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Lectures

Anderman Photography Lecture Series: An-My Lê

CPAC members are eligible for the member price.

In her work, An-My Lê examines the culture of war. Drawing equally from the traditions of landscape and combat photography, she uses a large format camera not to depict the action of battle, but to give context to how we fight. Lê’s resultant images—of tanks and missiles in seemingly choreographed movements, ships on a cerulean sea, or soldiers performing the mundane duties that surround war—are cinematic in scope and resonate with layered meanings and implicit narratives.

Anderman Photography Lecture Series: Mark Ruwedel

With grids of small gelatin silver prints hand-titled in graphite and arranged by type, Mark Ruwedel's work straddles the line between documentation and conceptual art.

His photographs of the U.S. and Canadian West present landscapes marked by their human presence. These pictures reveal the histories of places that have been traversed, exploited, and built upon. Sometimes these marks are evident, other times they re merely a trace, yet all show the West as a peopled landscape even in its perceived desolation and give evidence that human and natural histories are intertwined.

Ruwedel's most recent series, Pictures of Hell, takes on the conceit of naming places. The appellations such places were given  Devil's Slide, Hell's Backbone, Diablo Mountains, even just Hell offer clues to the perceptions of those encountering an alien landscape for the first time and the seeming disappointment in what was found. His earlier series, Westward the Course of Empire, traced the routes of the West's once extensive railroad infrastructure developed in the race to complete the Transcontinental Railroad. The cuts, portals, and trestles Ruwedel photographed reveal the passage of time from initial construction to the sites ultimate return to the land.

 

 

Flower Painting and Insect Metamorphosis: The Art of Maria Sibylla Merian

The lecture examines the colorful and dynamic still life paintings made by the 17th-century German artist Maria Sibylla Merian. Featuring botanicals and insect metamorphosis from Northern Europe and South America, the talk introduces the artwork of an important precursor to the Impressionists. In Merian’s era, scientific discoveries were fueled by the quest to find and depict flora and fauna previously unknown in Europe. Merian’s explorations took her to the Dutch colony of Suriname in South America, where, at the age of 52, she was the first to study insect transformation of this foreign land. The lecture traces geographical and scientific explorations, artistic innovations, and great entrepreneurial efforts of this remarkable woman.

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