Nasher Sculpture Center Announces Fall 2015 Line-up for 360: Artists, Critics, Curators Speaker Series

Monthly speaker series explores topics of modern and contemporary art and design

The Nasher Sculpture Center is pleased to announce the line-up for the fall 2015 season of the Nasher speaker series, 360: Artists, Critics, Curators, which features conversations and lectures on the ever-expanding definition of sculpture and the thinking behind some of the world’s most innovative artwork, architecture, and design. The public is invited to join us for fresh understanding, insights and inspiring ideas. Seating is limited.

Lectures are free with museum admission: $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for students, and free for Members. Seating is limited, so reservations are requested. Immediately following the presentation, guests will enjoy a wine reception with RSVP. For information and reservations, email 360rsvp@nashersculpturecenter.org or call 214.242.5159. Updates and information are available at www.NasherSculptureCenter.org/360.

Monthly Lectures:

Philip Beesley, Architect

Presented in collaboration with the Ad Astra Lecture Series of the Edith O'Donnell Institute of Art History at the University of Texas at Dallas

Saturday, August 29 / 2 pm

Philip Beesley's Toronto-based practice PBAI is an interdisciplinary design firm that combines public buildings with exhibition design, stage and lighting projects. Beesley's work is widely cited in the rapidly expanding technology of responsive architecture, and his studio's methods incorporate industrial design, digital prototyping, and mechatronics engineering. He will present recent work by the Living Architecture group that offers a new set of design paradigms.

The presentation will suggest that conception of buildings can move from classical ideas of a static world of closed boundaries toward the expanded physiology and dynamic form of a metabolism. Working with artists, engineers and scientists, Beesley’s Living Architecture research group combines the crafts of lightweight textile structures and mechanisms, dense arrays of distributed computer controls with machine learning, and early systems of artificial-life chemistry.  New installations within the collaboration feature dense reticulated grottos with breathing, reactive, near-living qualities. Recent constructions have included a wide range of scales, from intimate details rendered in clothing for couture, to canopies and construction systems for urban spaces. Details from the emerging work show a preoccupation with intimate human touch interacting with extremely lightweight materials diffusing into the surrounding air. Thin layers of voided hovering filters are tuned for delicate kinetic and chemical responses that cohere in the form of expanded physiologies, beckoning and sharing space with viewers.

Philip Beesley is a professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. At Waterloo he serves as Director for the Integrated Group for Visualization, Design and Manufacturing, and as Director for Riverside Architectural Press. His studio's methods incorporate industrial design, digital prototyping, and mechatronics engineering. He has authored and edited eight books and appeared on the cover of Artificial Life (MIT), LEONARDO and AD journals. His work was selected to represent Canada at the 2010 Venice Biennale for Architecture, and he has been recognized by the Prix de Rome in Architecture, VIDA 11.0, FEIDAD, two Governor General's Awards, Architizer A+ Art Award and as a Katerva finalist.

Giuseppe Penone, Exhibition Artist

Saturday, September 19 / 11 am

Italian artist Giuseppe Penone has played an integral role in the development of art over the past five decades. From his conceptual and performative works of the 1960s and 70s to the large-scale sculptural installations of the past ten years, Penone has explored intimate, sensate, and metaphysical connections with nature. 

Working in a stunning variety of materials—including clay, wood, stone, metal, plaster, resin, acacia thorns—the artist makes palpable and present the analogous processes of nature and art: carving large trees along their growth patterns to reveal the sapling contained within; elaborating the interior space of his closed hand into a large-scale sculpture that both contains his hand and enlarges the space it contains; rendering the swirling mists of his breath in the cold in tactile clay forms that contain the impression of his body. 

Penone will speak in conjunction with the exhibition Giuseppe Penone: Being the River, Repeating the Forest, which will be the first U.S. museum exhibition of the artist’s work in over thirty years and will feature a selection of work in a variety of materials highlighting the development of Penone’s ideas over the course of his career.

Alex Israel, Exhibition Artist

Saturday, October 24 / 2 pm

The work of Alex Israel trafficks in the images and cultural eccentricities of his native Los Angeles and in the wider legacy of the readymade. From his sunglass company Freeway Eyewear to his YouTube talk show called As it LAys, wherein he interviews famous and not-so-famous Hollywood personalities in the style of a 1990s daytime talk show, Israel appropriates the iconic pop culture of LA to better understand its pervasive influence. In addition, Israel works with the set production crew on the Warner Brothers studio lot to create paintings of twilight and sunset skies in the manner of those typically used for movie and television studio backdrops. His use of these paintings as walls and sculptural structures within the gallery space creates an arena of theatricality both for the objects he places in proximity to them—often small sculptures derived from the Hollywood lexicon, or actual rented cinema props—and for viewers in the space.

Israel will speak in conjunction with his Sightings exhibition at the Nasher, which will combine new sculptural objects made in the vernacular vocabulary of Hollywood movies to make a quasi-narrative installation related to a film that Israel is soon to release.

Alex Israel was born in 1982 in Los Angeles, CA, and currently lives and works there. A graduate of Yale University and University of Southern California, Israel has exhibited his work widely, including shows at Le Consortium, Dijon, France; The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; Reena Spaulings Fine Art, New York; and Gavin Brown’s Enterprises, New York. Israel is also the founder and owner of Freeway Eyewear Inc., a sunglass company with products named for the network of highways that run through his native Los Angeles.

Edmund de Waal, Author and Artist

Saturday, November 21 / 2 pm

Bestselling author and artist Edmund de Waal speaks in relation to his new book, The White Road, an intimate narrative history of porcelain structured around five journeys through landscapes where porcelain was dreamed about, fired, refined, collected, and coveted.

A potter who has been working with porcelain for more than forty years, de Waal describes in The White Road how he set out on five journeys to places that would help him understand the clay's mysterious allure. From his studio in London, he starts by travelling to three "white hills"—sites in China, Germany and England that are key to porcelain's creation. But his search eventually takes him around the globe and reveals more than a history of cups and figurines; rather, he is forced to confront some of the darkest moments of twentieth-century history. Part memoir, part history, part detective story, The White Road chronicles a global obsession with alchemy, art, wealth, craft, and purity. In a sweeping yet intimate style that recalls The Hare with the Amber Eyes, de Waal gives us a singular understanding of "the spectrum of porcelain" and the mapping of desire.

Edmund de Waal is one of the world's leading ceramic artists, and his porcelain is held in many major museum collections. His bestselling memoir, The Hare with Amber Eyes has been published in thirty languages and won the Costa Biography Award and the RSL Ondaatje Prize. It was shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize, the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize, the PEN/Ackerley Prize and the Southbank Sky Arts Award for Literature, and longlisted for the Orwell Prize and BBC Samuel Johnson Prize. He lives in London with his family.

Giuseppe Penone