Conversations with Artists wrap up for the season, to return in October

Artist Alice Aycock on May 4 during her Conversation at the Center for the Study of Modern Art. Photo: Benjamin Resine for Red Bell Photo

The 2010-2011 season of Conversations with Artists, centered around “Systems of Knowledge,” wrapped up last week with American sculptor Alice Aycock speaking about her creative process for her site-specific sculptures. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is seeing how uninhibited an artist can become in these Conversations – I think the informal setting of the Center’s studio helps a great deal in this process. The best talks are when artists venture to say something honest about themselves that might cause an awkward moment. Aycock, for example, said at one point that she is fascinated with the idea of extra-terrestrials and how she feels we could benefit from a takeover (insert audience laughter here). It seemed to me that she wanted to go on about this, but hesitated (given the audience laughter?). She did return to this thought, though, when talking about how the cosmos and the unknown influence her work.

Previously this season we heard from John F. Simon, Jr., Jim Sanborn, Mark Dion, Walid Raad, and Matthew Ritchie—artists who, like Aycock, use innovative approaches and methodologies to reach beyond the language of visual arts and explore cross-disciplinary methods of knowing.

Matthew Ritchie on April 27 during his Conversation at the Center for the Study of Modern Art. Photo: Benjamin Resine for Red Bell Photo

The 2011-2012 season begins in October, and includes artists Wolfgang Laib and Jill Downen, as well as the London-based art collective The Otolith Group.  The theme will be  ”Art as Experience,” with an emphasis on the importance of experience and interpretation. Drawing from the philosophy of the museum founder, Duncan Phillips, as well as theorist John Dewey, the season will focus on artists whose works are phenomenological, experiential, and site-responsive.

Megan Clark, Manager of Center Initiatives

Matthew Ritchie on April 27 during his Conversation at the Center for the Study of Modern Art. Photo: Benjamin Resine for Red Bell Photo

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