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Art Lecture Series

Fall 2017

Poster imageDr. Olivia Gruber Florek “Empress Elisabeth and the Painting of Modern Life”

Monday, October 2, 4-5 p.m., Marple Campus, Small Auditorium

Empress Elisabeth of Austria (1837-1898) was one of the most famously beautiful and athletic women of the nineteenth century, yet today, her imagery is relegated to the margins of Art History because of its association with the archaic genre of aristocratic portraiture. Such prejudice overlooks the influence of Elisabeth’s portraiture on contemporary ideals of celebrity, beauty, and even modernist painting. This talk examines visual and contextual links between Elisabeth’s most celebrated representations and the emerging visual culture of celebrity and modernism in 1860s Paris. Dr. Olivia Gruber Florek is an Assistant Professor of Art History, Delaware County Community College.

Dominique Duroseau: Experience Without Disdain

Wednesday, March 21, 2018, 4 p.m., Large Auditorium

Experience Without Disdain considers how fear of black bodies shapes their representation within contemporary visual culture. Employing photographic portraiture as a system of documentation, Duroseau examines how American culture categorizes certain skin tones as more dangerous, and subsequently more suspicious, less hirable, and more likely to encounter harassment. Displayed alongside Duroseau’s works of sculpture, graphic design, texts, and animations, this material constructs a narrative in which Black subjects reclaim agency typically denied to them. Duroseau is especially concerned with questions of language, mannerisms, social issues, and injustice, themes that link the exhibition to College's 2017-18 College-Wide Reading book, Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson. Stevenson's memoir explores the brokenness of the criminal justice system through the author's first-hand account of defending vulnerable death-row inmates in Alabama. Experience Without Disdain creates new dialogues around these issues through Duroseau's multilayered references to both historical and contemporary representations of black bodies.

Dominique Duroseau is a Newark-based artist born in Chicago, raised in Haiti. Her interdisciplinary practice explores themes of racism, socio-cultural issues, and existential dehumanization. Her exhibitions, performances, and screenings include SATELLITE ART and PULSE Play in Miami; The Brooklyn Museum, El Museo del Barrio, A.I.R. Gallery, BronxArtSpace, Rush Arts Gallery and Smack Mellon in New York City; Index Arts, Project for Empty Space, and Gallery Aferro in Newark, NJ. She is currently a fellow at A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn and has received artist residencies from Gallery Aferro and Index Art Center. Duroseau holds an Associate Degree in Architecture from Essex County Community College, a Bachelor’s in Architecture from the New Jersey School of Architecture, and a Master of Arts in Fine Arts from Kean University.

Artist’s Website: www.dominiqueduroseau.com.

Amy E. Herman: “Visual Intelligence and Just Mercy”

Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 9:35 a.m., Large Auditorium

This talk relates the concepts and strategies of Herman’s best-selling Visual Intelligence to the 2017-18 College-wide Reading text, Just Mercy. Amy E. Herman is the founder and president of The Art of Perception, Inc., a New York-based organization that conducts professional development courses to leaders around the world including at the FBI, CIA, Scotland Yard, and the Peace Corps. Herman was also the Director of Educational Development at Thirteen/WNET, the educational public television station serving New York and New Jersey, and the Head of Education at The Frick Collection for over ten years, where she oversaw all of the Collection's educational collaborations and community initiatives. 

Odili Donald Odita, Artist Talk

Wednesday, December 6, 4-5 p.m. Marple Campus, Large Auditorium

Accomplished Painter and educator Odili Donal Odita will discuss his expansive body and take questions from the audience. Odili Donald Odita is an abstract painter whose work explores color both in the figurative historical context and in the sociopolitical sense. Odita has said, “Color in itself has the possibility of mirroring the complexity of the world as much as it has the potential for being distinct. The organization and patterning in the paintings are of my own design. I continue to explore in the paintings a metaphoric ability to address the human condition through pattern, structure and design, as well as for its possibility to trigger memory. The colors I use are personal: they reflect the collection of visions from my travels locally and globally. This is also one of the hardest aspects of my work as I try to derive the colors intuitively, hand-mixing and coordinating them along the way. In my process, I cannot make a color twice – it can only appear to be the same. This aspect is important to me as it highlights the specificity of differences that exist in the world of people and things.” Odita goes on to express his desire to speak positively about Africa and its rich culture through his work.   

In recent years, Odita has been commissioned to paint several large-scale wall installations including The United States Mission to the United Nations in New York (2011), the Savannah College of Art and Design (2012), New York Presbyterian Hospital (2012), New Orleans Museum of Art (2011), Kiasma, Helsinki (2011) and the George C. Young Federal Building and Courthouse in Orlando, Florida (2013). Odita has had several solo exhibitions in museums and institutions across the globe including Savannah College of Art and Design; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Studio Museum in Harlem; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita; and Princeton University.   

Odita was born in 1966 in Enugu, Nigeria and lives and works in Philadelphia. He has been the recipient of a Penny McCall Foundation Grant in 1994, a Joan Mitchell Foundation grant in 2001, and a Louis Comfort Tiffany Grant in 2007. Also in 2007, his large installation Give Me Shelterwas featured prominently in the 52nd Venice Biennale exhibition Think With The Senses, Feel With the Mind, curated by Robert Storr.   

He has been represented at The Jack Shainman Gallery since 2006. Solo exhibitions at the gallery include Velocity of Change (2016), Body & Space (2010), Fusion Artist’s Website: www.odilidonaldodita.com.