On the rapport between photography and painting in pop art BOOKED OUT
Lecture by Hal Foster and book signing
In partnership with the Power Institute at the University of Sydney, prominent critic and art historian Hal Foster presents the keynote lecture in association with Pop to popism.
In the 1950s, Richard Hamilton wrote in retrospect from the late 1960s, ‘we became aware of the possibility of seeing the whole world at once, through the great visual matrix that surrounds us; a synthetic, “instant view”. Cinema, television, magazines, newspapers immersed the artist in a total environment and this new visual ambience was photographic.’
This is a telling statement in several respects. It captures the full emergence of capitalist spectacle, of an immersive space of mediated perception, and it is this photographic matrix that Hamilton worked to engage in his painting. For Hamilton the task of the artist-critic was to set various ‘presentation techniques’ in conversation, with painting positioned as the mediator, the medium that might anthologise the forms, and archivise the effects, of the others. As opposed to the leveling often associated with pop, then, Hamilton sought to differentiate experience, and this is why he retained the old medium of painting, but also why he worked to renovate it.
Foster is the Townsend Martin Class of 1917 Professor of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. He has published widely in the field of modern and contemporary art, architecture and theory, with a particular interest in the relationship between art and philosophy at times of political crisis. Select publications include Junkspace with Running Room, coauthored with Rem Koolhaas (2013), Prosthetic gods (2004) and The return of the real (1996). Foster also writes regularly for October (which he coedits), Artforum and The London Review of Books. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was the 2010 recipient of the Clark Prize for Excellence in Arts Writing and the 2013 recipient of the Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism.
In 2012, Foster published The first pop age: painting and subjectivity in the art of Hamilton, Lichtenstein, Warhol, Richter and Ruscha. The book sheds new light on pop art, revealing how these seminal five artists radically shifted our on-going relationship with images.
Foster will follow today’s lecture with a book signing in the Domain Theatre foyer at 3.30pm. Copies of The first pop age available from 1.30pm in the foyer or at any time from the Gallery Shop in store or online.
Image: Richard Hamilton Just what was it that made yesterday’s homes so different, so appealing? Upgrade 2004 (detail) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Gift of the artist 2004 © Richard Hamilton. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney
Saturday 28 February 2015, 2pm
Free, bookings required
There is no waiting list for this fully booked event. On the day, any seats made available due to no-shows or cancellations will be allocated to the first in line.
Duration 1 hour, 30 minutes
Location: Domain Theatre
Related exhibition: Pop to popism
Related gallery: Contemporary galleries