Terra Foundation-supported Events

Dialogue: “Prehistory against the Empire: Three American Artists (Oldenburg, Smithson, Morris)”

If modernity is considered in relation to the images it has created of prehistory, one could wonder whether artists in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s invented a prehistory that would be specific to them. In this dialogue with Céline Flécheux, Maria Stavrinaki extends the hypotheses of her book Saisis par la préhistoire. Enquête sur l’art et le temps des modernes (Les presses du réel, 2019) and the exhibition Prehistory, A Modern Enigma (Centre Pompidou, 2019), which she co-curated. The discussion will examine how artists Claes Oldenburg, Robert Smithson, and Robert Morris employed the prehistoric imagination as a tool to critique the American empire and the dawn of the atomic age.


  • Céline Flécheux, Lecturer, Université Paris Diderot
  • Maria Stavrinaki, Associate Professor, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

This event is free and open to the public. It will be held in French. Please RSVP to: [email protected]