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Guest Lecture: "Arts of Immediacy and Experience: Sharing Paul Gauguin's Journeys," by James Housefield

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Paul Gauguin, "Tahitian Woman with a Flower," 1891

Paul Gauguin, "Tahitian Woman with a Flower," 1891. Oil on canvas, 27 3/4 x 18 1/4 in. (70.5 x 46.5 cm). Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, 1828. Photograph by Ole Haupt, © Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen

Koret Auditorium

Paul Gauguin’s impact on modern art has long secured his place in history. However, an emphasis on Gauguin’s so-called “primitivism” has at times obscured other aspects of his impact on subsequent generations of artists, and his continuing importance today. In our age of rapid-paced museum encounters and art “experienced” vicariously through online sources, Gauguin’s attempts to forge an art of immediacy—characterized by unmediated experience—become more urgent than ever. This illustrated lecture examines works from the exhibition Gauguin: A Spiritual Journey in relation to Gauguin’s larger career and life to analyze the artist’s techniques for audience engagement and immersion in art experiences. Gauguin’s use of multiple media, artworks in two- and three-dimensions, and storytelling through combined words and images promoted new paths by which audiences could share his real and imagined journeys.

James Housefield is Associate Professor of Design and Affiliated Faculty in Art History at the University of California, Davis. Housefield’s research focuses on the variety of ways we design experiences. He is especially interested in the histories of exhibition design, and modern cultures of immersive experience like those treated in his monograph Playing with Earth and Sky: Astronomy, Geography, and the Art of Marcel Duchamp (Dartmouth College Press, 2016). He continues to investigate the histories of design, modern art, and their intersections with research for a book on the history of San Francisco’s first museums and a book manuscript titled Gauguin’s Art as Experience.

Ticket Information

$3 members | $4 general. Cash only at the theater entrance. No reservations.


Contact Information

Docent Council
docent@famsf.org
(415) 750-3638