Symposium | A Crimp in the Fabric: Situating Painting Today

Public Talks + Conferences

Thursday, Sep 28, 2017 - 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Reliance Theatre | Room A1060, first floor
Register on Eventbrite

Emily Carr University of Art + Design hosts the keynote address of this two-day symposium that presents a range of perspectives reflecting on the current state of contemporary painting practices.

Painting has been an object of pleasure, debate and commerce for centuries. Recently it has been the subject of much critical writing, several major publications, provocative exhibitions, and international symposia. While painting in Vancouver has always been aware and informed, and a part of current debates nationally and globally, the symposium organizers feel that there is a real need now, from the position of Vancouver, for a platform and venue to reflect upon and contribute to the knowledge and wisdom of current international painting practices.

The symposium is an opportunity for artists, writers, curators, students, educators and thinkers to come together, and question the relevance and importance of painting today. It will be an opportunity to listen to and discuss issues arising from various and diverse artistic positions represented by panelists, in the context of the many concurrent painting exhibitions occurring throughout Vancouver.

Beginning with an evening lecture by the internationally prominent keynote speaker, Isabelle Graw, who will situate a particular set of questions regarding contemporary painting, on the following day there will be four panel discussions, each one dealing with a different question in painting and its praxis with opportunities for the audience to engage in question periods.

Featured panelists include:

  • Sean Alward
  • Marvin Luvuala Antonio
  • Derek Dunlop
  • Jessica Groom
  • Mark Igloliorte (ECU Assistant Professor)
  • Elizabeth Mcintosh (ECU Associate Professor)
  • Christine Major
  • Sandra Meigs
  • Nicole Ondre (ECU Alumna)
  • Athena Papadopoulos
  • Ben Reeves (ECU Associate Professor)
  • Adrianne Rubenstein
  • Francine Savard
  • Alison Shields
  • M.E. Sparks (ECU Alumna)
  • Carolyn Stockbridge (ECU Alumna)
  • Charlene Vickers (ECU Alumna)
  • Jinny Yu

Keynote Speaker | Isabelle Graw: The Value of Painting

Painting is usually associated with various aesthetic, emotional, symbolic and economic values. In this talk, “Painting” refers to all those (often non-painterly) artistic practices that employ the picture on canvas in manifold ways. Graw will examine the commodity value of painting, considering paintings as unique material objects that nourish a fantasy that their value is substantial and contained within them—valuable because of their specific materiality, and because of the sphere of reception painting exists within.

Graw will argue that despite their materiality, paintings can’t be reduced to their economic dimension; although the luxury industry in particular has tried to learn from painting in recent years, painting’s intellectual prestige has been growing since the early modern times, adding to their status as ideal commodities.

Isabelle Graw is a professor of art theory and art history at the Staatliche Hochschule für bildende Künste (Städelschule) Frankfurt am Main, where she co-founded the Institute of Art Criticism. She is an art critic and co-founder of Texte zur Kunst in Berlin. She has edited and contributed to many important books on the medium of painting, most notably Painting Beyond Itself: The Medium in the Post-Medium Condition (Sternberg Press, 2016) and Thinking through Painting. Reflexivity and Agency beyond the Canvas (Sternberg Press, 2012). Her forthcoming book The Love of Painting: Genealogy of a Success Medium aims to establish where painting can be seen today and to reconstruct the historical origins of its current popularity.

Isabelle Graw is a guest of the Goethe Institute. Her talk is made possible with support from the Audain Endowment for Curatorial Studies through the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory at the University of British Columbia.

The symposium is presented by the Vancouver Art Gallery, Simon Fraser University, The Goethe Institute, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory at the University of British Columbia and Emily Carr University of Art + Design.