Since its inception in 1995, the Phyllis Wattis Distinguished Lecture Series at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) has brought the highest caliber of scholarship and art commentary to the Bay Area. This year’s distinguished lecturer is Robert Storr, the Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. Storr, an eminent curator, critic, and artist, has been tapped as the commissioner of the 2007 Venice Biennale, the first American invited to assume that position.
Storr has been the curator of scores of exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York—where he served as curator in the department of painting and sculpture from 1990–2002—and elsewhere, and is the author of dozens of monographs and catalogues. At MoMA he organized major presentations on the work of Max Beckmann, Elizabeth Murray, Gerhard Richter, Robert Ryman, and Tony Smith. Recently, Storr was appointed dean of the Yale School of Art, the oldest university-based art school in the United States, for a five-year period beginning July 1. Storr also serves as consulting curator of modern and contemporary art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
THE 2006 PHYLLIS WATTIS DISTINGUISHED LECTURE
World Enough and Time
Robert Storr, Rosalee Solow Professor of Modern Art, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
Thursday, May 18, 7 p.m.
Phyllis Wattis Theater
With plans for the 2007 Venice Biennale under way, Storr knows well the challenges inherent in mounting a major international survey exhibition. Organizers of the Biennale wrestle with numerous aesthetic, cultural, and political dilemmas as they search for artworks that will reflect the state of contemporary art in dozens of countries around the world spanning a two-year period. “The reality is that such a project is inherently impossible,” says Storr. Instead, he asserts, “the challenge is to make choices well in the interest of a particular idea without suggesting that they are definitive in relation to other, equally fruitful ideas, or exhaustive [in representing] the best art being made at a given moment.” In this special evening program, Storr shares insights gleaned from his experience as director of the 2007 Biennale and reflects upon the role of such highly anticipated surveys.
Tickets: $10 general; $8 SFMOMA members, students with ID, and seniors.