The Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) at the National Gallery of Art has announced that Hal Foster, professor of Art and Archaeology, will give the 67th annual A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts in 2018.
The lecture series, entitled Positive Barbarism: Brutal Aesthetics in the Postwar Period, will be held in the East Building Auditorium at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, on April 8, 15, 22, and 29 and May 6 and 13 at 2:00 p.m.
In his six-part series, Foster asks how artists began again after the mass deaths of World War II, the Holocaust, and the atomic bomb. What language was invented, what ground identified but the most raw, the most basic, the most zero-degree? He is interested in the pervasive turn, from the mid-1940s to the early 1960s, to the brut and the brutalist, the animal and the creaturely. His lectures will focus on the early work of Jean Dubuffet, Asger Jorn, Eduardo Paolozzi, and Claes Oldenburg, among others.
Since 1949, the preeminent A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts have presented the best in contemporary thought and scholarship on the subject of the fine arts to the people of the United States. The program itself is named for Andrew W. Mellon, founder of the National Gallery of Art, who gave the nation his art collection and funds to build the West Building, which opened to the public in 1941.