“Picasso’s ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’ As a Surrealist Sociopolitical Theater”

I presented a paper during the annual ISSS conference (International Society for the Study of Surrealism, November 9-11, 2023 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston) about additional possibilities for interpreting details in Les Demoiselles d’Avignon that are generally tied to Picasso’s appropriation of African masks. 

Laid Line Drawings in "Currents" at Basket Books & Art, Houston

Laid Line Drawings in "Currents" at Basket Books & Art, Houston
Owner-curators Edwin Smalling and Laura Hughes, at Basket Books & Art in Houston, included four Laid Line Drawings in the "Currents" group exhibition (July 29 – September 2, 2023). The solid lines in these drawings trace the creases in Fabriano paper; broken lines also reveal the thicknesses of that paper. The images above are details of the four selected drawings from the series.

Watercolors featured on Paul Carey-Kent's IG feed

Watercolors featured on Paul Carey-Kent's IG feed
Once upon a time, I met curator Paul Carey-Kent at a Richard Tuttle opening in London. Years later, when I was in London again, we visited galleries together. And years after that – summer 2023 – he asked to feature my "Pixellages" on his Instagram feed. Grateful for the chance to put these watercolors into words, and for the chance to talk with Paul again (about them and much else) on Zoom.

Drawing featured in "100 Days 100 Women" blog

Drawing featured in "100 Days 100 Women" blog
About five years ago, this drawing was posted on Henry Martin's blog #100Days100Women, which he generously created alongside the publication of his fascinating biography, Agnes Martin: Pioneer, Painter, Icon. (Martin and Martin are not related, except in the sense that Henry was very interested in Agnes, as was I, so we met on the research trail in Taos.)

Presentation on early Picasso, 2 June 2023 in New York City

Presentation on early Picasso, 2 June 2023 in New York City
I delivered a paper, “Subliminal Sexual Positioning: Picasso’s Placements of Texts, Before the Demoiselles,” at the 2023 annual conference of the Society for Textual Scholarship, which took place at The New School in Manhattan. This year’s conference theme was “Design and Text” and my panel was called "Making Texts Visible" (see full conference program [here]).

"Consideration As an Antidote to Critique" discussed in Iceland

"Consideration As an Antidote to Critique" discussed in Iceland
A nice surprise!  My essay “Consideration As an Antidote to Critique” was chosen by Jóhannes Dagson, a philosopher and a visual artist, for discussion at Nýló (the Living Art Museum) in Reykjavik on March 2, 2023. The moderator was Anna Líndal, who also edited the “Contagion” issue of VIS: Nordic Journal of Artistic Research in which I published an exposition reflecting on drawings I made during pandemic lockdowns. The “Consideration” essay started as a CAA presentation in 2013 (for the panel “Critiquing Criticality”) and was published in the anthology Beyond Critique: Contemporary Art in Theory, Practice, and Instruction (ed. Pamela Fraser and Roger Rothman, Bloomsbury 2017).

Open Studios at the Core program, in Houston -- April 8, 2023

On Saturday, April 8, 2023, 3-5 p.m., the Core program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston held an Open Studios event.

"Made Strange" at Core exhibition, March-April 2023

"Made Strange" at Core exhibition, March-April 2023
“Contact Personalities” was a group show that was part of the annual MFAH Core exhibition, running March 8 through April 14, 2023 in the Orton Gallery on the third floor of the Glassell School of Art at the MFAH. It was curated by my critical studies colleague, Valentin Diaconov, and reflected on various aspects of the “alien” and alienation. I painted a pedestal (using the materials and methods of gallery painting) to defamiliarize viewers’ spatial experience of the pedestal.

Visiting Artist-Critic at MICA, February 2023

On February 21, 2023, I spent an inspiring day with MFA students at the Leroy E. Hoffberger School of Painting, at Maryland Institute College of Art. Individual and group discussions about their work were probing, generous, and thorough. Many thanks to Director Joan Waltemath for inviting me, and especially for requesting an artist’s talk that included art, writing, and how they intertwine.

Moderated panel on Hebrew letters in visual art

On May 19, 2022, I moderated the online "Artist Panel: Working with Hebrew and Yiddish Type" for the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. The panelists -- Lynne Avadenka (MI), Gabriella Boros (IL), Noam Sienna (MI), and Shani Avni (NY) -- use various media including drawing, printing, and calligraphy, and I opened the event with some conceptual and historical frameworks. The panel was curated by Robyn Awend (MN) who also uses Hebrew letters in her artwork; she has been an artist in residence at MCBA, especially using their wooden Hebrew type.