In Conversation with Susan Laxton

Susan Laxton specializes in the history and theory of photography, 20th century art, and critical theory. She also works as a CMP liaison to the art history department.

Fall Reception — Unruly Bodies

On Thursday, October 6, 6pm-8pm, UCR ARTSblock hosts its Fall Reception. This event is organized in conjunction with the City of Riverside’s First Thursdays ArtsWalk. Come check out the current exhibitions, including Unruly Bodies: Dismantling Larry Clark’s TulsaLaurie Brown: Earth EdgesRotation 2015: Recent Acquisitions; and Steve Rowell: Parallelograms at the California Museum of Photography, as well as Instilled Life: The Art of the Domestic Object at the Sweeney Art Gallery, and For the Record… Contemporary Videos from the Permanent Collection of the Sweeney Art Gallery in the Culver Center atrium. 

The reception is free and open to the public.

Between Paris and the ‘Third World’: Lea Lublin’s Long 1960s

Isabel Plante, PhD
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas,
Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Argentina

Lea Lublin resided for the most part in Paris from 1964 on, and by 1965 she started orienting her work toward establishing a methodology for reading images, based on different parameters of perception and participation related to the devices involved in their exhibition. Until 1972 she articulated a considerable portion of her projects between Paris, Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile. These networks of production and circulation were decisive in constructing the meaning of her works in terms of exploring the status of representation and culture. We propose a study that would restore the geopolitical density and translocal nature of her production of the long sixties.


Conrad Rudolph Awarded the CHASS Distinguished Research Lecturer Award

The College of Art, Humanities, and Social Sciences presents the 2015-2016 CHASS Distinguished Research Lecturer Award to Professor of Art History, Conrad Rudolph.

CRudolphDr. Rudolph is an art historian whose research focuses on the art of Medieval Europe, with special attention to the role of visual expression in the articulation of intellectual and theological concepts, and their dissemination into the broader culture. As a medievalist, Rudolph’s work is lauded not only for its historical rigor, but also for its conceptual daring and theoretical sophistication. Rudolph is known to be a scholar who fearlessly asks the big questions. He also possesses the rare gift of being able to make complex and historically distant imagery clear and compelling to a twenty-first century audiences.

His record of publication and scholarly activity (six books; countless articles and chapters, fellowships, and academic presentations) demonstrates a remarkably high and consistent level of production. Especially noteworthy, however, is his string of recent achievements: publication of an award winning book, his 626-page The Mystic Ark: Hugh of Saint Victor, Art, and Thought in the Twelfth Century, election as a fellow of the elite Medieval Academy of American, and perhaps most strikingly, his National Endowment for the Humanities-funded FACES (Faces, Art, and Computerized Evaluation Systems) project. This last project which mixes traditional humanistic scholarship with cutting edge digital facial recognition software to provide a new tool for identifying unknown sitters in artistic portraits. He is currently at work on a second and equally inventive project that uses spatial modeling technology to investigate the famous dome of the Florence Cathedral. Here, as in FACES, Rudolph enacts a rare and high-level integration of art history and the digital humanities.

Rudolph’s scholarship has had a profound effect on the study of medieval art and history at the highest levels. Yet, he has also committed himself to bringing this rigor and inventiveness to the classroom. Fueled by his passion and erudition as scholar, Rudolph is a demanding and inspiring teacher who has guided numerous UCR students into Medieval art.


Dismantling Larry Clark’s Tulsa

June 10, 2016-January 28, 2017

California Museum of Photography at UCR ARTSblock

EXHIBITION PREVIEW: 6-9pm, Thursday, June 9

The California Museum of Photography presents Unruly Bodies: Dismantling Larry Clark’s Tulsa, on view at the museum from June 10 through January 28, 2017, featuring works from the museum’s permanent collection. The exhibition is guest curated by graduate students from the Department of the History of Art and the Public History Program as advised by Susan Laxton, Assistant Professor of the History of Art at UCR. Unruly Bodies will be celebrated during a free public reception on Thursday, June 9, 6-9pm, and will be accompanied by public programming and a publication of student writing.

This exhibition is a historically informed reassessment of the artist Larry Clark’s controversial first book, Tulsa (1971), a set of 50 images depicting a tight circle of friends and drug addicts in Tulsa, Oklahoma, photographed over a span of nine years (1963-71) by one of their number, Clark himself. On first appearing, the exposé was hailed as “a devastating portrait of an American tragedy” and embraced as an artistic watershed of participant observer-oriented personal documentary. Yet in spite of its anthropological connotations, the story Tulsa tells is the product of a tightly constructed, nearly cinematic narrative of descent from teenage experimentation to a drug-fueled haze of chaos, violence, exploitation, and death — a “slippery slope” sequence that tells us what we already want to believe about the self-destructive countercultures of the 1960s. This exhibition seeks to recover some of the untold counter-stories that live in the interstices between these affectively charged images, by loosening them from Clark’s sequence and opening them to multiple interpretations that address Tulsa’s historical conditions of production and reception.

UCR ARTSblock is located at 3824 & 3834 Main Steet, Riverside, CA 92501, and encompasses three venues: the California Museum of Photography, Culver Center of the Arts, and Sweeney Art Gallery. ARTSBlock is open Tuesday-Saturday, noon-5pm. Admission is $3, and includes entry to all three venues. Galleries are open late and admission is free during First Thursday ArtWalks, which take place on the first Thursday of every month, 6-9pm.

Image: Larry Clark, Untitled, 1963 (detail), from the series “Tulsa,” 1963-71; Collection of the California Museum of Photography at UCR ARTSblock, 1983.0064.0005 © Larry Clark, Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York.



Jason Weems Awarded Fulbright Fellowship

UCR Anthropologist and Art Historian Awarded Fulbright Fellowships
Yolanda Moses will study new model of inclusiveness in Australia; Jason Weems will explore the intertwining of art and archaeology in the Americas
UCR Today
by on June 2, 2016

WeemsBig“Jason Weems, associate professor of art history, will pursue research at the Instituto Franklin of the Universidad de Alcala in Madrid, Spain, to develop an intellectual and historical framework for understanding American art through the lens of the Americas.

Weems, who joined the UC Riverside faculty in 2008, will spend the winter and spring quarters of 2016-17 conducting research and teaching at The University of Alcala’s Franklin Institute in a project that he hopes will foster a more globalized approach to American art history both at home and abroad. Research conducted in colonial archives and at various art museums also will support a book-length project, “Inventing the Americas: Art, Archaeology and the Modern Making of a Pre-Columbian Past.”

“While American art has traditionally been understood as the study of ‘art of the United States,’ recently efforts have begun to understand the deep entanglement of national art within a more expansive network of indigenous, cross-cultural and international exchange,” he explained. “One result of this shift has been the expansion of American art to encompass the many places and peoples, across both the Western hemisphere and the globe, which played formative roles in the synthesis of American artistic and representational practices. This more diversified appreciation is often referred to as the ‘arts of the Americas.’”

Refocusing American art scholarship away from narratives of European colonial domination toward a more balanced approach to the Americas offers new and better opportunities to understand the rich cultural networks that shape the history and future of the hemisphere and the place of artistic expression within it, Weems said.”

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