2022-2023 Schedule

These events have now passed.

For the 2022-23 year, we are proud to bring back the Arts Masterclass series, A Tour of the World in 6 Artworks. We will travel the world through time and geography to visit colonial Peru, Oceanic artworks, the Mughal period, and even 20th century art in the US and Senegal.

Register for one or all of the sessions at https://bit.ly/3viFJuX. All sessions are open to the Baruch community free of charge.

Portrait of Manuela Tupac Amaru , indigenous Peruvian woman in colonial Andes

Thursday October 13 2022, 1-2 pm

Horacio Ramos, PhD candidate in art history at CUNY Grad Center

Dressed to Reign: Portraiture and Indigenous Power in the Colonial Andes

We tend to imagine the European colonization of the Americas as a complete erasure and subjugation of Indigenous culture and society. Colonial art from the Andes, however, tells a different story. In Cusco, Peru, around 1777, Manuela Tupac Amaru hired an unknown Indigenous artist to portray her wearing an Inca dress while standing next to a coat of arms that established her as a descendant of the Inca emperor who ruled Peru before colonization. This talk analyzes various objects used or worn by Indigenous elites—such as portraits, drawings, dresses, and garments—to demonstrate the role of the arts in affirming social and political currency in the colonial Andes. Since the painting of Manuela Tupac Amaru constitutes the only known portrait of an Indigenous woman with a real name, the talk will also reflect on art’s role in building gender and racial identities in the early modern world.

Painting to Hammer a Nail, by Yoko Ono

Thursday November 10 2022, 1-2 pm

Dr. Midori Yamamura Kingsborough Community College

From Post-Medium to Peace Activism: Yoko Ono’s Painting to Hammer a Nail In

Painting to Hammer a Nail In (1966) is one of Yoko Ono’s most celebrated pieces, exhibited at Indica Gallery in London in 1966. The participatory art marked her encounter with the British pop culture icon and her future husband, John Lennon. Born in 1933 in Tokyo, Ono matured as an artist when attitudes toward gender were radically changing in the post-World War II world. By 1966, Ono was an essential part of New York’s vanguard scene. The epochal shifts made her question “our [preexisting] consciousness,” and she began creating art that “asks us to reorientate ourselves physically and mentally.” This talk examines the transformations of Ono’s Painting to Hammer a Nail In (1961/66/67) in relation to her gender in Tokyo, New York, and London. It discusses how Ono envisioned forming society using art.

A Dove Has Spread Her Wings and Asks for Peace, by Maria Prymachenko

Thursday December 8 2022, 1-2 pm

Dr. Lauren Jimerson

PhD in Art History

Anti-War Ukrainian Folk Art: Maria Primachenko’s Dove asks for Peace

“I bow down before the artistic miracle of this brilliant Ukrainian.” These are the words of Pablo Picasso describing Maria Prymachenko whose works he viewed in 1937 at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne in Paris. We will examine this painting within the context of Prymachenko’s oeuvre as we learn about her fusion of folk and avant-garde techniques. Interweaving historic Ukrainian Petrykivka painting with novel painting methods, she merged tradition and modernism in her work. Moreover, Prymachecko created enigmatic images that carry poignant messages about peace. Prymachenko’s “A Dove Has Spread Her Wings and Asks for Peace” will serve as a springboard to discuss the humanitarian efforts to safeguard Ukrainian cultural heritage. We will learn about the heroic attempt to save Prymachenko’s work when a museum was burned by Russian forces in March 2022 as well as the international endeavor to save the art and culture of Ukraine.

Ndary Lô’s Délit de surcharge: Art, government, and global commerce at Dak’Art 2004

Thursday February 23 2023, 1-2 pm

Dana Liljegren, exhibition coordinator at MoMA and a PhD Candidate in Art History at the Graduate Center, CUNY

Ndary Lô’s Délit de surcharge: Art, government, and global commerce at Dak’Art 2004

In September of 2002, a Senegalese passenger ferry called the Joola was tragically shipwrecked off the coast of the Gambia, resulting in the death of more than 1,800 passengers. Nearly two years later, the 2004 installment of Dak’Art – Senegal’s contemporary art biennial – included numerous artistic responses to the capsized ferry and its lost passengers. The late artist Ndary Lô (1961–2017) used his signature method of artistic récupération—crafting sculpture and assemblage installations out of repurposed materials from the local environment—to create Délit de surcharge (2004). The prevalence of récupération, as both an artistic strategy and a conceptualization, has characterized the work of many contemporary Senegalese artists since the 1990s. Its processes of recovery, reclamation, and recycling have undeniable ties to Dakar’s rehabilitation movement of the late 1980s and early ‘90s, during which professional and amateur artists took to the streets to rescue the city from the destruction of a waste management crisis. This presentation considers Lô’s work alongside the perspectives and theories of new materialism, ecology, and international economics, and aims to illuminate the deepening connection between contemporary artistic production, sustainability, and the globalized nature of modern commerce.  

Thursday March 9 2023, 1-2 pm

Matteo Bellucci, PhD candidate in art history, CUNY Grad Center

Multivalence in the Architecture and Decoration of Shah Jahan’s Jharokha at Delhi’s Red Fort

The jharokha at the Red Fort palace in Delhi, India, is one of the most symbolically charged architectural commissions of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (reigned 1628-1658). The emperor built this distinctive balcony inside his palace to provide a dramatic setting for his appearances before his subjects. This lecture focuses on the jharokha’s most conspicuous features: its semi-precious stone inlay decoration withplaques imported from Florence and its unusual canopied structure. Considering both Florentine and local Mughal traditions, art historian Matteo Bellucci analyzes this cross-cultural exchange to show how the jharokha’s visual forms and materials helped legitimize the imperial rule of Shah Jahan by communicating his authority.

Thursday April 27 2023, 1-2 pm

Dr. Maia Nuku, curator of Oceanic art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Shape of Time: Red feather money and the aesthetics of ceremonial currency in Oceania

The tevau, or money coil, of the Santa Cruz Islands is one of the most beautiful forms of currency in Oceania. Thirty feet in length, tevau consist of up to sixty thousand red feathers of the scarlet honey-eater, affixed to overlapping fiber plates to create a rare and elevated form of currency amongst this archipelago of islands at the heart of the Pacific. Join Curator Maia Nuku as she unwraps the fascinating layers of cosmological and indigenous meaning that permeate these unique and remarkable indexes of time, value and relationships.