The Urgency of Art History: Conversation between Huang Zhuan and Sarah Wilson

All day


Moderator: Carol Yinghua Lu

Venue: The University of Chicago Center in Beijing

OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT) and Wu Hung (University of Chicago, Art History) collaborated to present “The Urgency of Art History”, a conversation between art historian and critic Huang Zhuang, and art historian and curator Sarah Wilson, hosted by the university of Chicago Centre in Beijing on Monday. The conversation was part of the “OCAT Library” series.

The two guest speakers discussed the urgency of historical writing in contexts of East and West Europe as well as China and the strong desires among practitioners in both contexts to develop their respective subjectivities in their art historical narratives. The content of the conversation will be published in both Chinese and English languages.

About the Speakers:

Huang Zhuan, art historian and critic, was born in Wuhan, China in 1958 and currently serves as a professor at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. His books include Questions in Contemporary Art (with Yan Shanchun), The Tastes, Schemas and Values of Literati Painting (with Yan Shanchun) and Thoughts and Actions in the Art World. He has curated many exhibitions, including the 1st Contemporary Art Academic Invitational Exhibition (1996, Beijing and Hong Kong), 3rd Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art – China Hall (1999, Brisbane), Re-Reading: First Guangzhou Triennial (2002, Guangzhou, with Wu Hung and Feng Boyi), State Legacy: Research in the Visualization of Political History (2009, Manchester, UK, and Shenzhen) and Thing-in-Itself: Utopia, Pop and Personal Mythology – Wang Guangyi Retrospective Exhibition (2012, Beijing).

Sarah Wilson is Professor of the History of Modern and Contemporary art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. She currently holds a Chair of Excellence at the Centre for the Cultural History of Contemporary Societies at the University of Versailles, Saint Quentin. Her project ‘Globalisation before globalisation’ intends to rewrite a history of modernism and postmodernism to 1989 with a focus on Paris and its international exchanges including its long relationship with Asia.  Following The Visual World of French Theory: Figurations (Yale, 2010), its companion volume Interventions is in preparation and Picasso / Marx  is currently being completed for Liverpool University Press. At the Courtauld she is an active member of  CCRAC, the Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre with a remit for contemporary Russian art and will resume her MA course, ‘Global Conceptualism’ generated in 2011 with  Professor Boris Groys, in 2013.  She was principal curator of Paris, Capital of the Arts, 1900-1968  (Royal Academy London, Guggenheim Bilbao, 2002-3) and Pierre Klossowski Whitechapel Art Gallery, 2006, touring to Cologne and Paris. Sarah Wilson was appointed Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres awarded by the French government for services to French culture in 1997. Her Matisse (Poligrafa, 1989) was the first full-colour monograph of the artist in Chinese (new edition 2009).

“OCAT Library” is a project of reading, speech, conversations and publications, initiated in the autumn of 2011. It aims to support and generate the communication and practice of contemporary art theory and thinking.