Contemporary Perspectives Lecture Series

Each semester, the School of Visual Arts’ Contemporary Perspectives Lecture Series invites renowned professional artists, designers, and critics to engage with the SVA community. Undergraduate and graduate students benefit from exposure to the lecturers’ work, entering into dialogues about the art-making process, as well as benefiting from individual studio visits and critiques. Visiting artist lectures are free and open to the public.

Spring 2020 Contemporary Perspectives Artist

Martha Wilson
In conversation with Judith K. Brodsky and Ferris Olin
Monday, April 6, 2020, 6:30 pm CANCELLED
Sleeper Auditorium, 871 Commonwealth Avenue
Hosted in Partnership with Boston University Kilachand Honors College

NOTE: In light of the ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19 and the university’s decision to suspend large gatherings and events through April 13, this lecture has been cancelled. We apologize for the inconvenience and will provide updates regarding a rescheduling of the event at a later date.

Martha Wilson is a pioneering feminist artist and gallery director. For decades, her innovative conceptual practice has utilized photography and video to explore female subjectivity through performative self-portraiture. Transforming her appearance through costumes, make-up, and role-play, Wilson uses her own image as a stand-in for myriad conceptions of femininity, simultaneously embodying and challenging social projections onto women.

Her recent work has been semi-autobiographical in nature, exploring the social effects of aging on women. Combining tongue in cheek humor and rigorous conceptual language, Wilson looks at the all too often overlooked intersection of sexism and ageism in contemporary image culture.

Wilson is the founder of Franklin Furnace Archive art organization, a non-profit dedicated to preserving the legacy of experimental and ephemeral artworks, including artist books, installation art, video, and performance art. She is a recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, and an Obie Award and a Bessie Award for commitment to artists’ freedom of expression. She is represented by PPOW gallery in New York City.

Judith K. Brodsky is an artist and curator. She is a Distinguished Professor Emerita of the Department of Visual Arts at Rutgers University. Her artwork is in the collections of the Harvard University Museums, the Library of Congress, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Stadtsmuseum, Berlin.

Ferris Olin is a feminist scholar, curator, educator, and librarian, and a Distinguished Professor Emerita at Rutgers University. Dr. Olin founded the Margery Somers Foster Center: A Resource Center and Digital Archive on Women, Scholarship and Leadership at the Mabel Smith Douglass Library. In 2012, the Women’s Caucus for Art awarded Dr. Olin the Art Lifetime Achievement Award.

Brodsky and Olin co-founded and co-directed several initiatives and institutions, including the Institute for Women and Art, the Women Artists Archive National Directory, the Miriam Schapiro Archives on Women Artists, and the Feminist Art Project. They have co-authored two books, The Fertile Crescent: Gender, Art, and Society (2012) and Junctures in Women’s Leadership: The Arts (2018).

Fall 2019 Contemporary Perspectives Artist

Adam Pendleton
Wednesday, October 16, 6:30 pm
Jacob Sleeper Auditorium, 871 Commonwealth Ave.
Register via Eventbrite

Adam Pendleton is an interdisciplinary artist whose work mines the histories of art and of social movements to create densely layered, conceptual works. Combining painting, silkscreen, collage, video, installation and performance, his broad output is united by a monochrome aesthetic and an engagement with the limits of meaning in both language and images. In his work, historical avant-garde strategies are recontextualized to address the black experience in America. Pendleton’s Black Dada, an ongoing interdisciplinary project in publishing, painting, installation and more, addresses the possibility of a new avant-garde language for African American experience. Pendleton poses urgent yet open-ended questions about the ownership of cultural history and the legacy of Modernism in the present.

Pendleton has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the MIT List Visual Art Center in Cambridge; the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans; among many others. He studied at the Artspace Independent Study Program in Peitrasanta, Italy. He is represented by Pace Gallery.

Past Lectures

Artist’s Lectures from 2006 and onward are available on the Boston University BUniverse website.

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