Left: Claire Dederer, photo: courtesy the speaker; right: Jacqueline Francis, photo: Nicholas Lea Bruno
Public Talk

Life and Art: A Conversation

Related Exhibition Yayoi Kusama: Infinite Love

Thursday, May 30, 2024

6 p.m.

Floor 1, Phyllis Wattis Theater

Free with RSVP

Reserve Tickets

Can you separate the artist from the artwork? Artists with controversial backgrounds have long inspired and challenged audiences and the institutions that show and collect their work. Join scholars and writers, including Claire Dederer, author of Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma, and Jacqueline Francis, dean, Humanities and Sciences Division, and professor, History of Art and Visual Culture Program at California College of the Arts, for an enlightening conversation on how we situate the work of artists with problematic histories.

About the Speakers

Claire Dederer is a memoirist, essayist, and critic. Her most recent book is the national bestseller Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma (Knopf, 2023), a New York Times Notable Book that was named a best book of 2023 by The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Elle, Esquire, Oprah Daily, and many other outlets. Her previous books are the critically acclaimed Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning (Knopf, 2017) and Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses (FSG, 2010), which was a New York Times bestseller. Dederer is a longtime contributor to The New York Times. Her essays, criticism, and reviews have also appeared in The Paris Review, The Atlantic, The Nation, New York Magazine, and many other publications. She began her career as the chief film critic for Seattle Weekly. She is the recipient of a Hedgebrook residency and a Lannan Foundation residency. Dederer lives in Seattle.

Jacqueline Francis is the author of Making Race: Modernism and “Racial Art” in America (2012) and co-editor of Romare Bearden: American Modernist (2011) and Is Now the Time for Joyous Rage? (2023). Francis’s curatorial projects include Adia Millett: You Will Be Remembered (Galerie du Monde—Hong Kong; 2022), Fight and Flight: Crafting a Bay Area Life (Museum of Craft & Design—San Francisco; 2023), and Sargent Claude Johnson (Huntington Art Museum—San Marino, California; 2024). She is dean of Humanities and Sciences at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.