Episode No. 262 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast spotlights two exhibitions that look at two different educational models for artists in post-World War II America: The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s “The Uses of Photography: Art, Politics, and the Reinvention of a Medium,” and “Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College,” now at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio. The program features three guests: Jill Dawsey, the curator of the MCASD exhibition, Martha Rosler, whose work is included in that show, and Ruth Erickson, who assisted curator Helen Molesworth on “Leap Before You Look” and who wrote about Black Mountain’s educational program in the show’s catalogue.
“The Uses of Photography” examines artists affiliated with the University of California, San Diego as faculty and students between the 1960s and 1980s and the ways in which they opened photography to a range of conceptual strategies and subjects. It’s on view through January 2, 2017. The show demonstrates how artists such as David Antin, Eleanor Antin, Martha Rosler, Lorna Simpson, Phel Steinmetz, Carrie Mae Weems and Allan Kaprow introduced contemporary social issues, humor and fresh ideas into a new kind of photographic-centric artistic practices. The outstanding exhibition catalogue was published by MCASD in association with University of California Press. Amazon offers it for $45. Dawsey is a curator at MCASD. Rosler is a New York-based artist.
“Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College, 1933-1957” is at the Wexner through Jan. 1, 2017. The show looks at the legacy of Black Mountain, an experimental, inter-disciplinary and immensely influential liberal arts college in the mountains of western North Carolina. The school attracted faculty and students from all over the world at a time when World War II was forcing significant global emigration, and thus provided a place where questions of globalism and the role of the artist in society were considered and furthered. Erickson is a curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston. Amazon offers the catalogue for about $50.
Molesworth was previously on The MAN Podcast to discuss the exhibition.
Air date: November 10, 2016.