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Liam Gillick: Industry and Intelligence: Contemporary Art Since 1820

December 4, 2017, 7:00 pm8:00 pm
Lecture at the de Young by Liam Gillick: "Industry and Intelligence: Contemporary Art Since 1820"

Image courtesy of Liam Gillick

Koret Auditorium

Our annual Bransten lecture brings noted artist and thinker Liam Gillick to speak on his recent book, Industry and Intelligence: Contemporary Art Since 1820, around the topic of aesthetic breakthroughs in the 19th and 20th centuries as they interact with cultural and political change. Rather than simplistically linking revolutionary breakthroughs in the arts with larger social and cultural phenomenon, he writes a nuanced genealogy to help us appreciate contemporary art's engagement with history even when it seems apathetic or blind to current events. From Courbet to Picasso, from Malevich to Warhol, it is accepted that art tracks the disruptions of industrialization, fascism, revolution, and war. Yet filtering the history of modern art only through catastrophic events cannot account for the subtle developments that lead to the profound confusion at the heart of contemporary art. Taking a broad view of artistic creation from 1820 to today, Gillick follows the response of artists to incremental developments in science, politics, and technology. The great innovations and dislocations of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have their place in this timeline, but their traces are alternately amplified and diminished as Gillick moves through artistic reactions to liberalism, mass manufacturing, psychology, nuclear physics, automobiles, and a host of other advances. He intimately ties the origins of contemporary art to the social and technological adjustments of modern life, which artists struggled to incorporate truthfully into their works.

Liam Gillick (b.1964) deploys multiple forms to expose the new ideological control systems that emerged at the beginning of the 1990s. He has developed a number of key narratives that often form the engine for a body of work. Gillick’s work has been included in numerous important exhibitions including documenta and the Venice, Berlin and Istanbul Biennales - representing Germany in 2009 in Venice. Solo museum exhibitions have taken place at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Tate in London. Gillick’s work is held in many important public collections including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Guggenheim Museum in New York and Bilbao and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Over the last twenty five years Gillick has also been a prolific writer and critic of contemporary art – contributing to Artforum, October, Frieze and e-flux Journal. He is the author of a number of books including a volume of his selected critical writing. High profile public works include the British Government Home Office (Interior Ministry) building in London and the Lufthansa Headquarters in Frankfurt. Throughout this time Gillick has extended his practice into experimental venues and collaborative projects with artists including Philippe Parreno, Lawrence Weiner and Louise Lawler.

Ticket Information

This event is free and open to the public. The museum will open for seating at 6:30 pm; galleries will be closed.

You may reserve your free ticket in advance online.

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Contact Information

Public Programs
publicprograms@famsf.org
(415) 750-7694