“Erased, Replaced, Omitted, Denied: American Art and Negation” at Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art

April 1, 2015
Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, Paris

Art historical negation removes the past in ways historical, intellectual, visual, and physical, through acts which can be accidental or purposeful, political or aesthetic, personal or institutional. This study day seeks to rediscover what has been lost, forgotten, or suppressed in the construction of an American art history. In revealing these losses, this study day is interested in reconstructions and recoveries that challenge a unified narrative or simple chronology—put another way, in the construction of the existing narratives, what has been removed and why? How does reintroducing these incidents affect our understanding of American art? Why have artists erased (or attempted to erase) their work or their biography? How does the obliterated or erased object have a legacy and what is added to the work in its absent state? How have institutions and museums dealt with erasures and influenced our understanding of this history? Of particular interest are papers which address historiographic or biographical erasures, institutional practices of suppression or aesthetics of emptiness, obfuscation, silence or deletion.

Organized by Sarah Archino, Terra Foundation for American Art Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at the Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA), in partnership with Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7, Université Paris-Ouest Nanterre La Défense, and François-Rabelais Université de Tours.

Session 1 Introduction


“Robert Rauschenberg’s Erased de Kooning Drawing (1963)” by Gregor Stemmrich, Professor, Freie Universität, Berlin


“Andy Warhol’s End of Painting” by Jenevive Nykolak, PhD Candidate, University of Rochester


Response by Wendy Bellion, Terra Foundation for American Art Visiting Professor and Associate Professor, University of Delaware


Session 2 Introduction by Hélène Valance, Terra Foundation for American Art Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, Courtauld Institute of Art


“Down Tools, or Lee Lozano’s Erasures” by Jo Applin, Senior Lecturer, University of York


“Erasure and (Re)construction: From Judy Gerowitz to Judy Chicago” by Monica Steinberg, PhD Candidate, City University of New York


Session 3 Introduction by François Brunet, Professor, Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7


“The Politics of Erasure: Writing American Art History in Black and White” by Tanya Sheehan, Associate Professor, Colby College


“Exclusion/Inclusion: Native American Art et musées aux États-Unis depuis les années 1970” by Emilie Blanc,  PhD Candidate, Université Rennes 2


“Effacer le séjour à Paris : les réécritures biographiques des Américains expatriés à Paris dans les années 1950–1960” by Elisa Capdevilla, Research Associate, Centre d’histoire culturelle des sociétés contemporaines, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines


“Erasures and obliterations in reading American art in the ‘most joyful barrack of the Soviet bloc’” by Anna Markowska, Professor, Uniwersytet Wrocławski