Material Tensions: Craft and Critique

Floor 3, Seminar Room

Drawing on the current exhibition Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019, this course explores how artists work with materials and techniques borrowed from craft traditions. We will consider artists who embrace studio crafts like ceramics and weaving, as well as artists who play with ideas about the decorative and domestic through media like beads and glitter.

Focusing on artists from the postwar period to the present, including Anni Albers, Faith Ringgold, and Simone Leigh, the course will consider topics such as hand-to-hand transmissions of knowledge, gendered forms of labor and modes of feminist critique, and the role of craft in progressive politics and other efforts toward equality.

Wednesdays, January 22 and 29, and February 5
3–4:30 pm

Instructor: Josh Lubin-Levy is a Joan Tisch Senior Teaching Fellow at the Whitney and a PhD candidate in Performance Studies at NYU. For the past ten years, Lubin-Levy has worked as a dance dramaturg and performance curator. He has recently joined the faculty at Bard College as a Visiting Assistant Professor in Theater and Performance.

Grant Johnson is a Joan Tisch Teaching Fellow at the Whitney and a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of Southern California. His dissertation, Sheila Hicks: Weaving to the World, traces the first critical history of the prolific American artist, weaver, and pioneer of global contemporary art. An active curator, critic, and writer, his work has appeared in Artforum, Frieze, The Brooklyn Rail, Garage, and Performa, where he was a writer-in-residence from 2012–14.

Registration is required ($350 adults; $275 members). Register by January 16, using the code CRS25OFF, for a $25 early bird discount. Please email courses@whitney.org for inquiries and information about this course.

The Museum building is accessible and has elevator access to all floors. Service animals are welcome. Learn more about access services and amenities.


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