Peter Mark on the summit of the Ortler, the highest mountain in the Italian Sudtirol, in August. At Wesleyan, Mark teaches a course on “The Mountains and Art History.” (Contributed photo)
An international research team headed by Professor of Art History Peter Mark has been awarded a grant for a project titled “African Ivories in the Atlantic World.” The $115,000 three-year grant from the Portuguese Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) will make it possible for the research team to carry out the first laboratory analyses of selected ivories, in order to determine more precisely the age and the provenance of these little-known artworks. In addition, team members will compile the first comprehensive catalogue of “Luso-African ivories” in Portuguese collections, as well as the first thorough study of those carvings that were exported to Brazil at an early date.
Mark is the co-founder and director of the research group, based in Lisbon, Portugal.
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John Paoletti, the Kenan Professor of the Humanities, emeritus and professor of art history, emeritus is the author of Michelangelo’s David: Florentine History and Civic Identity, published by Cambridge University Press, Feb. 2015. Paoletti was on the faculty at Wesleyan from 1972 to 2009.
According to the publisher, this book takes a new look at the interpretations of, and the historical information surrounding, Michelangelo’s David. New documentary materials discovered by Rolf Bagemihl add to the early history of the stone block that became the David and provide an identity for the painted terracotta colossus that stood on the cathedral buttresses for which Michelangelo’s statue was to be a companion. The David, with its placement at the Palazzo della Signoria, was deeply implicated in the civic history of Florence, where public nakedness played a ritual role in the military and in the political lives of its people. This book, then, places the David not only within the artistic history of Florence and its monuments but also within the popular culture of the period as well.
Paoletti taught the history of Italian Renaissance art and of the art of the 20th century from 1972 to 2009. He received the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching at Wesleyan in 1997 and the Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award from the College Art Association in 2003. He is an expert on art of the Italian Renaissance in Europe and the United States after 1945.
View the talents of senior art studio majors during the 2015 Senior Thesis Exhibition at the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery through April 19. The gallery is open noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and is free of charge.
In the final year of study, each student develops a focused body of work, and mounts a solo exhibition in the Zilkha Gallery. This exhibition is the culmination of a two-semester thesis tutorial, and is developed in close critical dialogue with a faculty advisor. The exhibition is critiqued by the faculty advisor and a second critic, and must be passed by a vote of the faculty of the art studio program. The senior thesis exhibition provides a rare opportunity for the student to engage in a rigorous, self-directed creative investigation and in a public dialogue about his/her work.
Photos of Week 1 and Week 2 of the Senior Thesis Exhibit are below:
“RETURN TO: Paradise” by Gabe Gordon ’15.
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Master printmaker Keiji Shinohara, artist in residence, will have three solo exhibitions in 2015.” The title is “Keiji Shinohara: Woodcut.”
The first will be at the Odakyu Shinjuku Art Salon in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan March 11-17. For more information call 03-3342-1111 (Japan).
The second show will be at Art Zone-Kaguraoka in Kyoto, Japan May 9-May 25. For more information call o75-754-0155 (Japan).
The exhibition will return to the United States and be on display at the Visual Arts Gallery at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I. throughout the month of October.
In addition, Shinohara will be demonstrating Japanese Ukiyo-e printmaking and techniques at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston from noon to 3 p.m. April 6 and April 19. He’ll also lead a workshop at the Penland School of Crafts in Penland, N.C. Aug. 9-21.
Shinohara teaches in the Art and Art History Department and the College of East Asian Studies. While living in Kyoto, he trained for 10 years in the traditional Japanese woodblock printing style known as Ukiyo-e. The technical foundation for his artwork is rooted in that training, accompanied by techniques of contemporary western printmaking, yet the imagery itself is very different from historical Ukiyo-e.
According to Shinohara’s artist statement, “the story behind the work is very important; there is a sense of narrative that is very private. The feelings and emotions that I convey through these abstract landscapes matter most to me. Almost always my images are of nature, but it is the essence of the landscape that I want to express, not realistic accuracy.”
Early this year, Gary Shteyngart embarked on an experiment for The New York Times: For a week straight, he would “subsist almost entirely on a diet of state-controlled Russian television, piped in from three Apple laptops onto three 55-inch Samsung monitors in a room at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan.”
Assistant Professor of Art Sasha Rudensky documented this experiment in a series of photographs that accompany the story. Here is Shteyngart lying in bed, feet encased in hotel slippers, while Russian President Vladamir Putin’s stern face fills three towering television screens. Here Shteyngart is dining on Wagyu beef slices and sipping pinot noir while staring vacantly at the screens. And here, lying in bed gesticulating while a visiting psychiatrist listens to him talk. Russian TV, explains one photo caption, “dulls the senses and raises your ire.”
“Here is the question I’m trying to answer,” Shteyngart explains. “What will happen to me — an Americanized Russian-speaking novelist who emigrated from the Soviet Union as a child — if I let myself float into the television-filtered head space of my former countrymen? Will I learn to love Putin as 85 percent of Russians profess to do? Will I dash to the Russian consulate on East 91st Street and ask for my citizenship back? Will I leave New York behind and move to Crimea, which, as of this year, Putin’s troops have reoccupied, claiming it has belonged to Russia practically since the days of the Old Testament? Or will I simply go insane?”
Tula Telfair, professor of art, is having a solo exhibition of 21 new monumental oil paintings at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum Jan. 10 through March 15. The opening reception is 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 29.
Tula Telfair works on one of her oil paintings.
In a “World of Dreams— New Landscape Paintings,” Telfair paints monumental landscapes and epic-scale vistas that act as windows into another world — a dream world — where everything seems familiar yet remains beyond grasp. Drawing upon the long tradition of landscape painting from the backdrops of the Renaissance through the Romanticism of the 19th century, she presents a thoroughly contemporary perspective upon an archaic art form.
Instead of documenting actual sites, Telfair combines invented images with a variety of formal painterly techniques to achieve highly convincing yet fictitious illusions that invite contemplation upon the relationship between humankind and the environment.
This exhibition is made possible in part by a Local Project Assistance Grant from the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, funded by the East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President and Metro Council.
The images, which were on display in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery in 2014, are featured in this past News @ Wesleyan article.
Tula Telfair works on her oil painting.
(by Christine Foster. Originally published in Wesleyan Magazine, Dec. 10, 2014)
Professor of Art Tula Telfair’s epic and massive landscape paintings fill the walls of Wesleyan’s Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. They call forth our memories of the most stunning scenic vistas—craggy mountains topped by threatening clouds; impossibly moist, green valleys; icebergs jutting hundreds of feet out of the freezing aqua waters below. From a distance, they appear to be photographs, but they aren’t. These views don’t even exist, except in Telfair’s mind and on her canvases.
Still—even knowing they are imagined— the viewer is tempted to look for signs of reality. The glint of shimmering gold on one mountainside catches your eye. You wonder: are those lights of a house perched on the side of that cliff? Or maybe it’s the sun glinting off granite slopes at sunset?
Then you approach the painting—wider than you are tall. As you draw near you see that the tiny gold threads have vanished. In their place are strips of dark paint, ridge-like, and they almost look sticky. The painterly detail becomes obvious and as stunning in its own way as the photo-like perfection was from afar.
So it is with Tula Telfair’s art and maybe even her life: it looks stunning from a distance, but different and still spectacularly beautiful the closer you get…
Read the full story in Wesleyan Magazine here.
Read more about Telfair’s exhibit at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum here.
Read more about Telfair’s exhibit at Wesleyan here.
Watch a new video featuring Telfair below:
Encoding Will Help Recognition 2014, oil on canvas, 72 x 100 inches
Civilization Could Not Do Without It 2014, Oil on Canvas, 75 x 100 inches
Thirteen students enrolled in Professor of Art Tula Telfair’s Painting I course (ARTS 439) displayed their artwork at a Painting Show Dec. 8 at Art Studio South.
This introductory-level course in painting (oils) emphasized work from observation and stressed the fundamentals of formal structure: color, paint manipulation, composition and scale. Students addressed conceptual problems that helped them develop an understanding of the power of visual images to convey ideas and expressions. (Photos by Dat Vu ’15)
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The work of Keiji Shinohara, artist-in-residence of art, artist-in-residence of East Asian studies, will be exhibited at a gallery in Plantsville, Conn., Oct. 4-31.
The exhibition at Paris in Plantsville Gallery, titled, “Whispers of the Infinite: The Art of Keiji Shinohara,” represents the first time that Shinohara’s monotypes will have been exhibited in the United States. An opening reception will be held Oct. 4 from 6-9 p.m.
Born and raised in Osaka, Japan, Shinohara trained for 10 years as an apprentice under the renowned artist Keiichiro Uesugi, and became a Master Printmaker. Shinohara then moved to the U.S., and has been teaching at Wesleyan since 1995. He has been a visiting artist at more than 10 venues, and had 40 solo shows, both in the U.S. and Japan.
His nature-based abstractions are printed on handmade kozo paper using water-based pigment onto woodblocks in the ukiyo-e style, the traditional Japanese printmaking method dating to 600 CE. Though Shinohara employs ancient methods in creating his woodblock prints, he also diverges from tradition by experimenting with ink application and different materials to add texture to his prints. He personally executes all the steps involved in the printmaking process, from carving the woodblock to printing by hand. Elegantly understated, these works are a fusion of Japanese aesthetic and Western modernism.
See more images from the exhibition below.