This Thursday: VCS presents “Richard Shiff: Modes of Distraction”

[Update, 11/28/2012: This lecture been rescheduled for Monday, December 10th, to make up for its cancellation during the Hurricane Sandy school closure. It will take place at 7 p.m. in the SVA Theatre at 333 West 23rd Street in New York City.]

This Thursday, November 1st, the Visual & Critical Studies program will present “Richard Shiff: Modes of Distraction,” the latest entry in SVA’s Art in the First Person lecture series for the fall 2102 semester. Here is a brief preview of the lecture from SVA and the VCS department:

Drawing on examples from 19th- and 20th/21st-century art, noted art historian Richard Shiff investigates a number of cases in which the capacity of a particular medium to resolve an image seems to be tested. Shiff examines instances of experimental landscape photography from the middle of the 19th-century, as well as the work of Cézanne, Seurat and van Gogh, which resulted in debates over the proper relationship of a representational image to the abstract marks that constitute it. If the marks became a distraction, Shiff proposes, the image might be lost. He also looks at cases such as those of Cy Twombly, Frank Stella, Sol LeWitt, Chuck Close, Vija Celmins, Christopher Wool, Jim Campbell and Ewan Gibbs.

Richard Shiff is Effie Marie Cain Regents Chair in Art at The University of Texas at Austin, where he directs the Center for the Study of Modernism. His scholarly interests range broadly across the field of modern and contemporary art. His publications include Cézanne and the End of Impressionism (1984), Critical Terms for Art History (co‑edited, 1996, 2003), Barnett Newman: A Catalogue Raisonné (co‑authored, 2004), Doubt (2008), and Between Sense and de Kooning (2011).

You can learn a little more about Shiff in a conversation with art historian Katy Siegel that was published in the May, 2008 issue of The Brooklyn Rail.

“Richard Shiff: Modes of Distraction” will take place at 7 p.m. this Thursday, November 1st in the SVA Theatre at 333 West 23rd Street in New York City. The lecture is free and open to the public.

[Top image: Television Test Pattern, ca. 1951]

Visual & Critical Studies