American Classics

Charles Ray, Mountain Lion Attacking a Dog

Thursday, May 18–Sunday, July 2, 2017

AAR Lecture Room and Gallery
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
Charles Ray, Mountain Lion Attacking a Dog

In the second of two public lectures, Charles Ray continues his discussion of his work. Immediately following the lecture, the opening of the exhibition, Charles Ray, Mountain Lion Attacking a Dog, will take place in the AAR Gallery.

In the spirit of Mark Twain’s The Innocents Abroad (1869), in which America’s mythologies about itself are brought into relief in a direct encounter with Europe, the American Academy in Rome has invited Ray to develop a new work exploring the theme of “American Classics.” This work will have its debut as part of a two-day program featuring Ray, one of the most celebrated contemporary artists working in the United States, interrogating the enduring currency in the contemporary world of cultural practices inherited from antiquity.

In Mountain Lion Attacking a Dog, Ray plays with the conventions that have defined the canons of classical sculpture. In this case, he revisits the famous Hellenistic sculptural group Lion Attacking a Horse (Greek, 325–300 BC; restored in Rome in 1594) from the Capitoline Museums, converting the naturalistic scene of primal violence, among the most storied works of art to survive from antiquity, into a typically American vernacular. In Ray’s hands, the animal group in the Capitoline, an icon of Rome much admired by Michelangelo Buonarroti, is transposed to an American wilderness increasingly encroached upon and compromised by urban sprawl. For many years, Ray has hiked in the Santa Monica Mountains, a coastal range in Southern California bound by major traffic arteries and some of the most densely settled areas of the United States. The mountains host a variety of wildlife, including a dwindling population of Mountain lions, a vestige of the storied American frontier, struggling to survive in a habitat too isolated and too small to sustain it.

Ray is the Deenie Yudell Artist in Residence at the American Academy in Rome in the spring of 2017.

In two public lectures preceding the opening of the exhibition, Ray will discuss his approach to sculpture exploring American myths informed by his close looking at the art of the past. The lectures will be held in English.

May 17, 2017

6:00pm – Lecture by Charles Ray
Contemporary Sculpture from the Past
Villa Aurelia, Porta San Pancrazio, 1

May 18, 2017

6:00pm – Lecture by Charles Ray
The Work of Charles Ray
AAR Lecture Room

6:30–9:00pm – Exhibition opening
Charles Ray, Mountain Lion Attacking a Dog
AAR Gallery

The exhibition is curated by Peter Benson Miller, Andrew Heiskell Arts Director at the American Academy in Rome.

Exhibition opening hours: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 4:00 to 7:00pm until July 2, 2017.

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: American Classics. The lectures and exhibition are made possible by the Syde Hurdus Foundation.

Charles Ray – Contemporary Sculpture from the Past

Wednesday, May 17, 2017–6:00 PM
Villa Aurelia
Largo di Porta S. Pancrazio, 1
Rome, Italy
Charles Ray - Contemporary Sculpture from the Past

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: American Classics.

In two public lectures preceding the opening of the exhibition of his new work (one on May 17 and another on May 18, immediately preceding the exhibition opening), Charles Ray, who was been redefining the possibilities of contemporary sculptural practice since the early 1980s, will discuss his innovative approach to sculpture informed by his close looking at the art of the past. Ray is the Deenie Yudell Artist in Residence at the American Academy in Rome in the spring of 2017. The lectures will be held in English.

17 May 2017
6pm - Lecture by Charles Ray
Contemporary Sculpture from the Past
Villa Aurelia, Porta San Pancrazio, 1

18 May 2017
6pm - Lecture by Charles Ray
The Work of Charles Ray
AAR Lecture Room - Via Angelo Masina, 5

6:30–9:00pm - exhibition opening
Charles Ray, Mountain Lion Attacking a Dog
AAR Gallery

The exhibition is curated by Peter Benson Miller, Andrew Heiskell Arts Director at the American Academy in Rome.

Exhibition opening hours: Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 4pm to 7pm until 2 July 2017.

The lectures and exhibition are made possible by the Syde Hurdus Foundation.

Jason Moran – Staged

Wednesday, June 21, 2017–6:00 PM
Villa Aurelia
Largo di Porta S. Pancrazio, 1
Rome, Italy
Jason Moran - STAGED

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: American Classics.

As part of the ongoing series of events exploring "American Classics", celebrated musician, composer, and artist Jason Moran will discuss his ongoing investigations into the spaces inhabited by jazz performance and the residue it leaves behind. His recent exhibition STAGED, including works shown at the Venice Biennale in 2015, re-created architectural elements associated with historic jazz venues in New York from the 1940s and 1950s, such as the Savoy Ballroom and the Three Deuces, that no longer exist. For Moran, jazz is an exuberant art form, part of the living lore of the city, and an embodiment of the restlessness characterizing American society in recent years. His multivalent works examine the highly charged intersections between music, art and social history.

Awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2010, Moran, an electrifying jazz performer, is the Artistic Director for Jazz and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He currently teaches at the New England Conservatory in Boston. Recently, he has created his own recording label, Yes Records, and launched a new magazine, LOOP, dedicated to different aspects of jazz culture. In the spring of 2018, Moran will have his first solo museum exhibition at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

Moran holds the Elliott Carter Memorial Residency at the American Academy in Rome for the summer of 2017.

The lecture will be held in English.

Ann Hamilton

Wednesday, May 24, 2017–6:00 PM
Villa Aurelia
Largo di Porta S. Pancrazio, 1
Rome, Italy
Ann Hamilton

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: American Classics.

Ann Hamilton, a visual artist internationally recognized for the sensory surround of her large-scale multimedia installations, investigates the places and forms underpinning live, tactile, visceral and face-to-face experiences in a media saturated world. Her work responds to the architecture and social history of specific sites, often centering on the ephemeral acts of reading, speaking and listening. A recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, Hamilton is the Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Art at Ohio State University, where she has served on the faculty since 2001. She represented the United States at the 1991 Bienal de São Paulo and at the 1999 Venice Biennale, and has exhibited extensively around the world.

In this talk, Hamilton will discuss a selection of projects, with special focus on her text concordances in works such as stylus (2010) and in recent photographs.

Hamilton is the Roy Lichtenstein Artist in Residence at the American Academy in Rome in the spring of 2017.

The lecture will be held in English.

Projecting Americanism Abroad: Italy in the Cold War

Monday, February 27, 2017 9:00 AM–4:30 PM
AAR Lecture Room
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
Projecting Americanism Abroad: Italy in the Cold War

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: American Classics.

Exploring the Italian-American relationship during the Cold War, Projecting Americanism Abroad, raises new questions with regard to Italy, a vital front in the conflict that has been much neglected. Geography made Italy a critical front in the international conflict. Italy’s borders, directly facing Tito’s Yugoslavia, placed the peninsula at the intersection of East and West; of the free market and communism; of atheism and Christianity. The rise of communism there would have profound repercussions on the Middle East and the future of oil; and it would deny the United States and NATO the use of Italy as a major site for military bases essential for the strategy of deterrence. Rome also possessed a unique cultural and religious importance whose resonance was especially strong because of the history of immigration. The State Department, the CIA, the American labor movement, and the embassy intervened massively in Italian internal affairs through such measures as economic assistance, cultural diplomacy, subsidies to friendly political parties, and extensive covert action. The conference will take a multidisciplinary and international look at Americanism and its impact on nuclear policy, science, the trade union movement, architecture, film, jazz, literature, music, photography, and cultural diplomacy.

All talks will be in English. You can watch this event livestreamed at https://livestream.com/aarome.

Organizers: Martin Brody, Wellesley College, and Frank Snowden, Yale University.

CAA Annual Conference Session – The American Dream of the Mediterranean: Lessons from History

Thursday, February 16, 2017–5:30 PM
New York Hilton Midtown
1335 Sixth Avenue
New York, NY
United States
College Art Association Annual Conference (CAA)

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: American Classics.

The American Academy in Rome is pleased to host a roundtable panel session at the 2017 College Art Association (CAA) Annual Conference in New York, “The American Dream of the Mediterranean: Lessons from History,” on Thursday, February 16.

Described as “the Middle Sea” or even “the Great Sea,” the Mediterranean has long been celebrated for its centrality and significance as a crossroads of everything from foodstuffs and people to religion, culture, and economic power. In the twentieth century, the Mediterranean took on a new role as a classroom of unrivaled riches for a generation of young scholars who later defined the discipline of art history in the United States. Whether working on the arts of Islam and Byzantium, Medieval France, or Early Modern Italy, the pioneers of art and architecture who took up positions at leading American universities and museums—including Shelomo Dov Goitein, Richard Krautheimer, Meyer Schapiro, Robert Venturi and Kurt Weitzmann—developed their methods and theories during formative travels along the shores of the Mediterranean.

Taking a fresh approach to the conference session format, this roundtable brings together scholars in varied fields to discuss the lessons from the Mediterranean that have informed how we see, analyze, and think about art from the origins of art history to today. As many of the art historical trailblazers considered came as refugees to the United States, where they made their careers, this panel also questions what claims can be made, if any, about an “American” style of art history. This session is organized by the American Academy in Rome as part of its 2016-17 programming series, American Classics, which investigates both the classical underpinnings of American culture and the “classic” texts, works of art and ideals that have helped define American identity.

Session Chairs

Lindsay Harris (FAAR'14), Andrew W. Mellon Professor in Charge of the School of Classical Studies, American Academy in Rome
Avinoam Shalem (RAAR'15), Riggio Professor of the History of the Arts of Islam, Columbia University

Session Participants

Dale Kinney (FAAR,'72, RAAR'97), Eugenia Chase Guild Professor Emeritus in the Humanities and Research Professor, Bryn Mawr College
Peter N. Miller, Dean, Professor of History of the Medieval and Early Modern Mediterranean, Bard Graduate Center
Martino Stierli, Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, Museum of Modern Art

Panel Session Information

Date and Time:
Thursday, Februrary 16, 5:30-7:00 pm

Location:
New York Hilton Midtown
Beekman Parlor

Susan Meiselas – Prince Street Girls Revisited

Thursday, April 27, 2017–6:30 PM
AAR Lecture Room
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
Susan Meiselas - Prince Street Girls Revisited

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: American Classics.

In this lecture, award-winning photographer Susan Meiselas will discuss her reconsideration of a photographic series she produced in the late 1970s, Prince Street Girls. As Meiselas explains:

In 1975, nearly thirty-five years ago, I was riding a bicycle through my neighborhood in Little Italy when suddenly a blast of light flashed into my eyes, blinding me for a moment. Its source was a group of girls fooling around with a mirror trying to reflect the sun on my face. That was the day I met the Prince Street Girls, the name I gave the group that hung out on the nearby corner almost every day. The girls were from small Italian-American families and they were almost all related. I was the stranger who didn’t belong. Little Italy was mostly for Italians then.

The project Prince Street Girls began as a series of incidental encounters. They’d see me coming and call out, “Take a picture! Take a picture!” At the beginning I was making pictures just to share with them. If we met in the market or at the pizza parlor, they would reluctantly introduce me to their parents but I was never invited into any of their homes. I was their secret friend, and my loft became a kind of hideaway when they dared to cross the street, which their parents had forbidden.

One of the Prince Street Girls, Pebbles, moved from New York to Naples and now has a number of grandchildren. She is the starting point of my revisiting the Prince Street Girls.

Meiselas is the Henry Wolf Photographer in Residence at the American Academy in Rome in the spring of 2017.

The lecture will be held in English.

Richard Gluckman – Space Framed

Tuesday, April 11, 2017–6:30 PM
AAR Lecture Room
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
Richard Gluckman - Space Framed

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: American Classics.

As part of the American Academy’s ongoing series of events exploring “American Classics,” celebrated architect Richard Gluckman will discuss the work of his firm as it is represented by interventions into historic structures, from the first project for the dia art foundation, 524 w 24th street in 1985, to current work at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, constructed between 1895 and 1915. Projects included will range from the proposed plan for a museum in Sevilla’s ‘Atarazanas’, a ship building factory from the 13th century, to the Andy Warhol Museum, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art Perelman Wing.

Gluckman will discuss Reyner Banham’s notion of the origin of modern architecture from late 19th to early 20th century American industrial architecture as posited in ‘Concrete Atlantis’ with regard to the ‘Daylight Factory’ of Henry Ford’s River Rouge plant from 1917. This building type was re-invigorated in the 1980’s when its usefulness as a venue for large scale, site-specific work was exploited.

Richard Gluckman is the William A. Bernoudy Architect in Residence at the American Academy in Rome in the spring of 2017 and Principal at Gluckman Tang Architects in New York.

The lecture will be held in English. You can watch this event live at https://livestream.com/aarome.

Ian Hodder & Andrea Carandini – Archaeology Today

Tuesday, March 28, 2017–6:00 PM
Villa Aurelia
Largo di Porta S. Pancrazio, 1
Rome, Italy
Ian Hodder with Andrea Carandini - Archaeology Today

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: American Classics.

A conversation with the world-renown archaeologist Ian Hodder, Dunlevie Family Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University, and the Italian archeologist and FAI president Andrea Carandini, about the present and future of archaeology in the US and Europe. The two will consider archaeology in theory and practice, heritage and politics, and the place of the past in a world of change.

The event will be held in English.

The 2016–17 Conversations/Conversazioni series is sponsored by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation.

David Lang & Nicola Piovani – Soundtracks

Tuesday, March 14, 2017–6:00 PM
Villa Aurelia
Largo di Porta S. Pancrazio, 1
Rome, Italy
David Lang and Nicola Piovani - Soundtracks

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: American Classics.

In this conversation, part of the Academy’s ongoing series of events dedicated to American Classics, David Lang and Nicola Piovani will discuss their respective work for cinema, considering the importance of contemporary music to cinematic narrative.

Pulitzer-Prize winning composer David Lang contributed the songs “I Lie” and “World to Come” to the soundtrack of Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza), an ode to the Eternal City, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013 before going on to win the Oscar for best foreign language film at the 86th Academy Awards. In the opening scene, a women’s chorus sings a Minimalist sacred composition by Lang within the vaulted spaces of the Fontana dell' Acqua Paola, on the Janiculum Hill. Lang was nominated for an Oscar for the haunting “Simple Song #3,” which he composed for Sorrentino’s La giovinezza (2015). The song sums up the complex emotional life of a retired conductor, played by Michael Caine, on vacation at a Fellini-esque spa in Switzerland. David Lang is the Paul Fromm Composer in Residence at the American Academy in Rome in the spring of 2017.

Maestro Nicola Piovani, is one of Italy’s best-known composers of film scores, with over 130 film scores to his credit, including The Night of the Shooting Stars (1982), Kaos (1984), both directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, and Federico Fellini’s Ginger e Fred (1986), Intervista (1987), and La voce della luna (1990). In 1998, Piovani won the Oscar for Best Original Dramatic Score for his work on Roberto Benigni’s celebrated film La vita è bella.

The event will be conducted in English and Italian with simultaneous translation in both languages.

The 2016–17 Conversations/Conversazioni series is sponsored by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation.

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