Vivian L. Smith Symposium: "Materiality and Postwar Art"

Photo by Hickey-Robertson

The Vivian L. Smith Symposium explores material connections between American abstraction and European figuration in the postwar period. Postwar art of the late 1940s and early 1950s is often spoken of in terms of differences — the rise of abstraction in America and the revival of figuration in Europe. However, this view overlooks the volumetric, textural, reflective and chromatic characteristics of postwar art, which reveal more surprising commonalities.

In this year's Vivian L. Smith Symposium, scholars, historians and conservators investigate these qualities and discuss their potential impact on contemporary understanding of the postwar period.

Symposium speakers include Katrina Bartlett-Rush, assistant paintings conservator at the Menil Collection; Kent Minturn, lecturer and director of MA in Modern Art, Critical and Curatorial Studies at Columbia University; Alexander Potts, Max Loehr Collegiate Professor in the Department of History of Art at the University of Michigan; Richard Shiff, Effie Marie Cain Regents Chair at the University of Texas at Austin; and Roja Najafi, Menil Collection 2013-2014 Vivian L. Smith Foundation Fellow, University of Texas, Austin.



The Menil Collection
1533 Sul Ross St.
Houston, TX 77006


Admission is free.
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