Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

Hands On: Eve of CAA Convention Panel at Studio School by Art Historians on Making Art

Panel Discussion: Svetlana Alpers, David Rosand and Robert Storr with David Cohen
New York Studio School, 8 West 8th Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, New York City
Tuesday, February 12 at 6.30 PM

Robert Storr, Double Negative 1989. Oil on canvas. The Artist
Robert Storr, Double Negative 1989. Oil on canvas. The Artist

As New York welcomes the College Art Association to town for its 2013 annual convention, taking place February 13 to 16 at its usual New York location of the Hilton Hotel, a panel discussion at the New York Studio School on the eve of the meeting brings together distinguished art historians and critics to share their experiences and insights into the often vexed dual processes of writing about art and making it.

The panel, taking place in conjunction with the exhibition, The Eye is Part of the Mind: Drawings from Life and Art by Leo Steinberg, features art historians Svetlana Alpers and David Rosand, professors emerita/emeritus respectively of UC Berkeley and Columbia, and critic, curator and Dean of Yale’s School of Art Robert Storr.  The moderator is art critic, artcritical editor and self-confessed Sunday draftsman David Cohen.

Alpers, author of landmark studies of Rembrandt, Rubens, Velázquez and others, collaborated in 2007 with James Hyde and Barney Kulok on a photographic project titled Painting Then For Now that gathered fragments from a painting by G.B. Tiepolo in the Metropolitan Museum.  Several pieces from the series are now represented in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, and the series was reviewed at artcritical by David Carrier.

Rosand, author of major scholarly works on Venetian art, including several monographs on Titian, as well as a definitive study of Robert Motherwell’s works on paper, trained both as a studio artist and art historian.  And Storr, who served as a MoMA curator from 1990-2002 and subsequently taught art history at NYU’s  Institute of Fine Arts, trained first as a painter (at Swarthmore and the Art Institute of Chicago) and has always maintained a studio practice.

Cohen will be quizzing his distinguished guests on all the issues surrounding making versus writing: when and why did the professions part ways?Which good art writers, historically, kept a “hand in” and which kept their hands clean. In a post-studio and conceptual era, is it not increasingly difficult to separate theory and practice anyway? What does making art do for your own writing about it? And what does writing about art do for studio practice?

The exhibition of Steinberg’s drawings, meanwhile, also on view at the Studio School on the evening of the panel, is up through March 9.

Svetlana Alpers, James Hyde, and Barney Kulok, Grasp, 2007. Pigmented inkjet print, 43 1/2 x 59 5/8 inches. Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York
click to enlarge