Contemporary Art 101: Summer 2021

Contemporary Art 101 is our members-only art history lecture series, taught by local experts, that offers a fun and eye-opening way to learn about the art of our time.

This session of Contemporary Art 101 will be led by Austin-based independent curator and writer Lise Ragbir.

Tuesdays: June 8, June 15, June 22, and June 29.
Contemporary Art 101: Texas State of Mind

The June 2021 session of Contemporary Art 101 examines contemporary artworks by African-American artists, with ties to Texas, who transform the art of storytelling into a visual language. Through an examination of “stories” that explore notions of identity, spirituality, and migration, this course provides an analysis of visual language, and a look at the role of storytelling in visual arts. Artists studied include Deborah Roberts, Diedrick Brackens, Adrian Armstrong, and Ariel René Jackson.

June 8: Deborah Roberts: Piecing together stories through collage

  • Reframing representation through modern and contemporary collage
  • Additional artists to be discussed: Romare Bearden, Ebony Patterson, Picasso

June 15: Diedrick Brackens: Weaving stories together

  • Constructing a narrative through textile art and the American quilt tradition
  • Additional artists to be discussed: Gees Bend, Bisa Butler, Faith Ringgold

June 22: Adrian Armstrong: Telling stories

  • Exploring race and gender through modern and contemporary portraiture
  • Additional artists to be discussed: Alice Neel, Charles White

June 29: Ariel René Jackson

  • Building identities through alter-egos in contemporary art
  • Additional artists to be discussed: Genevieve Gaignard, Cindy Sherman

Lise Ragbir is a curator and writer with over 20 years of cultural management experience. She most recently served as the director of the Art Galleries at Black Studies at the University of Texas where she organized exhibitions featuring artists such as Deborah Roberts, Dawoud Bey, Jacob Lawrence, María Magdalena Campos-Pons and Genevieve Gaignard. Her essays about race, identity, immigration and cultural representation have appeared in the Guardian, Time Magazine, USA Today and Hyperallergic, among other publications. She holds a BFA in Art History and Studio Art from Concordia University in Montreal and completed her graduate work in Museum Studies at Harvard University. She was born and raised on the traditional territory of the Kanien’kehà:ka, commonly known as Montreal, Canada, after her parents emigrated from the Caribbean island Iëre or Kairi, also known as Trinidad.