Fall 2023. Advanced Practice: Speculative Painting

Advanced Practice: Speculative Painting 

Faculty: Peter Rostovsky

CRN: 14564 PGFA 5303A

Thurs. 4pm – 6:40pm

Painting and speculative fiction are increasingly kindred spirits. Both routinely explore alternative temporalities and potential futures, peering into the unknown, the alien and the monstrous while reflecting the pressures of developing technologies and anticipating new ones. This class attempts to forge a closer dialogue between these two creative pursuits, using passages and ideas culled from speculative fiction, horror, and weird fiction as prompts for discrete painting projects. What can the writings of J.G. Ballard, Aliette de Bodard, Octavia Butler, Ted Chiang, Phillip K. Dick, William Gibson, Ursula K. Le Guin, N.K. Jemisin, China Miéville, Cixin Liu, H.P. Lovecraft and other speculative writers offer the contemporary painter? This class will explore how literary and speculative conceptions can be expressed visually while developing the student’s knowledge of the materials and techniques of painting. Throughout, it will consider the history of painting and its current debates, highlighting the discipline’s elastic nature, the overlaps between speculative fiction and critical theory, as well as key differences and bridges between art, illustration, and other fields exploring speculative motifs. A course for painters and interdisciplinary artists, this class asks students to perceive painting as something that models alternative histories and worlds while incisively critiquing our own.