Posts from the 'Faculty News' Category

Faculty News

SENSE OF EMERGENCY: Politics, Aesthetics, Trumpism

Alex Kitnick, Brant Foundation Fellow in Contemporary Arts, Faculty, CCS,  will participate in a public forum addressing the recent US presidential election,
the implications of a Trump presidency, and possible means of resistance.

Saturday, December 10th, 10:30 am – 5:30 pm
Einstein Auditorium (Room 105)
Barney Building
34 Stuyvesant StreetNew York, New York 10003

For more information:

Sponsored by Contemporary Aesthetics Collaborative with generous assistance from the NYU-Steinhardt Dept. of Art and Art Professions

Faculty News

Alex Kitnick on Panel to discuss Lillian Schwartz: Computer Art Pioneer

on view through October 30.


MAGENTA PLAINS | 94 Allen Street | New York, NY 10002 | 917.388.2464
Gallery hours are Wednesday – Sunday, 11am – 6pm.

Lillian Schwartz: Panel & Conversation
Friday, October 28 from 6 – 8 PM
Conversation to begin promptly at 6:30
Magenta Plains is pleased to welcome Rebekah Rutkoff, Jon Gertner, Alex Kitnick, and Ben Rubin for a panel discussion on Lillian Schwartz this Friday, October 28th from 6 – 8 PM.
ALEX KITNICK is an art historian and critic based in New York, and Brant Family Fellow in Contemporary Arts at Bard College. An editor of numerous volumes, including a collection of John McHale’s writings, The Expendable Reader: Articles on Art, Architecture, Design, and Media, 1951–1979, and October 136 on New Brutalism, he is also a frequent contributor to publications including Artforum, May, October, and Texte zur Kunst. He is currently teaching a course on Experiments in Art and Technology at Bard College.

Recent Press for Lillian Schwartz:
The New York Times
The New Yorker
Artforum Cover Feature
Artforum Critics’ Picks
The Village Voice

Faculty News

Ingestion and Descent: The Chthonic Realms of Leonora Carrington

black-mirror-coverProfessor Susan Aberth in
Black Mirror 1: embodiment

“Ingestion and Descent: The Chthonic Realms of Leonara Carrington”

Fulgur Limited, Somerset, UK, 2016

Please clink here to read:


Faculty News

A Talk by Susan Aberth at NYU

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 9.05.14 AMLanguage of the Birds: Occult and Art
80WSE Gallery, New York University
January 12 – February 13, 2016

Curated by Pam Grossman
Opening reception: Wednesday, January 13, 6 – 8pm
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday from 10:30am – 6pm

Language of the Birds: Occult and Art considers over 60 modern and contemporary artists who have each expressed their own engagement with magical practice.  Beginning with Aleister Crowley’s trance portraiture and Austin Osman Spare’s automatic drawing of the early 20th century, the exhibition traces over 100 years of occult art, including Leonora Carrington and Kurt Seligmann’s surrealist explorations, Kenneth Anger and Ira Cohen’s ritualistic experiments in film and photography, and the mystical probings of contemporary visionaries such as Francesco Clemente, Kiki Smith, Paul Laffoley, BREYER P-ORRIDGE, and Carol Bove.

The concerns and influences of each of these artists are as eclectic as the styles in which they work. While several of the pieces deal with “high” or ceremonial magic, others draw from so-called “low magic” practices and have deeply chthonic roots. The approaches in technique are varying as well, with some doing years of research and preparation for the act of creation, and others working entirely intuitively. Regardless of method, Language of the Birds suggests that all are part of the same lineage: one that pulls on threads from the esoteric web of alchemy, Hermeticism, Spiritualism, Theosophy, divination and witchcraft.

The exhibition takes its name from the historical and cross-cultural notion that there is a magic language via which only the initiated can communicate.  Often referred to as the “language of the birds,” it is a system rumored to operate in symbols, and to be a vehicle for revealing hidden truths and igniting metamorphic sparks.

The artists in Language of the Birds can be considered magicians, then, when seen through this mythopoeic lens. A visual vocabulary is offered up by them, so that we all might be initiated into their imaginal mystery cults and dialog with the ineffable. They speak to us in secret tongues, cast spells, and employ pictures for the purpose of activating profound change in both themselves and in us.  By going within, then drawing streams of imagery forth through their creations, each of these artists seeks to render the invisible visible, to materialize the immaterial, and to tell us that we, too, can enter numinous realms.

Special Events Related to the Exhibition

Weds, Jan 13: Opening Reception   6-8pm

Weds, Jan 27: Performance of “The Language,” a theatrical piece written by playwright Matthew Freeman, commissioned for Language of the Birds.    7pm – Free and open to the public.

Fri, Feb 5 – Sun, Feb 7: The Occult Humanities Conference at NYU Steinhardt – a weekend long symposium of 14 lectures and performances which explore the influence of magical thought upon art, history, and contemporary culture.  Tickets required – SOLD OUT.

Weds, Feb 10: “Art Workings” Lectures and panel discussion with Professor Susan L. Aberth, Jesse Bransford, and William Breeze, moderated by exhibition curator, Pam Grossman.   7pm – Free and open to the public.


Link to Language of the Birds: Occult and Art




Faculty News

Olga Touloumi to speak at CAA

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 12.47.29 PMOn the Visual Front: Revisiting World War II and American Art

Time: 02/05/2016, 9:30 AM—12:00 PM
Location: Virginia Suite, Lobby Level

Chairs: John W. Ott, James Madison University; Melissa Renn, Harvard Business School

War Rooms and the Question of Mediation
Olga Touloumi

Targeting Asianness in World War II: Military Manuals, Visual Markers, and Racial Fictions
Jason D. Weems, University of California, Riverside

Art and Race in Arizona: The 1943 Exhibition of Negro Art at Fort Huachuca
Betsy Fahlman, Arizona State University

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Black Place
Sascha T. Scott, Syracuse University

‘Operation Crossroads’: American Abstraction in the Atomic Age
Jody Patterson, Plymouth University

Discussant: Melissa Renn, Harvard Business School

Faculty News

Exhibit: “Educated Youth” Photos of the Cultural Revolution

educated youths0004

Curated by Patricia Karetzky,
Oskar Munsterberg Chair of Asian Art, Bard College

The show comprises twenty-five photographs of the Cultural Revolution in China from the perspective of the youth sent to the countryside. The photographer, a youth himself, embedded himself in the movement traveling throughout China for ten years documenting the lives of displaced youth.


Campus Center
Bard College
April 1-30, 2016
“Educated Youth” Photos of the Cultural Revolution
at 23rd International Conference of Europeanists
Philadelphia, Pennsylavania (DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia
Center City)  April 14-16, 2016

Faculty News

Alex Kitnick will give a talk at the Institute of Fine Arts NYU

GreatHallBannerThe Great Hall Exhibitions Events: Fall 2015

Step Into Liquid: Art and Art History in the Post-Fordist Era

Friday, December 4, 2015
1:00pm to 6:00pm in the Lecture Hall
The Institute of Fine Arts, NYU
1 East 78th Street

Organized by Walead Beshty, with Rachel Heidenry ’11 and Eloise Maxwell

Introduction: Remarks by Walead Beshty, 1:00-1:15pm

Panel 1: Digitalization and the Aesthetics of Distribution, 1:15-3:00pm
It is commonly observed that a core tenet of Contemporary Art is its being produced with an awareness of its dependence on systems of distribution, a condition that has increasingly come to dominate the approach of the most ambitious criticism of our time. How has the development of a vast digital infrastructure, which facilitates contemporary aesthetic distribution, produced pronounced effects on the form and materiality of the work of art and its reception? How does this vast distributive system interact with and complicate the aesthetic conditions of industrialized production and distribution that it operates in tandem with? How does this awareness manifest itself despite the fact that the majority of contemporary artistic practices continue to maintain traditional genres such as painting, sculpture, photography, film and video or performance, albeit under distinctly different conditions from their predecessors?

Break: 3:00-3:30pm

Panel 2: Performativity and Methodology, 3:30-4:45pm
As the boundaries between the art object and its mode of circulation become increasingly difficult to maintain, whether it be through its dispersal among bodies in socially contingent practices or through means of distribution that are habitually seen as secondary to the work itself, what methodological tools are available to art history and art criticism to address the current status of the work of art? What methodological questions does it pose to theories of representation, or to the method of comparative formal analysis that underscores the field? Which, if any, of the classical art historical distinctions—be they between media, or aesthetic forms, or primary and secondary manifestations of the work of art—can be maintained? In short, can art history and criticism address what things “do” in addition to what they “say”?

Conclusion: 4:45pm-5:15pm

Reception: 5:15-6:00pm

Panel 1:

Moderator – Tim Griffin, The Kitchen

Claire Bishop, CUNY Graduate Center
Kenneth Goldsmith, University of Pennsylvania
Ruba Katrib, The Sculpture Center
Bettina Funcke, School of Visual Arts

Panel 2:

Moderator – Janet Kraynak, Columbia University

Alexander Alberro, Columbia University
Robert Slifkin, Institute of Fine Arts
Alex Kitnick, Bard College
Christopher Wood, New York University



Faculty News

Use Your Illusion: Barbara Kasten’s ‘Architectural Sites’

3e0ccde9-950c-4c98-bca4-acd68912ec63Alex Kitnick will give a talk:
“Use Your Illusion: Barbara Kasten’s ‘Architectural Sites'”

Thursday, October 22nd, 6:00 pm
International Museum of Surgical Science, Chicago
Reception at the Graham Foundation

In conjunction with our new exhibition Barbara Kasten: Stages, art historian and critic Alex Kitnick will explore the critical stakes of Barbara Kasten’s photographic series from the 1980s that artfully staged important works of American architecture, including Arata Isozaki’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and Richard Meier’s High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Created at the height of postmodern theory, Kasten’s Architectural Sites submits iconic buildings to distorting angles and colored lights, thus transforming already vertiginous structures into truly illusory spaces. Kitnick argues that these photographs offer a unique form of criticism that seek to heighten—rather than deconstruct—the effects of an emerging Postmodernism, and that these effects that are increasingly familiar today.

Alex Kitnick teaches at Bard College, where he was recently appointed the Brant Fellow in Contemporary Arts. In 2010 he received his PhD from the Department of Art & Archaeology at Princeton University. From 2011 to 2012 he held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. Kitnick’s work frequently focuses on the intersection of art and architecture. He has edited numerous volumes including a collection of John McHale’s writings, The Expendable Reader: Articles on Art, Architecture, Design, and Media, 1951-1979, which was supported by a grant from the Graham Foundation, and October 136 on New Brutalism. He is a frequent contributor to ArtforumOctober, and Texte zur Kunst, among other publications.
Related Grant: 2011 Individual Grant to Alex Kitnick for the publication “The Expendable Reader: John McHale on Art, Architecture, Design, and Media, 1951-1979″ (Sourcebook Series, GSAPP Books, 2011).

Faculty News

Music in the Woods: One Hundred Years of Maverick Concerts

Music in the woodsThree cultural organizations whose antecedents established the Woodstock Art Colony in the early twentieth century – Maverick Concerts, the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, and the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum (WAAM) – join in this historic exhibition. Marking the importance of music in Woodstock’s early history, the exhibition particularly celebrates Maverick Concerts, the oldest continuous summer chamber music festival in the United States.

Music in the Woods: One Hundred Years of Maverick Concerts opened in a joint reception on July 25, 2015 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, and will run in WAAM’s Towbin Wing through September 26 and at the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild through August 30.

The exhibition features three seldom seen sculptures by John Flannagan, as well as a bronze maquette for a recently commissioned sculptural portrait of Hervey White by contemporary Chinese artist Wan Jida. Works also include a kaleidoscope of painted and photographic portraits of Hervey White by Bolton Brown, Harry Gottlieb, Konrad Cramer, Peggy Bacon and others; portraits of early musicians by Robert Chanler, Antonio Borone, and George Bellows; quick sketches of musicians in performance by artists John Fenton, Andrée Ruellan, Julia Santos Solomon and others; drawings and prints by Woodstock artists; and vintage photographic portraits of musicians, some as early as 1919, who played at Maverick Concerts from the early years to the present.

Tom Wolf is author of “John Flannagan’s Maverick Horse” in the catalog.

The exhibition also highlights images of the unique concert hall, whose eccentric architecture has attracted photographers since its earliest days, including Konrad Cramer, Alfred Cohn, Howard Greenberg, Leon Liss, Dion Ogust, and Noritaka Minami.

Olga Touloumi is author of “The Economy of Design: Architecture and High Finance in the Maverick House Concert Hall” in the catalog.

Faculty News

Magnetic Mountain: The Life and Legacy of Kurt Seligmann


Kurt Seligmann on Mountain, Untitled Film Still, 1938

Seligmann in Sugar Loaf
The Kurt and Ariette Seligmann Trust and Rowland Weinstein
are sponsoring a patron event at the Seeligmann Homestead.

Saturday, October 3, 2015
2:30 pm – Stroll the Seligmann Center Grounds, 23-26 White Oak Drive, Sugar Loaf, NY 10981

3:30 pm Roundtable Discussion with Susan L. Aberth,
Jonathan P. Eburne, Stephen Robeson Miller, Celia Rabinovitch and Martica Sawin
Moderated by Daniel Mack.
Followed by a Reception and Printmaking Demonstration by Artist Jonathan Talbot

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