Announcing the fall 2013 Art in the First Person lecture series, and some videos of past lectures

Here’s a link to a page on the SVA website containing the fall 2013 entries for Art in the First Person, an ongoing program of events in which artists, historians, critics, writers, and curators come to SVA to speak on a wide range of topics, including studio practice, art history, art criticism, philosophy, and a variety of social and political issues that affect the contemporary art scene. This semester’s series features a program of 13 talks, sponsored by the MPS Digital Photography, BFA Fine Arts, and BFA Visual & Critical Studies programs.

The VCS entries for the semester include four talks. Here are descriptions of each, quoted from their listings on the SVA calendar. You can also click on the title of each entry below to visit its page on the SVA website.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013, 6:00 pm
Stanley Whitney
133/141 West 21st Street, Room 101C

Artist Stanley Whitney discusses his career and the evolution of his work from the 1970s through the present. Professor emeritus of painting and drawing at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Whitney holds a BFA from Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from Yale University. Born in Philadelphia, he lives and works in New York City and Parma, Italy. He is represented by Team Gallery, New York; Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin; Galerie Albert Baronian, Brussels; and Christine Koenig


Tuesday, October 15, 2013, 6:00 pm
David Matlin
133/141 West 21st Street, Room 101C

Writer David Matlin reads from his latest works: A HalfMan Dreaming (Red Hen Press, 2012), a novel, and the newly published Up Fish Creek Road and Other Stories (Spuyten Duyvil, 2013). In addition to his fiction, Matlin has written about the arts, politics and the environment, as well as about the U.S. prison system and how it undermines the quality of life for all Americans. He lived in New York City and the Catskill Mountains for nearly 30 years before moving back to his home state of California, where he teaches at San Diego State University and explores the Anza Borrego Desert.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013, 6:00 pm
Ivana Jevtic: Narration or Visual Storytelling in Late Byzantine Painting (1261 – 1453)
133/141 West 21st Street, Room 101C

Dr. Ivana Jevtic, faculty member of the archaeology and history of art department at Koc University, Istanbul, discusses how narrative imagery was developed in Byzantine painting, one of the less-explored facets of that era’s visual culture. Her focus is on the late Byzantine period, when visual storytelling grew in popularity and the depicted figures evolved from static icons to become animated, expressive characters set in elaborate scenes.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013, 7:00 pm
Jackson Lears
SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street

Jackson Lears, cultural and intellectual historian and distinguished professor of history at Rutgers University, discusses the evolution of “the American sublime.” Originally arising from a Romantic, Protestant faith in the divinity of wild nature, the notion was transformed and fragmented in the late 19th and 20th centuries. Americans came to attach notions of sublimity to technology and celebrity but remained attracted to a more complex vision of nature, one that oscillated between ecological perceptions of dense biodiversity and minimalist conceptions of emptiness and openness—what Wallace Stevens called “the empty spirit / in vacant space.” By the early 21st century, postmodern theorists advanced the idea that nature was culturally constructed. Lears asks: Has any coherent idea of sublimity survived?

I will post additional updates and announcements for each of the events listed above as it approaches.

The Art in the First Person lecture series is free and open to the public.


If you’d like to see some of the Art in the First Person lectures and panel discussions we’ve sponsored in the past, check out the Sponsored Lectures section of the VCS Vimeo page. Here are the four most recent entries, which VCS Systems Administrator Justin Elm just posted to the page a couple weeks ago:

The Gertrude Stein Paradox: Michèle Cone Heads a Panel of Renowned Stein Scholars

School of Visual Arts (SVA) presents The Gertrude Stein Paradox, a roundtable discussion led by historian and SVA faculty member Michèle C. Cone about Gertrude Stein, patron of the arts and mercurial author and thinker. The panel discussion coincides with “The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso and the Parisian Avant-Garde,” the exhibition on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from February 21 – June 3, 2012. Dr. Cone will be joined in conversation by Mary Ann Caws, distinguished professor of English, French and comparative literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York; Catharine Stimpson, University Professor and Dean Emerita of the Graduate School of Arts and Science at New York University; and Barbara Will, professor of English at Dartmouth College.


[You can read more about this video on Vimeo.]

Fixing Shadows: Milagros de la Torre in Conversation with Charles Traub and Carla Stellweg

In conjunction with the exhibition “Observed: Milagros de la Torre,” on view at the Americas Society Gallery, Peruvian artist Milagros de la Torre will discuss the many facets of her research. She will be joined in conversation by photographer Charles Traub, chair of the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department at SVA, and art historian and curator Carla Stellweg, faculty member in the Art History program at SVA. De la Torre is one of the foremost conceptual photographers active today. Her images often project an eerie beauty and visual seduction that precedes their thoughtful and at times haunting proposal. “Observed: Milagros de la Torre” is on view at Americas Society Gallery, 680 Park Avenue, February 8 – April 14.


Jeremy Sigler: A Reading of Selected Poetry

Jeremy Sigler is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, including Crackpot Poet (Black Square Editions, 2010), Mallet Eyes (Left Hand Books, 2000) and To and To (Left Hand Books, 1998), as well as the digital book, Math. A senior editor at Parkett and a contributor to The Brooklyn Rail, Sigler was recently awarded a Lannan Foundation residency in Marfa, Texas. He is a lecturer in the sculpture department at Yale University.


The Nelson Manobar

Jimbo Blachly and Lytle Shaw, editors of The Chadwick Family Papers, discuss the Nelson Manobar, an occupiable scale model of Admiral Nelson’s HMS Victory that was long a fixture at Chadwick Manor. At once a theatrical stage set for recitations of Nelson’s death speech, and a nautically-themed pub, the Manobar was thought lost until its recent rediscovery in a remote storage unit belonging to the Victoria and Albert Museum in Mumbai. The discussion includes the circumstances of the Manobar’s rediscovery, the saga of its passage back to the United States, and its singular place within the Chadwicks’ larger nautical collections. Gloria Kury, whose Periscope Publishing brought out The Chadwick Family Papers: A Brief Public Glimpse, moderates the lecture; artist Steve Dibenedetto is a respondent.


Visual & Critical Studies