Art in Focus
We are thrilled to launch a new member lecture series this July, Art in Focus: Curators on Laguna Gloria Sculpture!
In celebration of the museum’s anticipated reopening of the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria this summer, The Contemporary Austin is pleased to offer a virtual lecture series for members that focuses on several sculptures currently on view. Led by Chief Curator, Heather Pesanti, and Assistant Curator, Robin K. Williams, the series will take place on Zoom and includes group discussions, breakout sessions, and an optional interactive exercise. Optional reading and media resources will be provided.
Dates: Thursdays, July 16, 23, 30, and August 6
Time: 3:00-4:30 pm
Cost: $200 for four-class session
Registration is available to current members of The Contemporary Austin. Please have your membership ID number ready.
If you're not yet a member, join today to register for the series!
Art in Focus: Curators on Laguna Gloria Sculpture
Thursday, July 16
The first class in this series will provide a brief history of Laguna Gloria and The Contemporary Austin’s Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park, in addition to highlighting three sculptures that are site-specific, site-responsive, or sited in relationship to the landscape by artists Nancy Holt, Jessica Stockholder, and Carol Bove.
IMAGE: Nancy Holt, Time Span, Laguna Gloria, Austin, Texas, 1981. Concrete, stucco, and steel. 90 x 600 x 132 inches. Art © Holt-Smithson Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Courtesy the Holt-Smithson Foundation. The Contemporary Austin – Laguna Gloria (formerly the Laguna Gloria Art Museum), Seven Sculptors Commission, 1981. Photograph by Brian Fitzsimmons, 2014.
Thursday, July 23
Lost & Found
The second class will address conceptual practices and humor in contemporary art, including critiques of the art world and art’s commodification, highlighting three works, each making specific reference to something missing or discovered, by artists SUPERFLEX, Ryan Gander, and Hubbard / Birchler.
IMAGE: Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler, Missing Truffaut, 2014. Wooden pole, electric light, laser print on paper, and voice mail. 25 x 4 x 2 feet. Collection of The Contemporary Austin. Gift of Jeanne and Mickey Klein in honor of The Contemporary Austin and the Waller Creek Conservancy, 2016.2. Installation view, The Contemporary Austin - Laguna Gloria, Austin, Texas, 2016. Artwork and image © the artist.
Thursday, July 30
From the Center
The third class will address issues pertaining to cultural heritage, identity, and political activism in contemporary art, linking international and local interests through focused discussions of works by artists Wangechi Mutu, Ai Weiwei, and Nicole Eisenman.
IMAGE: Wangechi Mutu, Water Woman, 2017. Bronze. 36 x 65 x 70 inches. Edition 2 of 3, with 2 AP. Collection of The Contemporary Austin. Purchased with funds provided by the Edward and Betty Marcus Foundation, 2017.5. Installation view, The Contemporary Austin – Laguna Gloria, Austin, Texas, 2017. Artwork © Wangechi Mutu. Image courtesy The Contemporary Austin. Photograph by Brian Fitzsimmons.
Thursday, August 6
The fourth class will address figurative sculptures that suggest narratives and invite storytelling, featuring works by Terry Allen, Tom Friedman, Paul McCarthy, Wangechi Mutu, and Juan Muñoz. As the final meeting, this session will also incorporate collaborative group presentations around a Surrealist-inspired activity we call “Exquisite Stories,” as well as a celebration.
IMAGE: Paul McCarthy, White Snow #3, 2012. Bronze. 98 x 77 x 74 inches. Edition 3 of 3, with 2 AP. Collection of The Contemporary Austin. Purchased with funds provided by the Edward and Betty Marcus Foundation, 2017.1. Installation view, The Contemporary Austin – Laguna Gloria, Austin, Texas, 2014. Artwork © Paul McCarthy. Image courtesy The Contemporary Austin. Photograph by Brian Fitzsimmons.
ABOUT HEATHER PESANTI
Heather Pesanti joined The Contemporary Austin in 2013, and was named Chief Curator & Director of Curatorial Affairs in 2018. At The Contemporary, she has organized monographic exhibitions and outdoor commissions of work by John Bock, Carol Bove, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Anya Gallaccio, Nicole Eisenman, Lionel Maunz, Rodney McMillian, Wangechi Mutu, Monika Sosnowska, Robert Therrien, and Marianne Vitale, as well as the thematic exhibitions Strange Pilgrims and The Sorcerer’s Burden: Contemporary Art and the Anthropological Turn. Forthcoming projects include Deborah Roberts: I'm and Torbjørn Rødland: Bible Eye, opening in 2021. From 2008 to 2013, Pesanti was Curator of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, and, prior to that, the assistant curator of Life on Mars, the 2008 Carnegie International, at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pesanti received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania, MSc in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Oxford, England, and MA in Art History from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. She is working on forthcoming catalogues at the museum for Nicole Eisenman and Deborah Roberts.
ABOUT ROBIN WILLIAMS
Robin K. Williams is Assistant Curator at The Contemporary Austin. Previously, she held curatorial positions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, where she curated Danielle Dean: True Red Ruin (2018) and co-curated the thematic group exhibition Sonic Rebellion: Music as Resistance (2017), as well as at the Blanton Museum of Art and Visual Arts Center in Austin. Her writing has appeared in international publications including Stedelijk Studies and Sin Objeto, several exhibition catalogs, including The Contemporary Austin’s Strange Pilgrims (2015), and in Pastelegram, Glasstire, and Arts + Culture Texas. She has taught art history at Texas State University and The University of Texas at Austin, where she is completing her PhD. Her dissertation on Joan Jonas addresses issues of performance in contemporary art.