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How to Circle a Square: The Discovery of the Organic Line

Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften
Ort, Treffpunkt (1)
Ort, Adresse (1)
Augasse 2–6
Ort, PLZ und/oder Ort (1)
1090 Wien
Ort, Raum (1)
H 4.39

Lecture by Irene V. Small (Princeton University)

This talk explores Lygia Clark's concept of the "organic line"—a line of space that the Brazilian artist observed between a painting and frame—through close analysis of her 1954 painting Discovery of the Organic Line . This painting mobilizes narration in order to enact a process of discovery in the real time of the viewer’s observation, throwing into relief the tension between metaphor and materiality at the core of the modernist rupture with representational art. Clark further inscribed this discovery within a distinctly feminine principle of passage , suggesting a speculative model that privileges generation and gestation rather than the patrilineal drive for origins that has long structured the history of art.

Bio: Irene V. Small is Associate Professor of Art & Archaeology and current Behrman Faculty Fellow at Princeton University, where she teaches modern and contemporary art and criticism with a transnational focus. Her areas of specialization include experimental practices of the 1960s and ’70s, abstraction, and art and theory in Latin America, particularly Brazil. Her 2016 book, Hélio Oiticica: Folding the Frame (University of Chicago Press) examines the practice of the Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica and the emergence of a participatory art paradigm in the mid-1960s. Her scholarly essays have considered such topics as the historiography of the avant-garde movement Neoconcretism; pigment and post-painterly practice; concepts of medium specificity (or aspecificity) and autopoietic form; social sculpture in the wake of the “expanded field,” the political potential of structures of mimicry and differentiation; and formal analogues between techniques of radical pedagogy and expanded cinema in the 1970s. Small also writes about contemporary art and co-organized in 2013 the exhibition Blind Field , at the Krannert Art Museum and Eli and Edyth Broad Museum. At Princeton, she is member of the executive committees of the Program in Media and Modernity, the Gauss Seminars in Criticism, and the Program in Latin American Studies.