July 7: Jim Coddington: “Jackson Pollock: Back in the Studio”

Photos of Pollock painting in his studio have famously shaped our understanding of the artist. They allow us to virtually visit with him in the studio to reconstruct his creative process. This talk will discuss how we can extend our understanding of Pollock when his works return to the studio, in this case the conservation studio.

Jim Coddington, a 2018-19 Judith Praska Distinguished Visiting Professor in Conservation and Technical Studies at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts, taught “Materials and Meaning in Abstract Expressionism” at the Institute in Spring 2019. He recently retired from the Museum of Modern Art as the Agnes Gund Chief Conservator after thirty years as a paintings conservator. He has an MS in conservation from the University of Delaware and a BA from Reed College. He has published and lectured on a wide range of research topics, often with art historians, conservators, and scientists. In addition to his conservation-related publications, he has contributed essays as well as technical studies of Pollock, de Kooning, Miró, Cézanne, and Pissarro to catalogs and collections including Mortality/Immortality, Jackson Pollock: New Approaches, De Kooning: A Retrospective, Miró: Painting and Anti-Painting, and Object:Photo. He was co-editor with Maryan Ainsworth of the 1996 issue of the Art Journal devoted to Conservation and Art History.

July 14: Laurie Wilson: “Dead Men Walking: Alberto Giacometti’s Gaunt Figures”

Life on the edge of death was a core concern of Alberto Giacometti ever since his early childhood. The many coincidences of birth and death that occurred in his life shaped his art, as did his ambivalent feelings for his relatives, friends, and models. His postwar filliform figures have been understood as icons of survival at mid twentieth century. Dr. Wilson’s talk will address the biographical, psychological, and formal issues underlying Giacometti’s postwar sculpture.   

A biographer and art historian, Laurie Wilson received her doctorate in art history from the City University of New York. She is the author of Alberto Giacometti: Myth, Magic and the Man, published by Yale University Press in 2003. Her most recent biography, Louise Nevelson: Light and Shadow, was published in 2016 by Thames & Hudson. She is also a practicing psychoanalyst on the faculty of the Institute for Psychoanalytic Education affiliated with NYU School of Medicine.

July 21: Lewis Kachur: “Roleplay: the Artist as Curator”

This summer, the Guggenheim Museum gives over Frank Lloyd Wright’s ramps to six artist-curators, who have brought to light some 150 distinct choices of works from the pre-1980 collection. Last summer the Swiss artist Peter Fischli reinstalled the MoMA sculpture garden. Fischli’s If Everything is Sculpture… is the thirteenth iteration of the now venerable “Artist's Choice” occasional series at MoMA, which in fact began with sculpture thirty years ago: Scott Burton’s controversial take on Brancusi in 1989.  Dr. Kachur’s talk will consider these artistic forays into curatorship and their outcomes.

Lewis Kachur is a professor of art history at Kean University of New Jersey. He received his doctorate from Columbia University, and is a specialist in twentieth century and contemporary European and American art. A pioneer in the field of exhibition history and artists as curators, Kachur completed a study of fifty years of exhibitions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. He is the author of Displaying the Marvelous: Marcel Duchamp, Salvador Dalí and Surrealist Exhibition Installations (MIT Press, 2001). He is also co-author of Masterpieces of American Modernism from the Vilcek Collection (Merrell, 2013), and author of Robert Rauschenberg: Transfer Drawings from the 1960s (Jonathan O'Hara Gallery, 2007).

August 11: Mike Solomon: “Encountering Simultaneity: The Art of Jean Dubuffet, Jackson Pollock, Alfonso Ossorio and Mark Tobey”

Though art theory at mid-century cast an almost puritanically singular gaze on what it saw in the work of practicing abstractionists, we have come to realize that some artists we might associate with that mode were actually dealing with more diversity in their concepts, processes and contents, even as they were obliged to address the dominant expectations of the time. Today we can better see the simultaneity of multiple concerns in the works they produced. 

Mike Solomon earned his master of fine art degree from Hunter College. He has advised many artists and estates on organizing and preserving their art legacies. Solomon was the founding director of the Ossorio Foundation, and is the leading expert on Alfonso Ossorio. He is now completing the organization of the Solomon Archive, a large and significant trove of documents related to the life and career of his father, artist Syd Solomon (1917-2004). While maintaining his career as an artist, Mike Solomon writes and lectures on various cultural and historical topics. He has provided reviews and commentaries for Hamptons Art Hub, Whitehot Magazine, the East Hampton Star and Sarasota Magazine.  In 2018 Solomon spoke on Alfonso Ossorio and The Creeks as part of the Tom Twomey Lecture Series at the East Hampton Library.

Mike Solomon’s work is in many distinguished collections, including Guild Hall Museum, the Parrish Art Museum, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Priscilla Rattazzi, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Dan Flavin Jr. and Edward Albee. He maintains studios on the North Fork and in Sarasota, Florida. He is represented by Berry Campbell Gallery in New York City and Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art in Sarasota. His most recent solo exhibition was held at the Greenville County Museum of Art, South Carolina in February – April 2019.

August 18: Piri Halasz: “Jack & Life & Helen & Time”

Dr. Halasz will discuss the famous article on Jackson Pollock that appeared in Life magazine in 1949 and the far less famous but much longer article on Helen Frankenthaler that appeared in Time magazine in 1969. What are some of the virtues, problems, and consequences of trying to bring highly sophisticated art to much less sophisticated audiences, as demonstrated by these two articles?  How have these articles affected the development of subsequent art history, if at all?  And where would they fit into the current media scene in the internet era?

Piri Halasz received her doctorate in art history from Columbia University. From 1956 to 1969, she worked for Time magazine, for which she researched and wrote the Frankenthaler article. Since leaving Time, she has published in ARTnews, Arts, Art in America, NY Arts, Night, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Smithsonian, and elsewhere; online, her writing has appeared in artcritical.com, a gathering of the tribes, the New York Observer, and her own website, pirihalasz.com. Her book, A Memoir of Creativity: Abstract Painting, Politics & The Media, 1956-2008, was published by iUniverse in 2009.

August 25: Christina Weyl: “The Women of Atelier 17”

Nearly one hundred women were members of the experimental New York print studio Atelier 17 during its time in New York City between 1940 and 1955. They bent the technical rules of printmaking and blazed new aesthetic terrain with their etchings, engravings, and woodcuts. This talk, grounded in Weyl’s new book, will highlight the women, including Louise Bourgeois and Louise Nevelson, whose work there advanced both modernism and feminism in the 1940s and 1950s. Weyl will reveal how Atelier 17 operated as an uncommonly egalitarian laboratory for revolutionizing print technique, while also fostering solidarity among women pursuing modernist forms of expression and providing inspiration for feminist collective action in the 1960s and 1970s.

Christina Weyl received her BA from Georgetown University and completed her masters and doctorate in Art History at Rutgers University. Her new book, The Women of Atelier 17: Modernist Printmaking in Midcentury New York, was published by Yale University Press in June. She has published in Art in Print, Print Quarterly, and Archives of American Art Journal and contributed to several anthologies and exhibition catalogues. From 2014-2018, she served as Co-President of the Association of Print Scholars, a non-profit professional organization she co-founded in 2014. Prior to her graduate studies, she worked for a gallery representing the publications of the Los Angeles–based artists’ workshop Gemini G.E.L.