Guest lectures

Suzanne Hudson: The Wave
more about Suzanne Hudson
Suzanne Hudson is Associate Professor of Art History and Fine Arts at the University of Southern California. She is the author of Robert Ryman: Used Paint (MIT Press, 2009; 2011), Agnes Martin: Night Sea (Afterall/MIT Press, 2017; 2020), Mary Weatherford (Lund Humphries, 2019), and the co-editor of Contemporary Art: 1989 – Present (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013). Contemporary Painting is forthcoming in 2021 from Thames & Hudson, in the World of Art series.

Supported by a New Directions Fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, she is pursuing research into the practical applications of artmaking for her book, Better for the Making: Art, Therapy, Process, a study of the therapeutic origins of process within American modernism.

More about Suzanne Hudson:

Jonathan Katz: The Sexuality of a Hard-Edge: Abstraction in Coenties Slip
more about Jonathan Katz

Jonathan D. Katz is an art historian, curator and queer activist. Now Associate Professor of Practice in Art History and Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Katz is a pioneering figure in the development of queer art history, and author of a number of books and articles.

He has curated many exhibitions, nationally and internationally, including About Face: Stonewall, Revolt and New Queer Art at Wrightwood 659, Chicago; Art AIDS America at 6 museums across the country; and Hide/Seek. Katz co-founded the Queer Caucus for Art, Queer Nation in San Francisco, The Harvey Milk Institute, then the largest queer studies institute in the world, and is President Emeritus of The Leslie Lohman Museum for Queer Art in New York.

Participant lectures

Stefan Haas: Competition versus Tolerance in New York City. Different Behavioral Patterns among the Artists of the Abstract Expressionism and the Artists at the Coenties Slip
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Although the group of artists living at the Coenties Slip was quite diverse in gender, age, artistic articulation and performance, they maintained close relationships and inspired each other with new ideas. As a consequence, they progressed in their artistic competence. This basis enabled the artists to further enhance their careers at different places once they left the Coenties Slip in the 1960s partially due to demolition of the buildings. To the contrary, the artists of the Abstract Expressionism, living and working in no far distance from the Coenties Slip, were less supportive to each other. This surprises at first sight, since the group met regularly in the Cedar Bar and other places. However, these social places merely covered the competitive situation of the New York School. Especially in the mid 1950s when interest of collectors and prices began to rise, the artists were only interested in their own careers. Most suffering were female artists of the New York School, like Lee Krasner, Grace Hartigan and Helen Frankenthaler, who all participated in significant exhibitions and were now mainly ignored by the male artists and in the 1960s not even mentioned in art books. What are the possible reasons for this very different situation? Why were female artists discriminated by the male artists of the New York School whereas not far away at the Coenties Slip the artists lived as a lose group supporting each other?
Paulina Menke: The Gallerist Betty Parsons, her Tactics and her Function as a Career Stepping Stone for the Artists in the Coenties Slip
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After World War II, New York became the center of the international art world. When Betty Parsons opened her gallery in 1947, she built on the legacy that Peggy Guggenheim left her: especially Jackson Pollock, but also other avant-garde artists as Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman, known as abstract expressionists. Betty Parsons was rather interested in building an artistic career, than selling the works of an established artist. That is why – among other artists – Pollock, Newman, Rothko and Still left Parsons for bigger galleries because she declined their proposal to only concentrate on them and their career and to neglect other artists. In the late 50s, Parsons had to keep up with the increasing number of galleries and was looking for new talents. Agnes Martin came to New York in late fall 1957. She stayed with Betty Parsons for a few weeks, who already represented other Coenties Slip artists, for example Ellsworth Kelly and Jack Youngerman. Parsons also helped Agnes Martin to socialize by taking her to studios in the Coenties Slip and in 1958, Parsons presented the first solo exhibition of Agnes Martins works. The gallery owner advertised the «artistic discovery», ignoring the fact that Martin already had exhibited some of her works in New Mexico. Nontheless, it was Parsons who created unprecedented publicity and helped Agnes Martin to enter the art market. The work with Agnes Martin is just one example for the influence of gallerists. It is necessary to investigate the relationship between the artists and the gallerist Betty Parsons, how she influenced the work of the artists in the Coenties Slip and which methods she used to sell the works.

Works cited:
Bystryn, Marcia, Art Galleries as Gatekeppers. The Case of the Abstract Expressionists, in: Social Research, 45.1978, S. 390–408.
Martin, Henry, Agnes Martin. Pioneer, Painter, Icon, Chicago 2018.
Rosenberger, Christina Bryan, Drawing the Line. The Early Work of Agnes Martin, Oakland 2016.

Frances Lazare: A Vanguard of Friends: Painters and Poets in Collaboration at the Tiber Press
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This talk surveys the history of the Tiber Press – a small, New York City – based printing press launched in 1953 by poet Daisy Aldan and her husband Richard Miller with his lover, Italian print-maker Floriano Vecchi. The press, which specialized in serigraphy, became a vibrant hub of collaboration for a generation of artists and writers in New York in the early 1950s, printing the work of emerging poets Frank O’Hara, Barbara Guest, and John Ashbery, alongside painters Joan Mitchell, Grace Hartigan, and Jane Frielicher in a series of co-authored magazines and artist’s books. This talk considers how the printmaking processes these collaborative volumes index re-define the role of the artist and concretize a sociological author function germane to the environment of their production.