Call for Papers | Beyond the Singular Artist, RSA 2019, Toronto

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on July 25, 2018

There are, of course, lots of RSA sessions that include an end date of 1700 (a larger list of sessions is available here); Sarah Grandin, however, notes that she and her co-chair Victoria Addona would particularly welcome late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century proposals addressing artistic collaboration.

Beyond the Singular Artist: A Critical Assessment of Collaboration, ca. 1400–1700
The Renaissance Society of America
Sheraton Centre, Toronto, 17–19 March 2019

Proposals due by 5 August 2018

Sponsored by the American Academy in Rome — Society of Fellows

This panel takes collaboration as a widespread condition of artistic practice and as a necessary strategy in the face of large, complex, and ambitious projects that exceeded the physical and technical capacities of a single individual. Early modern art history has often cast contemporary artists as antagonists, recounting the friendly competition that stimulated artistic virtuosity, invention, and ‘progress’, alongside anecdotes about more violent and secretive enmities on shared work sites. In a break from this discourse, we seek to challenge notions of the autonomous artist by shifting our focus away from a discussion of independent genius and towards the reality of interdependent and collective practices. Understanding the exigencies of works that employed multiple hands also allows us to be critical of and sensitive to the limits of looking for unilateral artistic identity in the resultant work, when authorship is so often a plural affair. This is not to suggest that collaboration did not bring about its own challenges: issues of translation and coordination could lead all too easily to stalls in process or even visible fissures in the resultant work.

We welcome papers that do not merely describe instances of artists working together but that seek to engage critically with the concepts and practices of artistic collaboration. How was labor divided or delegated in collaborative projects? Did collaboration foster the development of artistic specialization or attract generalists? How do multiple hands manage to create artistic unity? How do we understand the split between design and technical execution, and, relatedly, the translation between media (i.e. from painting to print, from cartoons to tapestries)? Is the visible coordination of accomplished artists and diverse resources ever a desirable effect, as may perhaps be the case in multimedia works such as the retablo, the grotto, and ephemeral architecture? Are conventional discourses on artistic media such as the paragone still useful as we think about collaboration and its products, or do collaborative practices challenge the limits of theory?

Topics might address:
• collaboration between a diverse array of actors, from artists to architects, artisans, apprentices, printers, laborers, furnishers of tools and materials, patrons, foremen, and site managers
• strategies of transfer and translation across surfaces and scales that facilitate intermedial and transmedial projects
• papers that result from the collaborations of practitioners and researchers across specialties (i.e. restoration, conservation, and practicing artists) and disciplines (i.e. history of art and history of science)
• the aesthetic particularities of works of art that result from collaboration
• the development of a critical vocabulary of terms to assess artistic collaboration

Please submit proposals, which should include a paper title (15-word max), abstract (150-word max), and a brief CV (300-word max) to Victoria Addona (vaddona@fas.harvard.edu) and Sarah Grandin (sgrandin@fas.harvard.edu) no later than August 5, 2018.

Exhibition | On a Pedestal

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on July 25, 2018

Alessandro Galilei and Edward Lovett Pearce, Castletown House, Celbridge, County Kildare, ca. 1722–29, built for William Conolly, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons; extensive rennovations were made by Lady Louisa Conolly starting in 1759 (Photo: Wikimedia Commons).

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Now on view at Castletown:

On a Pedestal: Celebrating the Contemporary Portrait Bust
Castletown House, Celbridge, County Kildare, 1 July – 31 August 2018
Dublin Castle, 8 September — 4 November 2018

Curated by Mary Heffernan, Hélène Bremer, and Nuala Goodman

Inspired by the classical busts in Castletown’s Long Gallery, this exhibition brings together works from an international group of contemporary artists who explore the genre of the portrait bust in a variety of media: from wood to stone, from marble to ceramics, from stainless steel to more ephemeral materials such as sugar. Initiating a dialogue between past and present, classic and modern art, the diversity of materials and techniques used by the artists represented in the exhibition will inspire visitors this summer.

Among those included in the exhibition are Irish artists Ursula Burke, Janet Mullarney and Kevin Francis Gray. International artists include Sir Tony Cragg, Giulio Paolini, and Ah Xian. Curated by Mary Heffernan, General Manager Castletown House; Helene Bremer, Dutch art historian and curator; and Nuala Goodman, Milan-based Irish artist and curator.

Mary Heffernan, Hélène Bremer, and Nuala Goodman, eds., On a Pedestal: Celebrating the Contemporary Portrait Bust in the 21st Century (Dublin: Office of Public Works, 2018), 95 pages, ISBN: 978-1406429862.

Installation view of the exhibition On a Pedestal: Celebrating the Contemporary Portrait Bust at Castletown House.

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From Aidan Dunne’s article for The Irish Times (3 July 2018). . .

This year, observes Mary Heffernan, the general manager of Castletown House, is the 275th anniversary of the birth of “the great heroine of the story of Castletown,” Lady Louisa Connolly. On a Pedestal, an exhibition of portrait busts at Castletown, is intended as an homage to Louisa, and “the magical Long Gallery she created.”

Anne Valerie Dupond, ‘Lady Louisa Connolly’, 2018.

In 1743 Louisa was born into privileged circumstances: her father was the second Duke of Richmond, and her childhood was spent in great houses, including Richmond House in Whitehall, Goodwood House in Sussex and, after her parents died within a year of each other, Carton House in Co Kildare. She married Thomas Connolly of Castletown, the wealthiest man in Ireland, in 1758.

Inspired by the many houses she knew and loved, she set about making changes to Castletown, including a new cantilevered staircase, La Franchini plasterwork, the print room, diningroom and the Long Gallery. The gallery, which she referred to as her livingroom, housed her library with busts and murals of classical writers, philosophers, gods and goddesses, including the nine muses. Compare it to the collection in the Long Gallery in Trinity College Dublin, initiated in 1743, which historian Hélène Bremer describes as the most significant single influence on Louisa’s project .…

The full article is available here»

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Note (added 24 August 2018) — The original posting did not include details of the catalogue.

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