International guest lectures:
Professor Richard Wollheim, University of Berkeley, California at the National Gallery of Australia
Lecture: The failure of formalism
Date: Wednesday 27 June 2001
Venue: James O. Fairfax Theatre, National Gallery of Australia
Lecture: How paintings work: Ruisdael, Monet and Picasso
Date: Thursday 28 June 2001
Venue: Small Theatre, National Gallery of Australia
What is art? How does a piece of art work?
According to Professor Richard Wollheim, philosopher of the arts, there is no way in which this can be judged. The notion of a piece of art 'working' relates to the aims of the artist.
Professor Wollheim will discuss these issues in his two free public lectures at the National Gallery of Australia:
6pm Wednesday 27 June The failure of formalism
Professor Wollheim challenges the conventional wisdom that the value of a painting can be accounted for in 'formalist' terms, where the picture is first divided into parts then observations made about how these forms interrelate. He claims that there are fundamental difficulties in applying this technique because the way a picture is organised is not something that can be separated from the other concerns of the artist.
12:45pm Thursday 28 June How paintings work: Ruisdael, Monet and
Professor Wollheim explores ideas about the 'workings' of art by considering three artists whose ideas about picture composition vary vastly: Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and Jakob Ruisdael, the Dutch landscape painter.
Richard Wollheim taught philosophy for over 30 years at the University of London and since 1985 has been a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a member of the British Academy and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Professor Wollheim is the author of Freud; Art and its Objects; Painting as an Art; and of the novel A Family Romance; as well as two volumes of essays. His latest book is titled On the Emotions and his current research is on the idea of pictorial organisation.
Enquiries: Greg Marginson,
Manager, Public Programs
+61 2 6240 6524