The History of Blackness in Art and Philosophical Thought

Robert Fludd’s black square representing the nothingness that was prior to the universe, from his Utriusque Cosmi(1617) — Wellcome Library Should we consider black a colour, the absence of colour, or a suspension of vision produced by a deprivation of light? Beginning with Robert Fludd’s attempt to picture nothingness, Eugene Thacker reflects* on some of the ways[…]

An Archival Trail: ‘Concrete Art’ in Argentina

Installation view of Making Art Concrete: Works from Argentina and Brazil in the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros at the Getty Center How magazines, flyers, and pamphlets tell the story of Concrete art in Argentina. By Dr. Zanna Gilbert / 02.05.2018 Art Historian and Curator Former Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral C-MAP Fellow, The Museum of Modern Art[…]

Art as Solace in Dark Times

By Dr. Ruchama Johnston-Bloom / 12.21.2016 Assistant Director of Academic Affairs CAPA The Global Education Network Around this time of year, I often find myself telling people about the mixture of holidays I grew up celebrating as a child. My back-to-the-land hippie parents, one Jewish, one not, both fairly atheist, kept what they liked from[…]

Aesthetics: The Role of Visual Expression in African Art

Pair of Diviner’s Figures, Côte d’Ivoire, central Côte d’Ivoire, Baule peoples, wood, pigment, beads and iron, 55.4 x 10.2 x 10.5 cm (The Metropolitan Museum of Art) By Dr. Christa Clarke / 10.09.2016 Senior Curator, Art of Africa and the Americas Newark Museum The Role of Visual Expression in Africa Because many tradition-based African artifacts serve a[…]

Art in the Asylum: The Adamson Collection at Wellcome Library

‘The Escape’, artist unknown. Image credit: Adamson Collection / Wellcome Library By Solomon Szekir-Papasavva / 06.13.2017 Engagement Officer (Art & Health) Wellcome Library What is the value of art created in the asylum, and who has the right to decide how it’s used? These are some of the questions raised by the Adamson Collection – 5,500 paintings,[…]

A Brief Introduction to Contemporary Art

Girl Looking at: Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup Cans, 1962, synthetic polymer on 32 canvases each 20 x 16″ (The Museum of Modern Art) (photo: Steven Zucker) By Dr. Virginia B. Spivey / 08.09.2015 Art Historian “Getting” Contemporary Art It’s ironic that many people say they don’t “get” contemporary art because, unlike Egyptian tomb painting or Greek sculpture, art[…]

What is Art?

Figure 1.1 | Blind Homer with Guide, by William-Adolphe Bouguereau / Milwaukee Art Museum, Wikimedia Commons    By Dr. Pamela J. Sachant and Jeffrey A. LeMieux Sachant: Professor of Visual Arts, University of North Georgia LeMieux: Professor of Art, University of Madison-Wisconsin Introduction We live in a rapidly changing world in which images play an important,[…]

Harvard Professor’s PULSUS – Sound as Art

The installation outside Gund Hall responds to real-time data, ranging from emojis used on social media to police radio dispatches. By Travis Dagenais / 12.06.2017 Photos by Justin Knight GSD professor’s sculpture translates real-time data into soundscapes As visitors to the Graduate School of Design’s (GSD) Gund Hall approach the puzzling blanket of concrete installed[…]

Time and Place: Eric Ravilious (1903-1942)

Wilmington Giant (1939) by Eric Ravilious / The Mainstone Press Eric Ravilious died when his aircraft went missing off Iceland while he was making war paintings. An artist in multiple disciplines, his greater legacy dwells in water-colours. Frank Delaney re-visits the work of this understated, yet significant figure. By Frank Delaney / 11.27.2013 Former Writer and Broadcaster[…]

Artist Zeke Peña on Illustrating the Life of Photographer Graciela Iturbide

Photographer Graciela Iturbide Artist and illustrator Zeke Peña talks about making comic books and bringing photographer Graciela Iturbide’s work to life in a new graphic biography. By Sarah Waldorf / 11.21.2017 Media Producer Getty Web Group The new book Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide, Getty Publications’ first graphic biography, tells the story of Mexican photographer Graciela[…]

The Art of Photographing Architecture with Chris Edwards

Chris Edwards photographs the interior of the Berlin Philharmonic, 2017. Photos: Emily Pugh Why photographing buildings is very different from photographing people By Marissa Clifford / 11.22.2017 Research Assistant, Digital Art History Group Getty Research Institute Chris Edwards is good with people but hates photographing them. Instead, he shoots buildings. For nearly a decade, he[…]

It’s Not Easy to Make Landscape a Place: You Have to Feel It

View over Buttermere in Wordsworth’s favoured Lake District, England. Paul Albertella/Flickr By Dr. Fiona Stafford / 11.07.2016 Professor of English Language and Literature University of Oxford There is a big difference between ‘place’ and ‘landscape’, even though the words are often used interchangeably. The original meaning of ‘landscape’ came from 17th-century artistic discourse. It referred to[…]

The Science of Life as Art and Dissent

By Christopher Martiniano / 06.16.2017 PhD Candidate in English and Art History University of Indiana, Bloomington “For some time now,” Friedrich Nietzsche opened Will To Power, “our whole European culture has been moving with a tortured tension that is growing.”  Nietzsche worried that it had been moving “toward a catastrophe: relentlessly, violently, headlong, like a river[…]

‘Topographic Memory’ and Landscape Photography

Bruce Lindsey, “Paradise Valley, MT. July 28, 2013.” Lindsey explores the inherent tensions of landscape photography. By Liam Otten / 09.27.2017 Senior News Director, Arts and Humanities Washington University in St. Louis Storm clouds gather above Rocky Mountain peaks, summer rains sweeping amber fields below. Skeletal trees overlook muddy flood waters, bark shining silver in[…]

Introduction to Dada

Marcel Duchamp, Fountain (original), photographed by Alfred Stieglitz in 1917 after its rejection by the Society of Independent Artists By Dr. Stephanie Chadwick / 09.04.2017 Assistant Professor of Art History Lamar University Art as provocation When you look at Marcel Duchamp’s  Fountain, a factory-produced urinal he submitted as a sculpture to the 1917 exhibition of the Society of Independent[…]

How Subversive Artists Made Thrift Shopping Cool

Customers shop during at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Out of the Closet thrift store in Columbus, Ohio. Jay LaPrete/AP By Dr. Jennifer Le Zotte / 08.15.2017 Assistant Professor of Material Culture and History University of North Carolina Wilmington National Thrift Shop Day (August 17) exists alongside other quirky holidays like Play Your Ukulele Day (February 2)[…]

Chris Killip as Photographer and Teacher

Angelic Upstarts at a Miners’ Benefit Dance at the Barbary Coast Club, Sunderland, Wearside (detail), 1984, Chris Killip. Gelatin silver print. The J. Paul Getty Museum, purchased in part with funds provided by Alison Bryan Crowell, Trish and Jan de Bont, Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser, Manfred Heiting, Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck, and Lyle and[…]

West African Ashanti Kente Cloth Art

Asante kente cloth, 20th century, silk and cotton (Vatican Museums) By Dr. Courtnay Micots / 07.17.2017 Assistant Professor of Art History Florida A&M University Inspired by a spider’s web Among the Asante (or Ashanti) people of Ghana, West Africa, a popular legend relates how two young men—Ota Karaban and his friend Kwaku Ameyaw—learned the art[…]

Three Buildings, Two Architects, Common Spaces

Installation view of Berlin/LA: Space for Music at the Getty Research Institute. Photo: John Kiffe An architect finds commonalities in spaces for music in Berlin and LA—both highbrow and low. By Peter Greuneisen / 07.11.2017 Founder nonzero\architecture, studio bau:ton There are surprising parallels between the sister cities of Berlin and Los Angeles, as is convincingly shown in[…]

Leonardo, Rapunzel, and the Mathematics of Hair

Lecture by Dr. Raymond E. Goldstein at the Museum of London / 11.09.2016 Schlumberger Professor of Complex Physical Systems University of Cambridge Introduction How do physicists and mathematicians think about hair?  Everyone, especially those with their own hair, has surely been fascinated since their youth with the magical properties of bundles of hair: its “body”[…]

Joseph Cornell’s Mail Art

Card collaged by Joseph Cornell, enclosed with his letter to Susanna De Maria Wilson dated February 17, 1963. The Getty Research Institute, 2014.M.30 A look inside newly catalogued letters and collages by the American pioneer of collage and assemblage art. By Isabella Zuralski-Yeager / 06.27.2017 Special Collections Cataloger Getty Research Institute Joseph Cornell (1903–1972) is[…]