Past events

On this page you will find an overview of the past events of the Online lecture series: Art Histories in Dialogue.

Between Private and Public: The Creativity of Early Modern Women

This lecture took place on 27 October 2021

Speaker 1: Hanneke Grootenboer - The Craft of Thought: Seventeenth-Century Wonder Women - This presentation looks at the relationship between craft and thought in the art practice of seventeenth-century women who were, in addition to artists or poets, also scholars.  They never enjoyed the same freedom to voice ideas as their male counterparts, but found in the creating of small artefacts a form of self-expression. Often meant to address no audience other than themselves, their work reveals their reflections on their side-lined position in the scholarly world.

Speaker 2: Martine van Elk - Such Strange Work: Early Modern Women Writers and Glass Engraving - My presentation explores glass engravings by Anna Roemers Visscher, Maria Tesselschade Roemers Visscher, and Anna Maria van Schurman. These richly significant objects combined writing and visual art, but must also be situated in the context of hospitality, gift giving, patronage, and pastime. I consider these engravings as playful self-representations that circulated in public and private contexts and questioned expectations for women of the early modern period.

Indigenous knowledge and the arts in Latin America

This lecture took place on 17 November 2021

Speaker 1: Matthijs Jonker - Depicting the New World: Mestizo images of nature in early colonial Mexico and Europe - In 1651, the Roman Accademia dei Lincei published its long-awaited encyclopaedia of the natural history of Mexico: the Tesoro messicano. The importance of this treatise for the history of science consists in the use of the original verbal and visual material that was collected and produced in the 16th century in Mexico with the help of indigenous healers and artists, and in the systematic coupling of the descriptions and images of plants and animals. However, the Tesoro messicano has hitherto been studied almost exclusively from a European and a textual perspective. In this talk I will take a different approach by focusing on the indigenous contribution to the images and consider them as mestizo products. Since the original colour drawings on which the Tesoro’s woodcuts were based are lost, one must resort to other sources for the recreation of these images, such as written descriptions and similar images of plants and animals produced in the same period in Mexico. In the talk I will also reflect on the methodological cogency of this approach.

Speaker 2: Liliana Gómez - Liquid Ecologies in Latin American Contemporary Art - The current environmental crisis with its psychic and material implications, has been contested by art interventions that brought up and experimented with the motives and media of fluidities and bodies of water. By understanding liquids as ontological materials, I address the memory work and critical reflection by a series of Latin American contemporary artworks that I conceive as liquid ecologies. I will discuss a selection of recent artworks on the river body and the fluid by Carolina Caycedo and Clemencia Echeverri as part of fluvial narratives of the history of the earth. Both artists critique the opacity and the invisibility of displaced and forgotten histories of violence: their artworks are interventions into the narratives of the Anthropocene, whose use in Western narratives reproduces the lacunae of history about the diverse forms of violence, economic, racial, or political, into which environmental transformations are embedded. The artworks interrupt these silences and omissions, as they use liquids against the obliteration of a social crisis, deeply entangled with the violent man-made transformation of landscapes. I further discuss the use of liquids and bodies of water in these artworks as a media-reflexive dimension of art, mirroring a long engagement in Latin American arts with fluidity and liquidity as cultural metaphors that ground new analytical terrains.

Space and void in renaissance painting

This lecture took place on 24 November

Speaker 1: David Young Kim - Duccio's Exits - Naturalism, clarity, and lyrical enfleshment recur as prominent issues in scholarly discussions on Duccio’s Maestà altarpiece (1308-11). While in dialogue with these conversations, this brief intervention will explore the gaps, fissures, and darkened cavities in Duccio’s architectural settings, often considered solely in terms of nascent experimentation with perspective. Delaying, relaying, and suggesting (though not showing) keys moments of narrative action, Duccio’s “exits,” or extrascenic space raise the conceptual and etymological links between the “obscene” and “off-scene.”

Speaker 2: Anna Degler - Crivelli’s Excess: 'Much too much, too much, too much, too much'? - Camp, surreal, and a lot of other excessive attributes have been ascribed to the art of the Venetian painter Carlo Crivelli. Is his art simply “too much”? “A real painter never loads“, the English art critic John Ruskin derogatively wrote in 1906 on “the embossed projecting jewels of Carlo Crivelli”. Sixty years later, Susan Sontag cherished exactly this aspect of the painter’s work in her Notes on Camp. This short talk is an eccentric invitation to look at Crivelli’s excess as a chance to distort some master narratives of Western aesthetics and art historiography.