Hierarchies in the evaluation and classification of art have long served to confer a sense of authenticity and belonging to certain works while relegating others to outsider status. Many artists have been excluded on account of their race, gender, subject matter, medium, and material. This six-week course explores the implications of shifting boundaries of inclusion and exclusion in the canon of high art. What is gained and what is lost when artists who take up the mantle of identity get folded into the system they are critiquing? How do we understand the distinctions between “art” and “craft”? What is the role of institutions, such as museums, in legitimating cultural authority to marginalized objects, artists, or practices, and what is the role of the marketplace in privileging certain collectible modes of working? This course will engage questions of belonging and otherness in modern and contemporary art.
Instructor: Anna Katz, a Joan Tisch Teaching Fellow at the Whitney since 2008, holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. Her area of focus is postwar American sculpture. Her current research project, “Hybrid Species: Lee Bontecou’s Sculpture and Drawing, 1958–1971,” will be the first book-length study devoted to Bontecou’s oeuvre.
Six Thursdays: February 28; March 7 and 14; and April 4, 11, and 18
Morning Session: 9:30–11:00 am
Afternoon Session: 1:30–3:00 pm
Jay DeFeo came to the fore as part of a vibrant community of avant-garde artists, poets and musicians in the 1950s in San Francisco. Over the course of four decades, she produced an imaginative and diverse body of work in a wide range of media. In conjunction with Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective, author and critic Greil Marcus will discuss DeFeo’s stylistic inventions, physical processes, and improvisational approach to materials. As Marcus argues, DeFeo loved jazz, and “in the deepest, fiercest, and most playful moments of her work, Jay DeFeo’s work was jazz,” too.
$8 general admission; $6 senior citizens and students; free for members.