Events: CAA Panel “Catalogue Raisonné Research and Contemporary Trends in Art Historical Discourse”

Please join CRSA for our 2014 panel session at the College Art Association Conference in Chicago: Catalogue Raisonné Research and Contemporary Trends in Art Historical Discourse.

The CRSA session will take place Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 12:30-2 pm, in Willidord C, 3rd floor (Hilton Chicago Hotel). Each talk will last 15 minutes, leaving us time for discussion among the panelists and audience Q & A.


LOUISA WOOD RUBY, Head, Photoarchive Research, Frick Art Reference Library, New York
“Understanding the Early Modern Workshop: A Case for Retooling the Traditional Old Master Drawings Catalogue Raisonné

While recent scholarship has amply demonstrated that many early modern artists employed assistants, authors of traditional catalogues raisonné have yet to fully embrace this research, preferring to exclude works other than those done almost if not exclusively by their subject. Similarly, despite numerous publications indicating otherwise, most authors still hew to the market-driven concept that there is only one “original” version of a work of art by any given artist, and fail to note that often artists produced fully autograph second versions of a composition, either on commission or for the open market. This paper is a call for the rethinking of the traditional catalogue raisonné, particularly the old master drawing catalogue raisonné, to more accurately reflect what current art historical studies have revealed about the products and practices of the early modern workshop.

DAVID P. McCARTHY, Professor, Art and Art History, Rhodes College, Memphis
“Putting Westermann in a Box: Utility and Limitations of the Catalogue Raisonné”

Long regarded by scholars, curators, and critics as idiosyncratic, uncategorizable, and singular, H.C. Westermann (1922-81) would seem both ripe for sustained research and fraught with difficulty for anyone who ventures into a serious consideration of his art. Using the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago’s 2001 two-volume exhibition catalogue and catalogue raisonné of Westermann’s sculpture as a test case, I will consider the ongoing importance and utility of the catalogue raisonné, especially in regard to those artists who are now undergoing historical re-evaluation. My talk will focus on Westermann’s work in 1958, when he was still living in Chicago, in order to address the interplay among form, production, place, and provenance, each important to the artist’s practice and to his critical reception in this pivotal year in his development.

GWENDOLYN OWENS, Senior Advisor, Visual Arts Collections, McGill University, Montreal
“Thinking Systematically”

My experience authoring a catalogue raisonné on American modernist Maurice Prendergast has continued to shape and inform my subsequent research on the 19th-c. landscape paintings of David Johnson, Canadian artist Melvin Charney’s design’s for the Canadian Center for Architecture gardens, and the 1970s architectural interventions of Gordon Matta-Clark. Even if I am writing about a subject that has nothing to do with questions of authenticity, style, or the dating of a work of art, I find myself thinking systematically, in effect creating a mental catalogue raisonné of the artist’s work as a tool that helps me understand how the characteristics of individual works and projects–their numbers, types, themes–and the occurrence and duration of the artist’s interest in particular methods and modes of working fit into the context of his or her entire oeuvre. Far from being a methodology focused largely on issues of authenticity or provenance, the systemic framework of catalogue raisonné research is a conceptual tool useful to all research on works of art.

GAVIN DELAHUNTY, Head of Exhibitions and Display, Tate Liverpool, UK
“Carl Andre: The Complete Poems”

Although Carl Andre is best known for laconic things–obdurate sculptures made of metal or bricks, laid flat on the floor in symmetrical configurations–he has also made an art of words. Indeed, Andre is a prolific poet, and his poems have always played a crucial part in his work, their brilliant investigations of text and pattern making their way into exhibitions, extremely rare editions, and citations. Yet the poems remain largely unseen and unspoken to this day. Carl Andre: The Complete Poems will be the first publication to present all Andre’s more than one thousand poems together, individually illustrated and organized chronologically, and accompanied by the customary catalogue raisonné information regarding titles, dates, medium, exhibition history, provenance, etc. But The Complete Poems also will depart from the conventions of the catalogue raisonné in several important respects by providing information on the tone or voice of each poem, its subject, context, pattern, vocabulary and structure, in order to give its readers unprecedented insight into the poems’ materiality, their conceptual development, the artist’s working methods, and the wider range of his interests.

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  1. Pingback: Events: CAA Annual Conference in Chicago, February 12-15 | CRSA Forum

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