The Contemporary Project at UH School of Art

Select Past Events

Julia Bryan-Wilson

Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art, University of California, Berkeley

Lecture: Louise Nevelson's Domesticity
February 18, 6:30 pm, Fine Arts 110

Julia Bryan-Wilson teaches modern and contemporary art, with a focus on art since 1960 in the US, Europe, and Latin America.   She is the author of Art Workers: Radical Practice in the Vietnam War Era, published by the University of California Press in 2009, and editor of OCTOBER Files: Robert Morris, from the MIT Press. Her book on textiles since the 1970s is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, and she is working on a monograph about Louise Nevelson. A scholar and a critic, Bryan-Wilson has written articles that have appeared in Art BulletinArt JournalArtforumBookforumCabinetCamera AustriaCamera ObscuradifferencesFriezeGrey RoomOctoberthe Journal of Modern Craft, and Oxford Art Journal. Bryan-Wilson has held fellowships from the Clark Art Institute, the Henry Moore Institute, the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, the Getty and was a recipient of a Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant.


Darby English

Carl Darling Buck Professor of Art History and the College, University of Chicago and Consulting Curator, Museum of Modern Art

Lecture: Abstraction in the Defense of Society
March 3, 6:30 pm, Fine Arts 110

Darby English teaches modern and contemporary art and cultural studies, with a focus on American and European art produced since the Second World War. He is the author of How to See a Work of Art in Total Darkness (MIT Press, 2007) and 1971: A Year in the Life of Color (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming 2016). He is co-editor of Kara Walker: Narratives of a Negress, published in 2002 by the MIT Press, and Art History and Emergency, forthcoming from Yale University Press. English’s short-form writing has appeared in Art Bulletin, ArtforumcaareviewsThe GuardianThe International Review of African-American Art and other venues. English is also Consulting Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art. During a two-year hiatus from the University of Chicago, where English taught from 2003 to 2013, he was Starr Director of the Research and Academic Program at the Clark Art Institute.


Suzanne Hudson

Associate Professor of Art History, University of Southern California

Lecture: Agnes Martin, Night Sea Journey
April 19, 6:30 pm, Fine Arts 110

Suzanne Hudson is an art historian and critic who writes on modern and contemporary art, with an emphasis on abstraction, painting, process, creativity, pedagogy, and American philosophy as it intersects with aesthetics and institutional discourses. She is co-founder of the Contemporary Art Think Tank and the Society of Contemporary Art Historians and is a Staff Writer at Artforum since 2004.

In 1963, Agnes Martin completed a six-foot-square oil on canvas entitled Night Sea. Comprising a grid of rectangles plotted along the X and Y coordinates of a Cartesian graph, it effects a regulated geometry against which the watery blue field, inchoate and surging, anticipates the reciprocal forces of undertow that threaten its undoing. Within the suite of Martin’s classic grids from 1960–1967, Night Sea is as exemplary as it is exceptional, a shimmering realization of control and loss—made manifest in its specific physicality—that Martin would never repeat. In this talk, Hudson argues for the significance of Night Sea in Martin's turn away from process-based works; after this, the struggle to achieve a composition—to say nothing of the struggle for the self that it represents—happened elsewhere, at a safe remove from the art, for reasons that Hudson will propose.
*co-sponsored by Painting and Art History