Posted in March, 2011

Vitrine Project



The Metamorphosis of Lincolnalia in the 20th Century
Curated by Hannah Becker
Faculty Sponsor: Tom Wolf

An Exhibition of Abraham Lincoln collectibles from the private collection of senior art history major Hannah Becker, on view in the vitrines in Stevenson Library:  March 29-April 7, 2011
Opening reception: March 29th 4:00-5:00 pm

Happenings at Bard


Fernando Ruíz Lorenzo and Tom Wolf


The opening reception on March 9th in The Reem Kayden Gallery was a resounding success.  An insightful talk by the artist was followed by lively discussion.  To view more of the images please go to Vin Zarate’s FlickR site:

Around Town with Tom Wolf

Tom’s Picks


February 20, 2011

The art season in NYC is going full swing, and there are plenty of interesting shows to see in Chelsea.

Koh and his white salt cone

Walk into the Mary Boone Gallery, and if you are already familiar with it you notice that the anteroom has been stripped down—no Corbusier easy chairs for the moment—and a white curtain separates you from the main space.  White is one of the themes of Terrence Koh’s show in the central gallery (541 W. 24th, through March 19).  The expansive room is dominated by a huge cone made up of thousands of chunks of salt.  The artist, gaunt faced, short haired, dressed all in white, shuffles around the cone on his knees with an expressionless face.  His progression must be painful to his knees, and exhausting.  While I was there he once stopped and lay face down on the floor, before raising himself up and resuming his slow progress.  Spectators are silent watching this rituali, which follows the practice of physically punishing performances by Vito Acconci, Chris Burton, Marina Abramovic among others.   Self-abuse in the name of art was once shocking but now has become a tradition; with his white color scheme and his meditative progress around the cone, Koh turns it into an exercise of renunciation with spiritual overtones.  I returned two weeks later and it looked like Koh had kneepads under his white pants, and he had shaved his head, making him seem even more Zen monk-like. Although he has cultivated an image in the art world as a scenester, here he makes an analogy between art and worship, and it is impressive to watch his determined round.

For sheer extravagance, check out Francesco Vezzoli’s Christian-kitsch

Crying Portrait of Kim Alexis as a Renaissance Madonna with Holy Child, 2010

extravaganza, Sacrilegio, at Gagosian Gallery’s 21st Street space (522 W. 21st, through March 12).  The main gallery is laid out like the aisle of a church with images of the Virgin and Child in the side apses.  The icons are photos of paintings by Italian Renaissance masters like Giovanni Bellini, with the Madonna’s face replaced by those of fashion models like Claudia Schiffer and Stephanie Seymour.  Tears, embroidered out of thread, emanate stiffly from the eyes of mother and child.  These confections are surrounded by gold gilt frames that droop and ooze like Dali’s watches.  The whole ensemble culminates with a stained glass window featuring Vezzoli as Saint John the Baptist, but carrying a big embroidering needle and thread in place of the Saint’s long cross; a side aisle contains a film of the artist’s mother as the Madonna singing a pop song, “Domenica” by the Singing Nun.  Where does this guy get his budget!?

Faculty News

A Survey of Puerto Rican Art, a lecture by Prof. Susan Aberth

Taller Puertorriqueño’s
Meet the Author Series at
Julia de Burgos Books and Crafts Stores presents

a lecture by Dr. Susan Aberth

Saturday, march 12, 2011, 3:00 pm

A sweeping panorama of art production in Puerto Rico beginning with José Campeche in the 18th century and ending with contemporary artists, including Pepón Osorio, who now resides in Philadelphia, PA, in addition to Francisco Oller, Ramón Frade, Miguel Pou, Carlos Raquel Rivera, Lorenzo Homar, Rafael Tufiño, Myrna Báez, Arnaldo Roche-Rabell, Juan Sánchez, and Miguel Luciano. The list includes many who have exhibited in Taller’s gallery.

Notes from the Chair

Sale on CAA’s Directories of Graduate Programs in the Arts

CAA’s two Directories of Graduate Programs in the Arts, covering MA, MFA, and PhD programs in art and art history, are now on sale: $15 for CAA members and $20 for nonmembers, plus $4 shipping.

For those of you in the process of applying to graduate school, these directories remain the most comprehensive resources available listing hundreds of programs in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and elsewhere worldwide. CAA will introduce revised, online versions of the directories in fall 2011, with a price to be determined.

For more information go to:

Notes from the Chair

Fifth Annual Art History Career Day

The Art History Department and Career Development Office invite all art history majors and those considering the major to:


Untitled Film Still, #14, 1978, Cindy Sherman

FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2011
11:00 am—2:00 pm
Woods Studio

Learn about careers in curating, museum education, art dealing, auction houses, conservation, editing  and publishing. Four speakers representing four fascinating careers, will speak about their paths from education to workplace, the shape of their professions today, and future prospects for young art historians.

Refreshments will be served.
Seating limited.  RSVP immediately to [email protected]