[PAST EVENT] Spring 2019 Distinguished Lecture in Art History by Dr. Krista Thompson, Northwestern University
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Spring 2019 Distinguished Lecture in Art History: ‘Disregard’: Tom Lloyd and the Art Workers’ Coalition
Dr. Krista Thompson, Mary Jane Crowe Professor of Art History, Northwestern University
In January 1969, the electronic light sculptor Tom Lloyd became a founding member of the Art Workers’ Coalition, a group of artists and critics who pressured New York museums to be more inclusive in the range of artists they exhibited, collected and consulted, and in the publics they attracted. This paper examines Lloyd’s contributions to the group, especially his efforts to start a study center devoted to Black and Puerto Rican art and his Community Artists Cultural Survey. The presentation explores more broadly questions about the archive in art history, about histories of the disregarded, and black study and the museum through Lloyd’s art work.
Dr. Krista Thompson is the Mary Jane Crowe Professor of Art History and affiliated faculty in the Department of African American Studies and the Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University. She researches and teaches the modern and contemporary art and visual culture of the Africa diaspora, with an emphasis on photography. She is author of An Eye for the Tropics (Duke University Press, 2006), Developing Blackness (The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, 2008), and Shine: The Visual Economy of Light in African Diasporic Aesthetic Practice (Duke University Press, 2015), recipient of the Charles Rufus Morey Award for distinguished book in the history of art from the College Art Association (2016). Thompson is the co-editor (with Claire Tancons) of En Mas': Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean (D.A.P., 2015) and her articles have appeared in American Art, Art Bulletin, Art Journal, Representations, The Drama Review, and Small Axe. She has received grants and fellowships from the Andy Warhol Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and was awarded the David C. Driskell Prize from the High Museum of Art in 2009.
Thompson has curated several exhibitions, including Bahamian Visions: Colonial Photographs of the Bahamas (2003); the National Exhibition (NE3) (2006); Developing Blackness (2008) at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas; An Account of a Voyage to Jamaica with the Unnatural History of That Place, Fred Wilson's re-installation of the collections of the Institute of Jamaica (2007); and co-curated En Mas': Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean (Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans (2015), which traveled internationally through 2018.
Thompson is currently working on Black Light, a manuscript about Tom Lloyd, electronic light, and archival recovery in African American art and The Evidence of Things Not Photographed (forthcoming, Duke University Press), a book that examines notions of photographic absence, fugitivity and disappearance in colonial and postcolonial Jamaica. An article from the latter, I WAS HERE. BUT I DISAPEAR: Ivanhoe Rhygin Martin, The Harder They Come, and the Effect of Photographic Disappearance in Jamaica, was published in Art Journal in 2018.