Arts writer and critic to deliver Goldfarb Lecture

Close up of Patricia Phillips

Art critic, theorist, curator and educator Patricia Phillips of the Rhode Island School of Design is the featured speaker for the 2012 Goldfarb Lecture in Visual Arts.

Patricia PhillipsShe will deliver her talk, “(un)Public: A Case for Collateral Art”, Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 004 Accolade West Building, Keele campus. Admission is free.

Right: Patricia Phillips

In her illustrated lecture, Phillips will consider questions arising around public art: its content, communication and the expansive sense of audience that includes both intended and unanticipated viewers or participants. She will discuss the peripatetic, restless scope and range of art in public spaces, and how this makes critical work on the topic an engaging and bracing, yet somewhat speculative activity.

“The variables and vagaries of art in the public realm are different, and potentially more complex, than art encountered in the more rarified environments of museums and galleries,” Phillips says. “People rarely end up in museums or galleries by accident; it’s generally a considered act, regardless of whether a viewer knows about art. Public art, on the other hand, invokes the idea of ‘accidental’ publics, spontaneous affiliations and unpredictable temporalities.”

The dramatically variable characteristics, dimensions, durations and contexts of public art make analysis intriguing, discursive and always approximate, says Phillips.

Phillips’ research and critical writing involve contemporary art, public art, architecture, landscape and the intersection of these areas. Her essays and reviews have been featured in Artforum, Art in America, Flash Art, Sculpture and Public Art Review, as well as in books and essay collections published by Rizzoli International Publications, Princeton Architectural Press, M.I.T. Press, Routledge and other leading publishers. She is the author of Ursula von Rydingsvard: Working (Prestel, 2011) and It is Difficult, a survey of the work of Alfredo Jaar (Actar Press, 1998).

From 2002 to 2007, Phillips served as editor-in-chief of the Art Journal, a quarterly publication on contemporary art published by the College Art Association. She was dean of Graduate Studies and currently serves as interim associate provost for academic affairs at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Phillips’ talk is the eighth in a series of annual public lectures made possible through the generous support of Joan and Martin Goldfarb, longstanding benefactors of the Department of Visual Arts and Faculty of Fine Arts at York.

For more information, visit the Department of Visual Arts website or call 416-736-5187.