Spring 2018 Topics 2D: Painting as Politics – Mira Schor

Painting as Politics

Mira Schor

Mondays 3:50 PM

PUFA 3220D

Composite image, l.: Kerry James Marshall, De Style, 1993, detail; r. Louise Fishman, Wave on Wave, 2016, detail.

Painting is one of the most ancient methods of creating imagery and form through the application of pigmented matter to a ground. It has a long history of representing history but since the advent of photography and film, its usefulness as a site for political activism has frequently been questioned.  In the age of Instagram questions of scale, surface, and audience have taken on new significance. So how can painting function today as a medium, a space and an approach to time in which to address contemporary political concerns in a seductive fast moving multi-media entertainment and news environment?  This class will explore how the material conditions of painting can be used for their expressive and political meanings. We will develop through studio work and discussion the role of politics and formalism within painting, looking at recent and historical paintings with overt political content and considering political subtexts within abstraction. Projects will encourage the development of painting from a range of political concerns and personal identities, and will explore intersectionality of style, content, and materiality.

Mira Schor is an artist and writer noted for her advocacy of painting in a post-medium visual culture and for her contributions to feminist art history. Schor’s work balances political and theoretical concerns with formalist and material passions. Her work has included major periods in which gendered narrative and representation of the body have been featured; in other periods the focus of her work has been representation of language in drawing and painting. The central theme in recent paintings is the experience of living in a moment of incipient fascism, radical inequality, austerity, and accelerated time, set against the powerful pull of older notions of time, craft, and visual pleasure. Schor received her MFA in painting from CalArts in 1973. She is the recipient of awards in painting from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Marie Walsh Sharpe, and Pollock-Krasner Foundations and of the College Art Association’s Frank Jewett Mather Award in Art Criticism. In 2017 Mira Schor was elected to the National Academy. Schor’s work has been included in exhibitions at the Hammer Museum, P.S.1, The Neuberger Museum, The Jewish Museum, and The Aldrich Museum.  She is represented by Lyles & King Gallery in New York City and by CB1 Gallery in Los Angeles.Schor is the author of Wet: On Painting, Feminism, and Art Culture, editor of The Extreme of the Middle: Writings of Jack Tworkov, and co-editor of M/E/A/N/I/N/G: An Anthology of Artists’ Writings, Theory, and Criticism and M/E/A/N/I/N/G Online. Schor was awarded a Creative Capital / Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant in 2009 to develop A Year of Positive Thinking, a blog which includes writings on contemporary art, culture, and politics to accompany and provide a positive counterpoint to the publication of her 2009 book A Decade of Negative Thinking: Essays on Art, Politics, and Daily LifeShe is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Fine Arts Program at Parsons School of Design.