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The Oldness of Abstraction (or Can Abstract Art Be New?)
Participant Briony Fer

Abstract art is now more than a hundred years old, having developed its own complex formal vocabularies over the course of the twentieth century. In this lecture, Briony Fer discusses a critical point in that history, focusing on the work of Ad Reinhardt and Agnes Martin in the 1960s in order to explore the problem of so-called pure painting and its ramifications for abstraction, then and now. Does the charge of hermeticism and mysticism long attached to (old) abstract painting still matter today?

Briony Fer is the 2014 Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professor at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, and a Professor of Art History at UCL, London, UK.