May 13, 1999
Vol. 18 No. 16

current issue
archive / search

    Olin Center conference to begin Friday

    By William Harms
    News Office

    The connections between modern art and politics will be scrutinized more closely at the After the Beautiful, Politics and Modernism conference being presented by the John M. Olin Center for Inquiry into the Theory and Practice of Democracy.

    The sessions, which begin at 2:30 p.m. Friday, May 14, will be in Swift Lecture Hall and will feature speakers from around the country.

    Robert Pippin, Professor on the Committee on Social Thought, said conference participants will look at the emergence of art and literature during the past 100 years in technically advanced, liberal democratic societies. The art and literature produced by these societies has often been “oppositional and negative,” Pippin said.

    “We will look at the question of why art produced in such societies is characterized by representations not primarily of the beautiful, but of the dissonant, the shocking and sometimes the ugly,” Pippin said.

    The conference will look at the relationship between modern art, literature, music and architecture and the distinct social organizations and political structures of 19th- and 20th-century Western societies, Pippin said.

    The sessions will begin with talks titled “Before the Beautiful? Art and Edification in Ancient Greece,” by G.R.F. Ferrari from the University of California, Berkeley, and “After the Sublime: Stations in the Career of Emotions,” by Glenn Most, Professor on the Committee on Social Thought.

    On Saturday, May 15, the conference will continue at 10 a.m. with the talks “Modernism and Dialectics,” by T.J. Clark from the University of California, Berkeley, and “Destruction and Beauty from Jackson Pollock to Gerhard Richter,” by Thomas Crow of Yale University.

    Beginning at 2:30 p.m., three talks will be given: “Radical Modernism and the Failure of Style,” Lydia Goehr, Columbia University; “‘For the sake of the beautiful, there is no longer beauty,’ Art and Anti-Art in Critical Theory,” Jay Bernstein, Vanderbilt University; and “Diving Into the Wreck: Aesthetic Spectatorship at the Fin-de-siecle,” Martin Jay, University of California, Berkeley.

    On Sunday, May 16, two talks will be given: “Beauty and the Intransigent Avant-Garde,” by Arthur Danto of Columbia University, and “Art and Subjectivity: Heyday and Transformation,” by Dieter Henrich from der Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München.

    More information about the conference may be obtained by phoning (773) 702-3423.