Tomorrow: Professor Anna C. Chave Speaking at Helen Frankenthaler Symposium


Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, is hosting a symposium exploring new perspectives on the work of artist Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011). The event will take place at the Institute’s James B. Duke House (1 East 78th Street) on Friday afternoon, October 23, 2015, from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m.

At 2:15, Professor Chave will speak on “Frankenthaler’s Fortunes,” and how social privilege may have affected her position—and self positioning—in the art world.

RSVP is required. Click here for a full schedule of the proceedings

Co-organized by Robert Slifkin, Associate Professor of Fine Arts, Institute of Fine Arts, and Pepe Karmel, Associate Professor of Art History, NYU, in partnership with the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, this afternoon program will feature presentations by five leading scholars of postwar modern art.

Eric de Chassey (DirectorAcadémie Française, Rome) will address Frankenthaler’s “Negotiations” between nature and abstraction and between process and gesture. Pepe Karmel will give a “Weather Report” on opticality and liquidity in the work of Frankenthaler and Gerhard Richter. Katy Siegel (Thaw Professor, Stony Brook University) will discuss “The heroine Paint,” and how decoration, feminism, and materiality have evolved in the years after Frankenthaler. Harry Cooper (Curator and Head of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.) will serve as respondent.





Faculty News: Marta Gutman Awarded Urban History Association’s Kenneth Jackson Book Prize, to Speak at MoMA This Evening



Professor Marta Gutman’s A City for Children: Women, Architecture, and the Charitable Landscapes of Oakland, 1850-1950 has been awarded the Urban History Association’s Kenneth Jackson Award for the best North American book in 2014. Her co-recipient is Nathan Connolly, who won for his book “Real Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida.”

In A City for Children, Marta Gutman focuses on the use and adaptive reuse of everyday buildings in Oakland, California, to make the city a better place for children. She introduces us to the women who were determined to mitigate the burdens placed on working-class families by an indifferent industrial capitalist economy.

On Wednesday, October 21, Gutman will participate in the panel, Is This for Everyone? Design and the Common Good at MoMA from 6:00–7:30 p.m. This event will also be live-streamed online.

Held in conjunction with the exhibition, This Is for Everyone: Design Experiments for the Common Good, the panel addresses case studies and theoretical applications in which design intersects with ideas of the common good. Panelists look to their own work to consider how this intersection arises across social, political, economic, and cultural platforms, as presented in the exhibition.

Gutman’s co-participants include Laura Kurgan, Director of Visual Studies, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University and Raphael Sperry, architect, green-building consultant, and president of Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility. Paola Antonelli, senior curator in MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design, moderates.








End of Semester News Bulletin

Saisha Grayson

Congratulations to all our students for surviving the end of the semester! Suffice to say, it left many book-strewn apartments in its wake. As we look forward to next year, we’re excited to see more of our students receive prestigious dissertation fellowships for 2015-2016:

  • Andrianna Campbell will hold a Schomburg Archival Dissertation Fellowship at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture for her dissertation project on Norman Lewis. She will take advantage of the Center’s wide-ranging holdings on Lewis, which include un-transcribed interviews, exhibition catalogues and photographs of the artist and his colleagues. More information on the Schomburg’s Archival Dissertation Fellowship Program can be found here.
  • Randall Edwards has received a Henry Luce Foundation / ACLS Dissertation Fellowship ​​in American Art for his dissertation “Dennis Oppenheim: Sites, 1967-75.” A synopsis of his project, which examines Oppenheim in relationship to Conceptual Art, can be read here. Luce / ACLS Fellowships are awarded to graduate students for scholarship on a topic in the history of the visual arts of the United States.
  • Finally, Saisha Grayson will be a Predoctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, working on her dissertation “Cellist, Catalyst, Collaborator: The Work of Charlotte Moorman, 1963–1980,” a section of which she recently presented at the annual The IFA – Frick Symposium. The American Art Museum grants awards for scholars and students to pursue research at the museum, including senior, predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships.

For previous coverage of upcoming student fellowships, click here.

Amy Brandt (1978-2015)

We are very saddened to learn that Amy Brandt, a recent alumna of the Art History Program, has passed away. She was a dear friend of many current and former students and will be greatly missed.

Below is an excerpt of a message by her family that can be read in its entirety here:

Amy attended the University of Michigan where she received a Bachelors’ Degree in Art History. At the age of 22 Amy left her home country to study art history and received a License in Art History from the University of Paris, Sorbonne. From Paris Amy traveled to Boston where she was awarded a Master of Arts from Tufts University. Amy received her PhD from The Graduate Center, City University of New York. At the time of her death Amy was the McKinnon Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia. Amy’s energy was boundless. Amy’s book Interplay: Neoconceptual Art of the 1980s was published in 2014. Amy’s book was met with unqualified praise. During the last months of her life Amy completed work on an exhibition Tsen-Kwong Chi: Performing for the Camera and was also the author of the exhibition catalogue. The Tsen-Kwong Chi exhibit opened in New York in April and was acclaimed in the New York Times (Amy was elated). In her too short career Amy worked on many exhibitions in New York, Boston, Brooklyn, Norfolk and Monaco.

Amy’s body of work speaks to her passion and love of art. Beyond her love of art and scholarship was Amy Louise Brandt’s incredible Joie de Vivre. Amy was so filled with joy and love and was very generous in her abilities to share that joy and love. Her love of David and Emma was magnificent. Her love of her mother and larger family beautiful to behold. “Good night sweet Amy. And flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest.”

Amy’s family would like to thank the medical staff and entire Duke Hospital Community for all the love and support they provided Amy. The family would also like to offer a profound thank you to old and new friends who made Amy’s journey bearable. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Emma Arthur Scholarship Fund in c/o David Arthur.



Recent Faculty News: Emily Braun AAMC Award and More

Emily Braun

With the end of the semester approaching, we’d like to highlight a few recent faculty news items:

Yesterday, the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) announced its annual Awards for Excellence in curatorial work, and we were thrilled to see the results: Along with Rebecca Rabinow, Emily Braun received Best Catalog / Publication produced by a museum with an annual operating budget over $20 million for Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vivien Greene, Senior Curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, also received a first place award for her exhibition Italian Futurism, 1909-1944: Reconstructing the Universe.

In other news, Yale University Press recently released The Modern Architecture Symposia, 1962-1966: A Critical Edition, edited by Professor Emerita Rosemarie Haag Bletter and Joan Ockman. Bletter also published “Fragments of Utopia: Paul Scheerbart and Bruno Taut” in Glass! Love!! Perpetual Motion!!! – A Paul Scheerbart Reader (University of Chicago Press) 2014.

Finally, the Winter 2014 issue of Art Journal featuring Anna Chave’s article “Grave Matters: Positioning Carl Andre at Career’s End” is now available in print. We hope to see a PDF on Professor Chave’s website soon!

Tonight – Participatory Research and Political Art: California to New York

Participatory Research and Political Art

Tonight at 6:30 pm in the James Gallery, join Evan Bissell and Morris Justice Project members for a discussion of how they have used forms of participatory research and art in pursuit of social justice and political change in New York as well as California. Among the questions to be discussed are: do artists have particular skills and knowledge that can be useful to emancipatory struggles? How can visual strategies be educational, within and beyond the characterization of so-called ‘social practice’? And what are the benefits of using art as a methodological tool in gathering research? Audience members are encouraged to participate in this forum, which will take the form of an open conversation.

“Participatory Research and Political Art” is held in conjunction with the exhibition Left Coast: California Political Art, curated by PhD Student Nadiah Fellah. Make sure to visit before the show closes on May 29th!

Cosponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; PhD Program in Art History; Public Science Project, The Graduate Center, CUNY.

Click here for more information.

New Content on YouTube Channel


As the semester winds down, a friendly reminder to visit our YouTube channel, as we’ve added a lot of content over the past few weeks! We’re particularly pleased to have footage from two recent conferences organized by Program students and faculty: Exhibit A: Authorship on Display, which offered a typology of authorial roles in contemporary exhibition practice, and Sexing Sound: Aural Archives and Feminist Scores, which examined the gendered aspects of music cultures in the context of contemporary art.

More YouTube footage will be available soon, including Speculative Realism, Accelerationism and Aesthetics and The City is Ours, The Body is Mine: Urban Spatial Practices in Contemporary Latin America.

2015-2016 Student Representative Election Results

Thanks to everyone who voted for next year’s student representatives – the results are in!

Serving as representatives for the general student body and joining the Executive Committee meetings will be Chloe Wyma, Chris Green, and Gemma Sharpe, with Remi Poindexter serving as an alternative. The Curriculum and Exams Committee Representative will be Andrew Cappetta, and the Admissions and Awards Committee Representative will be Abigail Lapin.

Congratulations to all!

Kerry Greaves Curates Exhibition on Danish Avant-Garde Art During World War II

Kerry Greaves

On May 17th, recent alum Kerry Greaves opens the exhibition War Horses: Helhesten and the Danish Avant-Garde During World War II at NSU Art Museum, Fort Lauderdale.

Based on Greaves’ dissertation project, this is the first museum exhibition to focus on the Danish avant-garde group, Helhesten (The Hell-Horse). The group was established in Copenhagen in 1941 by leading modernists of the period who courageously created expressive abstract art and exhibited and published a journal together throughout the German occupation of Denmark from 1940 – 1945. The exhibition, which examines the significance of Helhesten by exploring how and why European modern art was made during the rise of Fascism, includes 120 paintings, works on paper and sculptures by artists such as Ejler Bille (1910-2004), Henry Herrup (1907-1983), Asger Jorn (1914-1973), Carl-Henning Pedersen (1913-2007) and others.

Among the exhibition’s highlights are:

  • Ejler Bille’s bronze sculpture, Store maske (Large Mask), 1944, in which the artist experiments with the dynamic interplay of geometric and two- and three-dimensional forms in creating a comical, human-like figure with stubby, flat arms and feet.
  • Asger Jorn’s Untitled, c. 1941. The ideas of European Surrealists fascinated Jorn, and the lively colorful, abstract forms in this work, transform an ordinary barrel into a thing of beauty. In its fusion of the ordinary with high art, the work aspects of later twentieth-century art movements, such as Pop art.

The exhibition will be on view through September 27, and is accompanied by a substantial illustrated catalogue featuring essays by Kerry Greaves, Michael Leja and Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen. More information on the exhibition and related public programming can be found on the NSU Museum’s website.

In other news, Greaves was recently awarded a Novo Nordisk Foundation post-doctorate fellowship at the University of Coopenhagen, where she will study the tradition of the artists’ collective in Denmark. Visit the Novo Nordisk website to learn more about the Foundation’s activities and Greaves’ research project. Congratulations!