On Kawara—Silence: A Conversation with Assistant Curator Anne Wheeler

On April 27, 2015, IFA PhD candidate Anne Wheeler and IFA MA alumna Sarah Zabrodski sat down to discuss the Solomon R. Guggenheim’s current exhibition, On Kawara—Silence. Wheeler is the assistant curator of the exhibition. Zabrodski blogs at emergingartcritic.com.

Installation view: On Kawara—Silence, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, February 6 to May 3, 2015 Photo: David Heald © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

Sarah Zabrodski: On Kawara proposed most of the exhibition sections and was a close collaborator in the early stages of exhibition planning. What was it like working with the artist?

Anne Wheeler: Senior curator Jeffrey Weiss met On Kawara in 2005, in the process of acquiring the painting Title (1965) for the National Gallery of Art, so he had a relationship with Kawara before approaching him in October 2011 about doing the Guggenheim show. I came onto the project full time in April 2012, and worked for about a year before meeting Kawara himself. We first met almost two years ago to this day, on April 28, 2013—a day I remember clearly—a Sunday. Kawara sent Jeffrey and me a map of a park, with a dot drawn in the location where we were to meet him. We went, and we waited, and finally he came walking toward us, and brought us to a picnic table where we sat and talked with him and other members of his family until the sun went down.

Kawara was very deliberately not a public figure—he was infamous for his refusal to grant interviews, show up for openings, or make public appearances. He told us early on: “I am an artist that never made any public statements,” and we always tried to be extremely respectful and protective of this choice, and of his privacy. Jeffrey took Kawara on a walk-through of the museum early in the process, and we brought him models of the Guggenheim and maquettes of his Date Paintings and other work to help him conceptualize the exhibition within the space without actually having to be there. We always measured what was worth bringing to him, what was worth asking.

Our meetings involved a lot of exhibition planning and talk about the facts of each series—how and when certain artworks were made, or what they were made for—but ultimately the meetings turned out to be more conversational than strictly business. We would go in with questions about, say, where to place a certain Date Painting, but we would end up discussing cave paintings, gravity, the role of art throughout time, the history of human consciousness—really big topics, and his opinions were quite profound. After each meeting, I’d leave thinking, “What was that?”—and then as a researcher, to always have these new “assignments” was such an education for me.

As far as the artwork, though, we never talked about why—“why” questions were not discussed. It’s been one of the funny and difficult things about giving tours, responding to the why questions: “Why these newspapers? Why the red, blue, and gray? Why this or that?” I can say all of the things that I think about the work, but I can never reference anything he actually said.

Continue reading “On Kawara—Silence: A Conversation with Assistant Curator Anne Wheeler”

3.10.11

John Ashbery and Paolo Javier

Readings in Contemporary Poetry at Dia:Chelsea
 

Thursday, March 10, 2011, 6:30pm
535 West 22nd St.
New York City

$6 general admission; $3 Dia members, students, and seniors
Tickets are available at the lecture only. Reservations recommended.

http://www.diacenter.org/events/main/371

3.11.11

Poetry Lab at Cabinet: “William Carlos Williams: Anatomy of a Poem”

Date: Friday, 11 March 2011, 7–9 pm
Location: Cabinet, 300 Nevins Street, Brooklyn (map and directions here)
FREE. No RSVP necessary
Organized by D. Graham Burnett & Jeff Dolven

Does a poem have parts? Organs? Systems? How do they fit together? And can they be teased apart? On Friday, 11 March, join us for the latest installment in Cabinet’s Poetry Lab series—and bring your scrubs, since the evening will consist of a set of poetic “dissections” and experimental operations. Scalpels will be provided. Bring rigor, imagination, and a steady hand to these exercises that split the difference between the scansion of prosody and sculpture in paper. Think of it as your chance to play doctor with William Carlos Williams.

3.3.11

Transparency in the market: can we have more of it…

Art Industry Summit, Presented by The Art Newspaper in association with ADAA

Thursday, March 3, 5:30 pm
The Park Avenue Armory, New York

Transparency is a topic of much debate and controversy within the art world. Transparency is seen as healthy but is this always the case? Would more transparency ruin the art market as some believe? Or are the intricacies and complexities of transactions forms of art themselves? THE ART NEWSPAPER Art Industry Summit in association with the ADAA aims to address these questions in a panel discussion at the Park Avenue Armory, Thursday 3rd March at 5.30pm.

More information at http://artdealers.org/events.forum30.html.

2.25.11

Installation Art: Who Cares?

Screening of a new film produced by the Inside Installations project in Europe.

6:00 pm Friday, February 25, 2011
New York University / Institute of Fine Arts
1 East 78th Street, New York, New York

The New York Regional Association for Conservation (NYRAC) and the International Network for the Conservation of Contemporary Art – North America (INCCA-NA) cordially invites you to attend a screening of the new film

Installation Art: Who Cares?

The film describes three case studies from different museums, at the instance of the work by the installations artists Olafur Eliasson, Bill Seaman and Tino Seghal.

The film will be followed by a group discussion and reception.

The discussion will be chaired by INCCA-NA new Executive Director Lauren Shadford and Glenn Wharton.

The event will take place on Friday, February 25, 2011 at the Duke House Lecture Hall at the Institute of Fine Arts, 1 East 78th Street, New York. The screening of the 20-minute film will commence at 6:00 pm.  Refreshments will be available from 7:00 to 8:00 pm.

3.5.11

Gary Tinterow on Picasso

Saturday, March 5, 11:00 am
The Park Avenue Armory

After the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum has the most extensive collection of original works by Picasso in the country. Mr. Tinterow, curator of the recent Picasso exhibition at the Metropolitan, will explain how the Museum came to acquire such rich holdings.

Click here for more information and to RSVP.

2.28.11

Images, Copyrights and Publishing Panel

February 28, 5:00-7:00 pm

Melissa Brown, IP and Copyright Librarian, NYU Libraries

Monica McCormick, Program Officer for Digital Scholarly Publishing, NYU Libraries and NYU Press

Beatrice Rehl, Humanities and Social Sciences Editor, Cambridge University Press

Reservations required. Please email ifagsa[dot]exec[at]gmail[dot]com with “Publishing” in the subject line.