An Art History of Materials II

Kerr Houston, professor of art history, theory and criticism, Maryland Institute College of Art

The history of modernism is in one sense a history of materials: industrial mass production, colonialism and global networks of exchange, modern chemistry and influential theories of medium specificity, all combined to yield a new array of artistic materials and new ways of thinking about how and why materials matter in the production and consumption of art. This lecture, the second in a series of three, will concentrate largely on evolving attitudes towards materials in 19th and 20th century Europe and the United States, noting the central importance of materiality in modernist theory and feminist art. But it will also consider several alternatives, in the form of Congolese sculptures and Chinese performance art – hopefully yielding, in the process, a sense of some of the ways in which matter mattered in the 1800s and 1900s.

$15 fee for guests and subscribers (no fee for members)

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Add to Calendar 20231003 America/New_York LECTURE: Kerr Houston, “An Art History of Materials II”