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Tate Modern holds the national collection of British art from 1500 to the present day, and international modern and contemporary art. Based in the former Bankside Power Station in London, it is currently the most-visited modern art gallery in the world.  Visit their website  Image: Tate Modern, First floor of the Tate Modern, Nathan Rupert, flickr

Event date
Saturday, October 5, 2002 - 12:00

Sophie Howarth, Phyllida Barlow, Paul Wood and Mark Godfrey, Discussion 1  From Russian Suprematism through Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism and beyond, abstraction has been variously interpreted as nihilistic, political, sublime, decorative and ironic. While much writing about abstract art has been opaque, the talks here aim to clearly open up a variety of theoretical models for discussion.

Event date
Saturday, October 5, 2002 - 12:00

Phyllida Barlow, New Generation Sculpture in Britain  Speaker: Phyllida Barlow, artist and Head of Undergraduate Sculpture, Slade School of ArtInvestigating abstraction as a force in British sculpture, Phyllida Barlow focuses on the 1965 New Generation Sculpture Exhibition, held at the Whitechapel Art Gallery.

Event date
Saturday, October 5, 2002 - 12:00

Mark Godfrey, Barnett Newman’s Abstraction  Speaker: Mark Godfrey, Lecturer in Art History and Theory at the Slade School of Art. Mark Godfrey considers some ways in which Barnett Newman's art has been interpreted. First, there are those who read it as if it were a code to be deciphered (Thomas Hess). Then there are those who 'see' it, and locate the meaning of the work in the seeing experience (Fried, Judd, Bois, Serra, Sylvester).

Event date
Saturday, October 5, 2002 - 12:00

Paul Wood, An Introduction to the Idea of Abstraction and Interpretation  Paul  Wood starts the day considering the roots of abstraction in Symbolism, and how it tended to be theorised by Modernist writers, including Alfred Barr. He also covers the role of Cubism in helping to realise a fully abstract art, with particular reference to Mondrian and Malevich, as well as exceptions to that rule, such as Kandinsky. The talk also explores the contrast between idealist and materialist ideas about abstraction, with reference to the Russian avant-garde.

Event date
Saturday, October 5, 2002 - 12:00

Sophie Howarth, Introduction  This study day focuses on debates around the interpretation of abstract art. From Russian Suprematism through Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism and beyond, abstraction has been variously interpreted as nihilistic, political, sublime, decorative and ironic. While much writing about abstract art has been opaque, the talks here aim to clearly open up a variety of theoretical models for discussion.

Event date
Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 12:00

Paul Wood, Julian Stallabrass and Dominic Willsdon, Plenary 2  This study day explores concepts of avant-gardism, and the ways in which these have been deployed to historicise and interpret twentieth century art.

Event date
Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 12:00

Julian Stallabrass, Contemporary Art and the Avant-Garde  Speaker: Julian Stallabrass , Senior Lecturer in History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art.There seems to be a great distance between the contemporary art scene and the avant-garde as traditionally conceived. Avant-garde art was thought of as difficult, having a limited market and only achieving success (if at all) after a long period of time. Much contemporary art is easy on the eye and mind, highly marketable and quickly successful. Yet in the popular imagination, it is still thought of as avant-garde.

Event date
Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 12:00

Dominic Willsdon, The Avant-Garde and its Publics  Speaker: Dominic Willsdon, Curator, Public Events at Tate Modern, tutor in aesthetics at the Royal College of Art, and faculty member of the London Consortium. Avant-garde art is often seen as being at odds with the general public, and deliberately so. Avant-garde artists are seen as making images and objects that are wilfully esoteric, even elitist, and contemptuous of common concerns. But the history is more complicated.

Event date
Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 12:00

Paul Wood, Conceptual Art and the Neo-Avant-Garde  Speaker: Paul Wood, Senior Lecturer in History of Art at The Open University.The political conditions of the 1930s followed by the Second World War either destroyed or significantly undermined the historical avant-gardes. Yet by the mid-1950s apparently comparable tendencies were re-emerging on an international scale. The relationship of this so-called ‘neo’-avant-garde to radical politics has been the subject of considerable art-historical debate. So too has its relationship to the Conceptual Art of the late 1960s.

Event date
Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 12:00

Steve Edwards, Martin Gaughan and Gail Day, Plenary 1  This discussion forms part of the study day that explores concepts of avant-gardism, and the ways in which these have been deployed to historicise and interpret twentieth century art.

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