris , 2017, Acrylic on canvas © Ed Ruscha. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian.

Ed Ruscha, Ex Libris, 2017, Acrylic on canvas
© Ed Ruscha. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian.

To commemorate the donation of New Yorker writer Calvin Tomkins’ art book archive to the Redwood Library and Athenaeum in Newport, RI, the Redwood is partnering with RISD to present a day-long symposium on art criticism ‘since 1960,’ the year Tomkins began writing for the New Yorker. The symposium will address the relationship of Tomkins’ signature mode of writing—the profile—to other types of contemporary art writing. A range of voices, including critics, curators, artists and scholars, will ask: what is the place of subjectivity in contemporary art criticism? 
The event commences on Thursday October 25, 2018 with a keynote titled Art and Critique by renowned art historian and critic Richard Shiff, and is followed by two panels on Friday October 26: The Place of the Self and Artist-Writer. A range of voices, including critics, curators, artists and scholars will ask: what is the place of artistic subjectivity in contemporary art criticism? Participants include leading figures such as Roberta Smith (New York Times Co-Chief Art Critic) and internationally acclaimed curator, Massimiliano Gioni (curator of the 2013 Venice Biennale and artistic director at the New Museum, New York), Randy Kennedy, former New York Times art world reporter, and currently head of special projects at Hauser & Wirth, Moyra Davey, internationally renowned artist and writer, John Miller, artist, writer, Barnard College professor and RISD alumnus and Roger White, artist, writer, editor, and RISD faculty.

October 25: Richard Shiff Keynote Lecture "Art and Critique"
Register here
October 26: "The Place of the Self" Panel
Register here
“Artist-Writer” Panel
Register here

 
Art History
Theory and History of Art and Design
 
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The name of the department of History of Art and Visual Culture has now officially changed to The Department of Theory and History of Art and Design. The registrar's office will begin implementing this change in course codes and in RISD's annual course catalogue in the 2019-20 Academic Year.

 
Art History
Maltz-Leca Publishes ON William Kentridge
 
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Leora Maltz-Leca, Associate Professor of Art History, has recently published William Kentridge: Process as Metaphor & Other Doubtful Enterprises with University of California Press. The book "considers how renowned artist William Kentridge spins the material operations of the studio into a web of politically astute and historically grounded metaphors, likening erasure to forgetting, comparing animation to the flux of history, and marshaling drawing as a form of nonlinear argument."

Read more on University of California Press website.
The book is available on Amazon.

 
Art History
Hannan Toukan at Research Colloquium
 
 Samah Hijawi,  The Habiba street downtown Amman , from  Where are the Arabs? , 2009 Still from performance and intervention in public space

Samah Hijawi, The Habiba street downtown Amman, from Where are the Arabs?, 2009
Still from performance and intervention in public space

We are delighted to announce that Professor Hanan Toukan, who holds the Adrienne Minassian Visiting Professorship in Honor of Marilyn Jenkins-Madina 1962 at Brown University's Middle East Studies, will be presenting at our Colloquium. The title of Professor Toukan's presentation is "From PLO to NGO:  Arts, Letters and the Dissonance of Dissent after the Cold War."

Before joining Brown, Professor Toukan has taught at the Freie Universität Berlin as well as at SOAS, University of London. She has also guest lectured at Goldsmiths University in art history and visual cultures as well as Campus in Camps in Palestine. Professor Toukan was a EUME postdoctoral Fellow in Berlin in 2012-2013 and a Kenyon Institute Visiting Scholar in East Jerusalem in 2012. Toukan is currently working on her manuscript, entitled Intimate Encounters: Globality, Art and Cultural Diplomacy in Postwar Lebanon. Her writings have appeared in Arab Studies Journal, Cultural Politics, Journal for Palestine Studies, Review of Middle East Studies, Jerusalem Quarterly, SCTIW Review, Jadaliyya and Ibraaz amongst others. She has also contributed to Narrating Conflict in the Middle East: Discourse, Image and Communication Practices in Lebanon and Palestine (2013, edited by Dina Matar and Zahera Harb) and to Commitment and Beyond: Locating the Political in Arabic Literature since the 1940s (2015, edited by Frederike Pannewick and Georges Khalil).

The colloquium will be held at the Danforth Lecture Hall, RISD Museum on Tuesday, April 4, 2018 at 10:15 AM. A light brunch will be served.

RSVP required.

 
Sean Nesselrode Moncada AT COLLOQUIUM
 
 Edmundo Aray, Antonio de la Rosa, and Carlos Rebolledo,  Pozo muerto  (Caracas: Ediciones del Techo de la Ballena, January 1967) © El Techo de la Ballena Papers, The Museum of Modern Art Library, New York

Edmundo Aray, Antonio de la Rosa, and Carlos Rebolledo, Pozo muerto (Caracas: Ediciones del Techo de la Ballena, January 1967)
© El Techo de la Ballena Papers, The Museum of Modern Art Library, New York

On March 20, 2018, our colleague Sean Nesselrode Moncada, Assistant Professor of Art History, will be presenting on El Techo de la Ballena. Professor Nesselrode's paper, entitled "The Mutability of Magma: El Techo de la Ballena and the Venezuelan Petrostate," examines the ways through which El Techo’s heterogeneous practice challenged the dominance of kinetic abstraction while questioning the logic of the developmentalist petrostate, revealing an underbelly to the modernism that had long been obscured by a national push to "sow the oil."

The colloquium will be held at 10:15 AM at Danforth Lecture Hall, RISD Museum.

RSVP required.

 
Inaugural Colloquium: February 27
 
 Detail from Mehran Mohajer's  untitled  from series  Beyn o la-Beyn  (Between and Non-between), 2017

Detail from Mehran Mohajer's untitled from series Beyn o la-Beyn (Between and Non-between), 2017

The inaugural meeting of the Art History Research Colloquium was held on February 27 at the Danforth Lecture Hall, RISD Museum. Foad Torshizi, Assistant Professor of Art History, presented a paper on Iranian photographer, Mehran Mohajer, and the possibilities of a cosmopolitan ethics of readership in Art History.

The meeting was attended by members of the RISD faculty, Brown faculty, graduate students, and artists.