“I think that the main reason Cary’s work is so powerful is that it is accessible in a way that most contemporary art is not,” explained Anastasia James, curator at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, where Cary Leibowitz: Museum Show debuted. While this might seem like a simple compliment, it is worth serious consideration. On the one hand, what is it that allows Leibowitz’s work to communicate with unusual clarity? What might motivate him to work towards broad appeal? And on the other hand, how has so much contemporary art come to succeed despite seeming obscure to large segments of the public?
In this tour, participants will ponder these and other questions together, while also getting generally acquainted with Leibowitz’s current exhibition at the ICA. Discussion will be fueled by consideration of flashpoints in the recent history of art and popular accessibility, ranging from the Armory Show (a 1913 exhibition in New York which gave many Americans their first look at modern art) to Robert Mapplethorpe’s The Perfect Moment (a 1988 exhibition which premiered at the ICA without a hitch before becoming the center of controversy in Washington, D.C).
This event is free and open to the public; register here.
JEFFREY KATZIN is a PhD candidate in the History of Art Department at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is writing a dissertation on the history and potential of abstract photography. He is particularly concerned with abstract art and its capacities to convey political, philosophical, and personal meaning. His research interests also range into painting, film, video, and video games. Katzin is also a member of the Incubation Series, which brings together students in Penn’s History of Art and Fine Art departments to present collaborative exhibitions, and is sponsored by the Penn Provost’s Interdisciplinary Arts Fund in partnership with the ICA.