Thierry de Duve - Modernist painting revisited. An evening with the renowned historian and philosopher of art.
In 1960, art critic Clement Greenberg wrote an influential article titled “Modernist Painting”, where he argued that what characterized modernism in painting was not so much the invention of abstraction as the ever more explicit acknowledgment of the medium’s essential flatness. The alternative to Greenberg’s formalist narrative has often been a story that stresses content and inspiration and situates the birth of abstract painting in a context of symbolism and spiritualism. Such a narrative has been of recent successfully revived with respect to the pioneering work of Hilma af Klint.
In this talk, de Duve offers yet a third narrative to account for modernism in painting. Why was modernism born in Paris around the middle of the nineteenth century? What was modernism an answer to? De Duve argues that the French Beaux-Arts system—with its unique conflict between the State’s control over the careers of artists and the free access to the Salon by the public—has everything to do with the content of modernist painting and the form it took in the work of Manet.
Thierry de Duve, short bio
Historian and philosopher of art Thierry de Duve was Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professor at the Institute of Fine Art, New York University, for the fall semester of 2013, and presently teaches at the School of Visual Arts, in New York. His English publications include Pictorial Nominalism (1991), Kant after Duchamp (1996), Clement Greenberg Between the Lines (1996, 2010), Look—100 Years of Contemporary Art (2001), and Sewn In the Sweatshops of Marx: Beuys, Warhol, Klein, Duchamp (2012). He recently finished a book of essays on aesthetics, and was during academic year 2012-2013 William C. Seitz Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) in Washington, D.C.
Reservation is advised (fee DKK 10)