Jed Perl – Re-imagining Representation
Jed Perl’s keynote speech abstract:
On the Challenges of the Real and the Ideal
Representational art can no longer be taken for granted. In the wake of the avant-garde century-and the challenges of modernism and postmodernism-the artist’s relationship with reality is by its very nature problematical. So any painter or sculptor who wants to work from reality must begin by reimagining representation. This is the great struggle that confronts representational painters and sculptors in the 21st century. They need to reconsider each and every aspect of artistic experience, from the fundamentals of studio practice to their attitudes toward the art of the past. When such a process is embraced wholeheartedly, it is metaphysical as well as empirical, as much a yearning for the ideal as a celebration of the real.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Jed Perl is the art critic for The New Republic. Among his many books are Antoine’s Alphabet: Watteau and His World, Eyewitness: Reports from an Art World in Crisis, and New Art City: Manhattan at Mid-Century, which was a 2005 New York Times Notable Book and a 2005 Atlantic Monthly Best Book of the Year; a new essay collection, Magicians and Charlatans, will appear in Fall 2012. Mr. Perl is currently working on the first full-length biography of Alexander Calder, to be published by Knopf.
Mr. Perl is the recipient of awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy in Rome, the Leon Levy Biography Center at the City University of New York, and the Ingram-Merrill Foundation. He has been a Contributing Editor at Vogue, and has written for The New York Times Book Review, Harper’s, The Atlantic, The New Criterion, The Threepenny Review, The Yale Review, Salmagundi, and many other publications. He has appeared on Charlie Rose, the McNeil Lehrer News Hour, CNN, as well as National Public Radio; and has been a Slade Lecturer at Oxford University, and spoken at the Phillips Collection, National Gallery of Art, Kennedy School at Harvard University, Kansas City Art Institute, Stanford University, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Kimbell Art Museum, and many other places. He is currently a Visiting Professor of Liberal Studies at The New School in New York.
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