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Special course offering for Fall 2019: Caribbean Art

The art history program will be offering a special course taught by Professor Lawrence Waldron: Caribbean Art from Pre-Columbian to Contemporary! This course is a broad survey of Caribbean art from an aesthetic, social and historical viewpoint, spanning the pre-Columbian through Contemporary Art periods. Unique and regional approaches to art making will be explored within a wider survey of visual culture across the multilingual, multiethnic Caribbean archipelagos. The course will fulfill credit for ARTH 200 and will meet Wednesdays 1:40-4:30pm.

Course offering for Fall 2019: Immanuel Kant & Contemporary Art

Professor Kurt Kauper will be offering a new topic for ARTS 390: Studies in Contemporary Art/ARTS 731: Problems in Representation. The course will be offered Fridays, 2:00-5:50pm and will explore the intersection of Contemporary Art and Immanuel Kant. See the full course description below:

Why would Adrian Piper title her 2017 retrospective at MOMA “A Synthesis of Intuitions,” a reference to the theoretical philosophy of Immanuel Kant? Was her interest in his work an embrace of an important influence, an ironic reinterpretation of his thought, or a combination of both? Why does the work of this late 18th century Prussian philosopher continue to be referenced and grappled with by a wide range of contemporary artists and thinkers, after having been considered foundational to 19th and 20th century art and critical theory? Just off the top of my head–as I write this course description–I can think of references to his work in the writings of Andre Breton, Clement Greenberg, Barnett Newman, Martha Rosler, Mary Kelly, Mike Kelley, Arthur Danto, Laura Cottingham, Barry Schwabsky, Odd Nerdrum, Fred Moten, Gayatri Spivak, Charles Gaines, Andrew Cole, Sianne Ngai, and Anouka Faruquee. What was it about Kant’s philosophy that took such strong hold of visual and critical thinking in the nineteenth century, and hasn’t let go of its grasp?

While carefully reading the entirety of Kant’s “Critique of the Power of Judgment,” we’ll consider these questions, while asking ourselves whether or not the concepts in his theory remain relevant to us today. Do key ideas in his work mean anything anymore? His concept of the beautiful? Of the sublime? The disinterested nature of aesthetic judgment? The relationship between beauty, knowledge, and morality? What could he have meant when he claimed that aesthetic judgment was “subjective” yet demanded “universal assent?” Is there any way to square such an apparently contradictory idea with contemporary experience?

Because Kant’s aesthetic theory is intimately related to his theoretical and moral philosophy, we’ll also consider passages from his other major texts, including “The Critique of Pure Reason,” The Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals,” and “The Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics,” along with selections from the writing of artists, theorists, and historians who have pondered his influence over the past two hundred and thirty years. In addition, we’ll visit galleries and museums to look at art and consider it in relationship to Kant’s ideas.

I have my own interpretation of Kant, and it has led me to think that some of the writers and artists mentioned above either misunderstood or misrepresented his work. By the end of the course, I hope you’ll be in a position to question whether or not I’m right, whether or not I do that myself, and most important, what Kant means to you.

Course Offering for Summer Session 2: Digital Image Making

Spaces are still open for the Summer 2 sections of Digital Image Making, taught by Professors Matt Greco and Steven Harris!

These courses can fulfill credit for ARTS 165/Introduction 1, ARTS 225/Advanced 2, and ARTS 235/Advanced 3, and can be completed in just 4 weeks. Students can register for Digital Image Making in either morning or afternoon sections, and classes will meet Mondays-Thursdays from July 1st to 25th.

In the news: New book by art history professor Lawrence Waldron

Congratulations to Professor Waldron for the publication of his latest book! Pre-Columbian Art of the Caribbean is a comprehensive art historical survey of the main archipelago, from Trinidad to Cuba, over some 2,500 years of ceramics, sculpture and carvings, personal adornment, rock art and ritual spaces, with an epilogue that touches on the unexpected living legacies of pre-Columbian Caribbean architecture and furniture in the region and the world at large.

Abundantly illustrated, this volume is a pioneering survey of the ancient art of the entire Caribbean region. While previous studies have focused on the Greater Antilles—Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica—this is the first book also to include the islands of the eastern Caribbean and their ties to pre-Columbian Venezuela.   
Lawrence Waldron examines ceramics, ritual spaces, sculpture, and personal adornment from the ancient Saladoid era to the later, better-known Taíno period. Analyzing the symbolism, aesthetics, and cultural contexts of objects including ceremonial pots, rock art, stone effigy belts, and jewelry, he illuminates continuities and innovations in imagery and ideology across time and space. He draws attention to the legacies of Amerindian visual and material culture in the architecture and furniture of the present-day Caribbean, arguing that the region’s ancient art history is rich and worthy of attention.  

Interested in learning more about Caribbean Art? Professor Waldron will be teaching an art history course focusing on this subject for Fall 2019, in his new course offering for ARTH 200 – STUDIES IN THE HISTORY OF ART. The course will meet Wednesdays 1:40-4:30pm. Seats for this class are limited, so register soon!

Studio art course offering for Spring 2019: History & Theory of Social Practice

ARTS 777: History and Theory of Social Practice
Mondays 2:00-5:50pm
Prof. Sholette

Art as History? Art as Thinking? Art as Research? Art as Work? The aim of this seminar is to survey, critique and historicize the theory and practice of activist, interventionist, public, participatory and community based art that operates within and across fields such as performance, urban studies, environmental science and other socially engaged disciplines. The class will focus on such questions as: Why is it useful, even necessary, to understand the history and theory of social practice art? Where should we look to find the historical roots of social practice art? Are these within the history of art, or external to it, in the broader social sphere? In an increasingly privatized society how do we define and operate within a concept of the public sphere? And how are both mainstream and alternative type cultural institutions responding to the increasing interest in socially engaged art by emerging artists? Through lectures, readings, discussions, student presentations, group activities, guest speakers and off-site visits to galleries and museums we will seek to position socially-engaged visual culture and the shifting role of the artist within an historical, ideological, and critical framework.

Studio art course offering for Spring 2019: Lithography & Printmaking

The Art department is pleased to offer a special printmaking course in Spring 2019 for both graduate and undergraduate students. With the instruction of experienced printmaker Lisa Mackie, this course will cover Lithography and Monotype Processes. Drawing and printing with litho plates and stones in both black-and-white and color will be presented, as well as photo processes using black-and-white laser prints as a matrix and aluminum photo litho plates. Images may be re-examined, varied, and extended through the exploration of water-based monotype mylar overlays. Catalytic assignments are presented throughout the course. Students will be asked to visually examine their concepts and allow their artwork to develop within the parameters and new territory of lithography and into mixed media. Finally, the course will teach students about the heritage, history, and technology of traditional and contemporary printmaking.

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