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2014 Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professor, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
Abstraction and abjection: Eva Hesse and conditions of making
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About this series:
In this series of lectures, Briony Fer looks at the problem of abstraction by focusing on a set of formal manoeuvres developed in the 1950s, all of which deliberately avoid the model of gestural painting that has dominated accounts of post-war art. Articulating a number of different modalities of abstraction, all of which speak to problems in art now, Fer argues for a major reconfiguration of the legacies of the historical avant-gardes, and in particular of geometric abstraction, in the context of our current critical crisis.
About Briony Fer:
Briony Fer is Professor of Art History at University College London and has published extensively on 20th century and contemporary art. At the beginning of her career she was involved in producing the groundbreaking Modernity and Modernism textbooks, published jointly by the Open University and Yale University Press in 1993. She has since written on many contemporary artists, including Gabriel Orozco, Roni Horn, Vija Celmins, Ed Ruscha, Rachel Whiteread and David Batchelor. Much of her research has focused on the work of the American sculptor Eva Hesse, writing for the 2002 retrospective of the artist curated by Elisabeth Sussman at SFMOMA in 2002 and curating with Barry Rosen an exhibition of Hesse's studiowork and test-pieces at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh in 2008. Key publications include her books On Abstract Art (2000) and The Infinite Line (2004), Eva Hesse: Studiowork (2008) and Gabriel Orozco: thinking in circles (2013). She is currently preparing a book on the polemics of looking entitled 'As a Glass Eye'.
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