The Department of Art History and Communication Studies would like to invite you to the last instalment of the AHCS Fall 2022 Speaker Series! Prof. Rebecca Zorach will be presenting “To come home sooner or later”: Abstraction and Estrangement on the South Side of Chicago on Thursday, December 8, from 4-5:30 pm in Arts W-215 (853 Sherbrooke St W). The talk is open to the public and will be followed by a Q&A session and reception.
Abstract: In Amanda Williams’s Color(ed) Theory project (2014-2016), the artist and architect painted abandoned houses in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago in bright monochromes using a palette she imbued with community meaning. This talk takes Williams’s project and its ambiguities as a starting point to trace moments in the history of the intertwining of abstraction, politics, and the idea of house and home. On the South Side of Chicago, in the mid-twentieth century, questions about aesthetics and politics often turned around a notion of “home”—should home be seen as a space of complacent comfort to be jarred with challenging aesthetic acts, or one required for sheer survival?
Bio: Rebecca Zorach, Mary Jane Crowe Professor in Art and Art History, Department of Art History, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences. Rebecca Zorach teaches and writes on early modern European art (15th-17th century), contemporary activist art, and art of the 1960s and 1970s. Particular interests include print media, feminist and queer theory, theory of representation, African American artists, and the multiple intersections of art and politics. Her books include Blood, Milk, Ink, Gold: Abundance and Excess in the French Renaissance (University of Chicago Press, 2005); The Passionate Triangle (University of Chicago Press, 2011); Gold: Nature and Culture with Michael W. Phillips, Jr. (Reaktion Books, 2016); the edited volumes Embodied Utopias: Gender, Social Change, and The Modern Metropolis (with Amy Bingaman and Lisa Shapiro Sanders, Routledge, 2002), The Idol in the Age of Art (with Michael Cole, Routledge, 2009), Art Against the Law (School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2014), The Wall of Respect: Public Art and Black Liberation in 1960s Chicago (with Abdul Alkalimat and Romi Crawford, Northwestern University Press, 2017), Ecologies, Agents, Terrains (with Christopher Heuer, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and Yale University Press, 2018), and Art for People’s Sake: Artists and Community in Black Chicago, 1965–1975 (Duke University Press, 2019).