THE BROAD AND X-TRA BRING TOGETHER ARTISTS, CRITICS AND EDUCATORS TO EXPLORE JOSEPH BEUYS
The Broad’s Un-Private Collection Series to Feature Edgar Arceneaux, Simone Leigh, Steven Nelson, Lynne Tillman and Kerry Tribe Examining the Legacy of Joseph Beuys on Contemporary Art and Culture
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The Broad today announced a new three-part iteration of its highly popular Un-Private Collection series, which will explore the legacy of German-born artist Joseph Beuys in relation to contemporary art practice. The Broad collection includes more than 500 Beuys multiples—one of the most complete collections of his multiples in the world and an important resource for Los Angeles. In addition to this new series, The Broad will dedicate one of its 2018 Summer Happenings to Beuys and the Fluxus art practice in music and performance. The Un-Private Collection series is made possible in part by the generous support of Leading Partner East West Bank.
Widely regarded as a major figure of the German postwar avant-garde, Beuys explored the concepts of humanism, social philosophy and anthroposophy through his diverse body of work, which included traditional media such as drawing, painting and sculpture, to time-based "action" art, installation art and performance art. Beuys viewed art as a vehicle for social change, and throughout his career, he was a vital voice on a wide range of subjects including political, environmental, social and cultural trends.
The Broad has partnered with the quarterly contemporary art journal X-TRA, whose mission is to provoke critical dialogue about contemporary art, to curate the series. Each program will highlight a theme central to Beuys, and invites contemporary artists to discuss their work and ideas through that lens.
“Beuys understood that debate and teaching were crucial facets of his art practice, and that artists play a central role in driving public discourse on issues facing society. Inspired by his practice and activism, this new series of Un-Private Collection conversations brings together artists, educators and critics to explore their respective creative practices, and to reassess and reframe key themes within Beuys’ work for contemporary times,” said Ed Patuto, director of audience engagement. “In addition, the series includes a workshop led by Los Angeles artist Edgar Arceneaux that will address the themes of effectivity and social practice aimed at developing better financial models for artists and art professionals working both inside and outside the commercial art market and art institutions. Arceneaux’s proposition for organizing artists follows in the footsteps of Beuys’ social and political activism.”
The Broad is proud to feature artist Simone Leigh, a Hugo Boss Prize 2018 nominee and recipient of a 2018 visual arts grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in the first conversation, scheduled for Thursday, February 22. Leigh's diverse practice incorporates sculpture, video and installation, all informed by her ongoing exploration of black female subjectivity and ethnography. Leigh and art historian Steven Nelson, director of UCLA’s African Studies Center and professor of African and African-American art history, will question the themes of spiritualism and mysticism associated with Beuys’ work. Beuys was often characterized as a shaman. His objects were created from a precise set of materials, such as fat and felt, and were the result of ritualistic “actions” (or performances) and imbued with symbolic meaning and his private mythology. Leigh’s work may also appear to have mystical allusions: her research-driven practice draws from folklore and traditional religious practices spanning the Caribbean, Africa, and the American South. Shana Lutker, a Los Angeles artist and co-organizer of this series for X-TRA, and independent curator Diana Nawi will provide introductions.
Writer Lynne Tillman, who is currently professor/writer-in-resident in the department of English at the University at Albany and teaches at the School of Visual Arts' Art Criticism and Writing MFA program, will join Los Angeles visual artist Kerry Tribe, whose work in film, video and installation focuses on the mechanics of representation and its metaphoric potential and engagement with reality, for a discussion on lies and myths for the second program of the series on Thursday, May 17. Beuys is a controversial figure in art history, in large part because of his constructed biography: Beuys often recanted his dramatic origin story, a swirl of truth and lies, contributing to his mythic stature. In their work, Tillman and Tribe both investigate the construction of narrative and knowledge. This conversation will explore the ways that Beuys, Tillman and Tribe each raise questions about how identity shapes public reception and perception. The conversation will be moderated by Lutker.
Los Angeles artist Edgar Arceneaux, who co-founded the Watts House Project, a nonprofit neighborhood redevelopment organization in Watts, will lead the workshop on effectivity and social practice on Saturday, September 22, with an introduction by Daniel Spaulding, a Beuys scholar and art historian.
Tickets to each program are $15 and will take place in the Oculus Hall at The Broad. Full program details are available at www.thebroad.org/programs.
The Un-Private Collection is The Broad’s ongoing series of public programs launched in September 2013. The series introduces audiences to the museum’s postwar and contemporary art collection by showcasing stories behind the collection, the collectors and the artists. Since launching the program, The Broad has brought together a variety of artists in conversation with cultural leaders, including Mark Bradford with Katy Siegel, Shirin Neshat with Christy MacLear, Jeff Koons with John Waters, Takashi Murakami with Pico Iyer, Eric Fischl with Steve Martin, John Currin with James Cuno, Kara Walker with Ava DuVernay, and architect Elizabeth Diller with Eli Broad, Joanne Heyler, founding director of The Broad, and Paul Goldberger. Talks have been held at venues throughout Los Angeles, making the programming available to audiences across the city. Conversations are livestreamed and full videos of past talks are available online at http://bit.ly/Un-PrivateCollection.