Events Fall 2013
Stephen E. Ostrow Distinguished Visitors Program in the Visual Arts
"Paul Gauguin, the 'Listening Eye' and the Universality of Art"
Monday, October 28, 2013
Vollum lecture hall
Free and open to the public
Paul Gauguin, "Two Tahitians Gathering Fruit" (recto), detail, 1899-1900, traced monotype, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC [photo D. Gamboni]
Paul Gauguin's interest in the art of the world was fostered by his half-French, half-Peruvian origin, by his peripatetic life and by his equation of the "primitive" with the essential. It was also fed by the development of archeology, art history and ethnography in the context of late nineteenth-century colonialism. From Lima to Paris to Auckland, Gauguin managed to see objects as soon as they became accessible, and these encounters had a deep impact on his own art. This lecture will attempt to identify what the artist was looking for and what he found in them as well as what he meant when he postulated a universality of art and spoke, apropos of Persian carpets and "Oriental art" in general, of "a complete dictionary of the language of the listening eye".
Dario Gamboni is professor of art history at the Université de Genève and research councillor for art history of the Swiss National Science Foundation. He is an honorary member of the Institut Universitaire de France, Meret Oppenheim Prize 2006, and was a Fellow at CASVA, the Henry Moore Institute, and the Clark Art Institute. He has been a guest professor at the universities of Buenos Aires, Freiburg, Frankfurt, Mexico, New Delhi (JNU), Sao Paulo, Strasbourg and Tokyo, and at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. He has curated and cocurated exhibitions, among which Iconoclash and Making Things Public in Karlsruhe (ZKM) and Une image peut en cacher une autre in Paris (Grand Palais). His publications include The Destruction of Art: Iconoclasm and Vandalism since the French Revolution (New Haven/London 1997), Potential Images: Ambiguity and Indeterminacy in Modern Art (London 2002), The Brush and The Pen: Odilon Redon and Literature (Chicago/London 2011), and Gauguin at the "Mysterious Centre of Thought" (Dijon/London, forthcoming).
The Stephen E. Ostrow Distinguished Visitors Program in the Visual Arts was established by a generous 1988 gift from Edward and Sue Cooley and John and Betty Gray in support of art history and its place in the humanities. The lecture program enables Reed College's art department to bring distinguished individuals in the arts to the college for periods of up to a week. These visitors give public lectures and seminars with students.
The intent of the program is to bring to campus creative people who are distinguished in connection with the visual arts and who will provide "a forum for conceptual exploration, challenge, and discovery." The program is named in honor of Stephen Ostrow as a tribute to his career and out of respect for his advisory role in the formulation of the Cooley-Gray gift and the design of the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery. Ostrow is the Chief of the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress, D.C.
Past artists have included:
2012.10 Kara Walker, collage artist
2012.02 Richard Shiff, art historian
2011.09 Do Ho Suh, installation artist/sculptor
2011.03 Joseph Koerner, art historian
2010.11 Patricia Fortini Brown, art historian
2010.02 Terry Winters, painter/printmaker
2009.10 David Rosand, art historian
2009.03 Alexander Nemerov, art historian
2008.10 David Reed '68, painter/installation artist
2008.03 Martin Powers
2007.11 Gary Hill, video artist
2007.10 Barbara Stafford, art historian
2007.04 David Freedberg, art historian
2006.10 Mona Hatoum, installation artist/sculptor
2005.04 Ann Hamilton, installation artist
2004.09 Hans Haacke, conceptualist artist
2003.11 Jennifer Bartlett, painter/printmaker
2003.04 T.J. Clark, art historian
2003.04 Al Held, abstract painter
2002.11 Leo Steinberg, art historian
2000.04 Michael Fried, art historian
2000.01 Judy Pfaff, installation artist
1999.04 Linda Nochlin, art historian
1999.03 Adrian Piper, performance artist
1998.09 Robert Davidson, performance/installation artist
1997.09 Robert Morris, minimalist sculptor
1996.09 Jules Feiffer, graphic artist