Several students are displaying their artwork around – and on – Wesleyan’s public spaces this month.
Students enrolled in Sculpture I and Studies in Computer-Based Modeling and Digital Fabrication displayed their art around the Center for the Art’s public spaces Dec. 12-16.
Sculpture I, taught by Professor of Art Jeffrey Schiff, is an introduction to seeing, thinking and working in three dimensions. Throughout the semester, the class examined three-dimensional space, form, materials and the associations they elicit. Through the sculptural processes of casting, carving and construction in a variety of media, students developed and communicated a personal vision in response to class assignments. Projects included janitorial supplies hanging in suspension, plastic color shapes making a stain-glass window, electronic components and wires in a complex network, hanging funereal urns with flowers, large sewn mice, mirrored boxes covered with artificial turf, lint filling the air holes in the cement, and more.
Read more →
Joe Siry, at left, accepted the Wright Spirit Award from Scott Perkins, a conservancy board member. Perkins nominated Siry for the award. (Photo by Mark Hertzberg.)
On Oct. 3, Joseph Siry, the Kenan Professor of the Humanities, professor of art history, received the Wright Spirit Award in the Professional category from the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy at its annual conference this year in Milwaukee, Wis. A prolific scholar of the venerable architect, Siry has written several books and scholarly articles about Wright. He also has contributed to the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy in many ways over the years, as a lecturer, panelist and contributor to the group’s magazine.
A citation read at the ceremony by Scott Perkins, a conservancy board member and director of preservation for Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, began: “If one were to believe that Frank Lloyd Wright is the subject of more books and articles than any other figure in the visual arts, then among those responsible for that statistic would be Joseph M. Siry … I would also venture a guess that one could formulate a entire graduate seminar syllabus solely around Professor Siry’s contributions to the scholarship on Wright and his circle, and throw in a second one dedicated just to the information found in his footnotes, as it is clear he delights in primary research.”
Read more →
Artwork by Keiji Shinohara, artist in residence, is on display at Roger Williams University through Oct. 28. After two separate showings at Odakyu Shinjuku Art Salon in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan and Art Zone-Kaguraoka in Kyoto, Japan, Shinohara’s “Color Harmony/ Color Woodcut” exhibit comes to a close at Roger Williams’ SAAHP Exhibition Gallery.
Shinohara describes his work as “employing ancient methods, while diverging from tradition by experimenting with ink application and different materials to add texture,” thus creating what he calls “a fusion of Japanese aesthetic and Western modernism.”
“Color Harmony / Color Woodcut” focuses on his perception of different landscapes. The aim, he says, is not to portray “realistic accuracy,” but to concentrate on the “feelings and emotions behind these abstract landscapes.”
Shinohara is on the faculty in the Art and Art History Department and Department of East Asian Studies.
On Oct. 5, Phillip Wagoner, professor of art history, professor of archaeology, was named a co-recipient of the American Historical Association’s John F. Richards Prize in South Asian History. The John F. Richards Prize recognizes the most distinguished work of scholarship on South Asian history published in English. Eligibility includes books on any period or field of South Asian historical studies and works which integrate South Asian history with broader global issues and movements.
Wagoner shares the prize with Richard Eaton of the University of Arizona. Together, they co-authored the book, Power, Memory, Architecture: Contested Sites on India’s Deccan Plateau, 1300–1600, published by Oxford University Press in March 2014.
In this book, Wagoner and Eaton examine the political histories and material culture of smaller, fortified strongholds both on the plains and atop hills, the control of which was repeatedly contested by rival primary centers on the Deccan Plateau. Exceptionally high levels of conflict over such secondary centers occurred between 1300 and 1600, and especially during the turbulent 16th century when gunpowder technology had become widespread in the region.
Read more →
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.
Read more →
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.
Read more →
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?”