“Modern/Contemporary Materialites” lecture series at The Art Institute of Chicago

Maria Kokkori's picture
May 8, 2017
Illinois, United States
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Cultural History / Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Contemporary History, Social History / Studies

Nonobjects and Quasi-objects: Notes on a Research Agenda at the Edge of Modernity

Prof. Monica Amor, Maryland Institute College of Art. Baltimore


As part of the “Modern/Contemporary Materialites” lecture series at The Art Institute of Chicago, generously supported by the Stockman Family Foundation.

Monday, May 8, 2017

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Fellows Lounge, AIC Rubloff building


About the series:

This lecture will be the launching event of a multi-faceted scholarly lecture and workshop series “Modern/Contemporary Materialities” at the Art Institute of Chicago. The series examines how renewed focus on the object in current research impacts new thinking on modern and contemporary art. It will feature international experts who will speak to the material complexities of 20th-21st century artworks, the techniques used in their making, life and care in institutions, and impact on art historical knowledge.

In the present day, new approaches to studying art and its materialities not only supplement the most recent methodological challenges of the object, materiality and agency, but also present a spectrum of the different ‘scientific cultures’ of art history and related disciplines. The impact of heterogeneous research methodologies will be discussed, namely how insights from science and technology, cultural history, history of science, social history, and political and economic history, as well as current research and concerns arising from notions of materiality and display, lead us to an understanding of modern objects as discursive, as both profoundly embedded and embodying.

From the spring of 2017 to the spring 2018, the Art Institute will host four lectures that will bring together interdisciplinary thinkers from art history, science and conservation, and across fields of museum practice. The series will culminate in an object-based art history scholars’ day in May 2018 that will draw together the various threads of discussion advanced over the course of the year.


About the presenter:

Monica Amor holds a Ph.D. from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She has written art criticism and essays for Art MarginsArtforumArt JournalArt NexusGrey RoomOctoberPoliesterThird Text, and Trans. She has curated several exhibitions, among them: "Altering History/Alternating Stories for the Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas (1996), "Beyond the Document" for the Reina Sofia in Madrid (2000) "re-drawing the line" for Art in General in New York (2000), "Gego Defying Structures" for the Serralves Foundation in Porto (2006) and "Mexico: Expected/Unexpected" for Le Maison Rouge in Paris (2008). She has lectured at The Ohio State University and Sara Lawrence College, and has taught at Hunter College, Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute, the Instituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia, and the University of Pennsylvania. Her most recent book Theories of the Nonobject: Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela 1944-1969 (University of California Press, 2016) investigates the crisis of the sculptural and painterly object in the concrete, neoconcrete, and constructivist practices of artists in Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela. Based on deep archival research, this distinctive book brings scholarly attention to a group of major art figures, including Lygia Clark, Hélio Oiticica, and Gego, whose work proposed engaged forms of spectatorship that dismissed medium-based understandings of art. Exploring the philosophical, economic, and political underpinnings of geometric abstraction in post–World War II South America, Amor highlights the overlapping inquiries of artists and critics who, working on the periphery of European and US modernism, contributed to a sophisticated conversation about the nature of the art object.

Please note that the space will be limited so please RSVP at jtrujillo@artic.edu. The lecture will be live streamed and a video will be archived and available after the event at the Art Institute of Chicago’s YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIsPyS_XOug.

Organized by:

Maria Kokkori and Francesca Casadio in the Department of Conservation and Science, and Jill Bugajski, Academic Engagement and Research, The Art Institute of Chicago.

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