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Courses & Workshops

Fall 2014 Course: How to Look

This three–session course led by Michael Lobel, Professor of Art History and Director of the MA Program in Modern and Contemporary Art, Criticism and Theory at Purchase College, proceeds from the assumption that one of the best ways to understand and appreciate art is by learning how to look at it closely. The course will treat the museum as an ideal location to develop one’s powers of attentiveness in a culture of distraction. Participants will discuss a specific set of skills for approaching artworks, including close visual observation, the vocabulary of description, and an understanding of how viewers interact with the work and vice versa. They will be prompted to think about art not through complicated theoretical language or overly subjective personal impressions, but rather through the simple tools of observation and description.

Michael Lobel’s publications include three books: Image Duplicator: Roy Lichtenstein and the Emergence of Pop Art (Yale University Press, 2002); James Rosenquist: Pop Art, Politics and History in the 1960s (University of California Press, 2009); and John Sloan: Drawing on Illustration (Yale University Press, 2014). He has written numerous exhibition catalog essays and articles in such publications as Art JournalArtforumParkett, and Art Bulletin. His curatorial projects include a 2007 exhibition for the Neuberger Museum of Art,Fugitive Artist: The Early Work of Richard Prince, 1974-77.

Three–session course: September 10, 17; October 1
6:30–8 pm

To register, email courses@whitney.org

Barnett Newman, The Promise, 1949. Oil on canvas, 51 1/2 × 68 1/8 in. (130.8 × 173 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Adriana and Robert Mnuchin  2000.338. © 2009 Barnett Newman Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Barnett Newman, The Promise, 1949. Oil on canvas, 51 1/2 × 68 1/8 in. (130.8 × 173 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Adriana and Robert Mnuchin  2000.338. © 2009 Barnett Newman Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York