Thursday, April 19, 2012

Another Busy Thursday

Just like last Thursday, this one is full!

At 4 p.m. today, in the M. Smith Griffith Auditorium, we have the annual Willson Center/GMOA Lecture, which this year is being delivered by Sujata Iyengar. Dr. Iyengar teaches English Renaissance literature in UGA's English Department and will be speaking on "Pop Goes Shakespeare: Illustration, Adaptation, and Appropriation in the Arden Shakespeare Covers, Second Series."

During the late 1970s a group of English artists retreated from the increasingly conceptual and abstract London art world to the countryside, styling themselves (in emulation of both the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and of Samuel Palmer’s Brotherhood of Ancients) the Brotherhood of Ruralists. The Ruralists encompassed a variety of styles and approaches, but the Arden 2 Shakespeare covers designed by the Ruralists and marketed aggressively by Methuen shared what founding member Peter Blake called a “magic realism,” a deep engagement with the textual world of Shakespeare within a mythologized English landscape. The Arden Shakespeares sold well, but the mainstream British art establishment continued to accuse the Ruralists scathingly of “loud commercialism,” pretentious sentimentality, and anti-intellectual, anti-modernist nostalgia; the Oxford Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art coyly notes of the Ruralists, “some critics found [them] . . . insufferably twee and self-conscious.” This talk, however, considers the Ruralists’ book-covers as postmodern Pop Art and suggests that what seemed at the time to be narrow-minded insularity now strikes us as an ecological and concentration on the natural world; what seemed to be trendy modernizing now looks like the postmodern trait that Fredric Jameson and others identify as “pastiche,” and that what seemed merely trite or sentimental now appears as a historical resistance to the “schizophrenic” loss of affect found in late-20th-century commercial art.

At 5:30 p.m., we have a gallery talk on "Pattern and Palette in Print: Gentry Magazine and a New Generation of Trendsetters," from our own Mary Koon, editor at GMOA, and co-curator Clay McLaurin, chair of the fabric design program at the Lamar Dodd School of Art. Want to learn more about the exciting project that led to this exhibition? Come ask them questions.

Then stay for the second film in our series "Dress the Part: Fashion in Movies and Magazines," when we screen "Funny Face," the 1957 musical starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire about the world of Paris fashion.

Everything is free and open to the public. Parking on campus in surface lots surrounding the museum is also free beginning at 5 p.m.

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