A Reserve Army of Intellectuals
Monday, October 8, 2012
The University of Vermont
301 Williams Hall
This lecture is sponsored by the Mollie Ruprecht Fund for Visiting Artists and Scholars
Howard Singerman’s lecture A Reserve Army of Intellectuals developed as a response to a 2009 School of the Art Institute of Chicago seminar entitled What Do Artists Know. It will advance ideas he that explored in his influential 1999 Art Subjects: Making Artists in the American University. In addition to examining the role of art schools in art production, Singerman will look at issues that include the globalization of the art school model, and the question of “deskilling.” The lecture takes its title from a poster designed by the artist Dennis Balk for Proof and Perjury, a 1985 exhibition of young artists just out of CalArts and UCLA, held at the now-defunct Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art.
Howard Singerman began writing on contemporary art in the late 1970s, publishing regularly from southern California in Artweek and, later, Artforum. He was museum editor for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles from 1985 to 1988, and has contributed to numerous exhibition catalogues for contemporary exhibitions nationally and internationally; among them are A Forest of Signs: Art in the Crisis of Representation (1989) and Public Offerings (2001), and retrospective catalogues for Los Angeles-based artists Chris Burden, Mike Kelley, Pat O’Neill, and Allen Ruppersberg. His ongoing research interests have included the institutions in which modern and contemporary artists have been trained and professionalized—the subject of his aforementioned book Art Subjects: Making Artists in the American University (1999), and a number of subsequent essays; painting in the 1960s; and the relationship of art and criticism in the 1980s. Essays on these topics have appeared in the past few years in the Oxford Art Journal, La Part de l’Oeil, X-tra, and as a chapter in Blackwell Companion to Contemporary Art since 1945 (2006).
His current book project is tentatively entitled Art History After Sherrie Levine, a wide-ranging examination of one of the signal artists of the past quarter century. The book is envisioned not as a traditional monograph but as a test of theory in relation to art practice that addresses various aspects of her work—repetition, the copy, genre and reproduction—through models of the relation of image or object and language provided by psychoanalysis, structuralism, aesthetic theory, critical historiography, and the social history of art. Portions of the text have appeared in October and Res.
Mr. Singerman regularly teaches large undergraduate lecture surveys on art since 1945 and the New York School, and has recently introduced an undergraduate course entitled Art Now, that begins in the 1980s. He has led undergraduate seminars on feminism and art history, postmodernism and photography, the professional education of artists, and other topics. His recent graduate seminars have included Jackson Pollock, the 1960s, and Painting and Theory. He also works closely with advanced students in studio art.
Singerman is an Associate Professor of Contemporary Art and Theory at The University of Virginia.