In conjunction with BURNAWAY’s Emerging Art Writers Mentorship Program, BURNAWAY is very pleased to present a public talk featuring the charismatic New York-based art writer and curator Gregory Volk. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Friday, February 6, 2015, at 7PM in Georgia State University’s Speaker’s Auditorium at 44 Cortland Street SE, Atlanta, GA 30303.
Volk will discuss the influence transcendentalist philosopher and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson had on various writers and artists, from Thoreau and members of the Hudson River School to more contemporary figures. His talk, titled “The Instant Dependence of Form Upon Soul: Ralph Waldo Emerson and Current Art,” will touch on a range of contemporary artists whose works engage the viewer visually, conceptually, and quite presumably, soulfully. As a former Unitarian minister, Emerson tended to make enormous proclamations about art, seeing it as inseparable from individual character, psychological growth, revelation, and redemption. He believed that formalism alone would solve nothing but that “the instant dependence of form upon soul,” as he wrote in his 1844 essay “The Poet,” could offer artistic forms that would take the shape of the artist’s own psyche, resulting in art that is cerebral, impassioned, risky, experimental, and extraordinarily open to the world.
Volk writes regularly for Art in America, where he serves as a contributing editor, as well as such publications as Parkett and Sculpture. Among his contributions to exhibition catalogues are essays on Bruce Nauman (Milwaukee Art Museum, 2006), Ayse Erkmen (Venice Biennale, 2011), and Sanford Biggers (Brooklyn Museum, 2011). He has curated many exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad, including “Elemental” at Havremagasinet in Boden, Sweden (2013), and “Three Parts Whole” at i8 Gallery in Reykjavik, Iceland (2011). Volk also holds the position of associate professor in the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Originally hailing from upstate New York, Volk received his BA from Colgate University and his MA from Columbia University. This year, along with artist and curator Michelle Grabner, Volk will serve as a visiting critic and lecturer in the “Viewpoints” series at the University of Texas at Austin.
For more information and directions, click here.