School of Art, Media, and Technology

Public Art Fund at The New School 4/23: Sam Durant

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Wednesday, April 23, 6:30–8:00 p.m.
The New School
The Auditorium at 66 West 12th Street
New York City

Admission: $10 admission; free to all students and The New School faculty, staff, and alumni with valid ID. Tickets may be purchased on the day of each talk but we recommend purchasing in advance.

Through public commissions and site-responsive projects, the ways in which artists engage with the cities and sites they encounter continue to evolve alongside the communities and organizations that present their work. From citywide curatorial projects like Elmgreen & Dragset’s A Place Called Public in Munich, to Sam Durant’s investigation of historical narratives and their contemporary communities, and Katharina Grosse’s numerous site-specific outdoor commissions, considerations of place and people are always paramount to working in the public realm. The spring 2014 Public Art Fund Talks at The New School series, Encounters: Artists, Cities, and Communities, brings together a diverse group of artists toshare the inspirations and practicalities involved in their varied approaches to the places andcommunities that become sites for public art.

Sam Durant is an interdisciplinary artist whose works engage a variety of social, political, and cultural issues. His diverse approach to artmaking has navigated subjects such as the civil rights movement, 19th-century Italian anarchism, cartographic histories of capitalism, 1960s–70s pop music, and Robert Smithson’s theories of entropy, among others. On many occasions, Durant has investigated specific sites and histories in collaboration with local communities to expose the myriad layers of past social and political issues that continue to permeate our lives today.

Sam Durant (born 1961, Seattle) lives and works in Los Angeles. He has had numerous exhibitions across the globe including solo museum shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art, Ghent, Belgium; Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Zealand; the Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome; and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT. From 2005 to 2010 he was a member of the collective Transforma Projects, a grassroots cultural re-building initiative in New Orleans. His interactive public sculpture Scaffold, an immense wooden and steel structure first shown at dOCUMENTA (13), is on view at The Hague through fall 2014. Most recently, from 2012–13, Durant was an artist in residence at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles where he collaborated with the education department to produce a discursive social media project called What #isamuseum? Sam Durant teaches art at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA. He is represented by Paula Cooper Gallery in New York.

Public Art Fund Talks at The New School are organized by Public Art Fund in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics.

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