Praising Rosalind Krauss

Posted: April 18, 2018 in Uncategorized

2012 Distinguished Scholar Session
Honors Rosalind Krauss

College Art Association

The 2012 Distinguished Scholar Session, taking place at the 100th Annual Conference in Los Angeles, will honor Rosalind Krauss, University Professor at Columbia University in New York. Yve-Alain Bois of the Institute for Advanced Studies will chair a session, called “The Theoretical Turn,” in which five to six participants—among them Harry Cooper, Jonathan Crary, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, and Hal Foster—will explore and celebrate Krauss’s many contributions to the history of art. The Distinguished Scholar Session will be held in Room 515B at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Thursday, February 23, 2:30–5:00 PM.

Krauss’s acute observation of twentieth-century art began at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, where she received her undergraduate degree in 1962. She began writing criticism in 1966, mostly for Artforum, while working on her PhD at Harvard University, which she earned in 1969. MIT Press published an expanded version of her dissertation as Terminal Iron Works: The Sculpture of David Smith in 1971.

Krauss continued writing criticism and generating art-historical essays that challenged steadfast analyses of Auguste Rodin, the Surrealists, and Jackson Pollock, to name a few topics. She joined the Artforum editorial board in the late 1960s and appeared on the masthead as assistant editor from 1971 to 1974. Krauss and her colleague Annette Michelson left the magazine in 1975 to establish the scholarly October, which strove to forge a relationship between contemporary concerns and scholarship, with particular emphases on the history of modernism, its fundamental premises, and the ability of writing to reinvigorate the era. For Krauss and others, October was an opportunity to integrate artists such as Richard Serra and Sol LeWitt into their theoretical convictions and investigative criticism.

(read more)


Professor Rosalind Krauss Receives Honorary Degree from Harvard University

University Professor Rosalind Krauss received an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Harvard University at their 360th Commencement on May 26, 2011.

In a voice that is both passionate and precise, conceptual and tactile, Krauss reveals recurring structures of form and meaning that resound across various artistic practices—abstraction, photography, video and performance art—connecting them to each other and their historical context, without conflating their methods or meanings in grand generalizations of aesthetic value. Krauss writes, “What I must acknowledge is not some idea of the world’s perspective but simply my own point of view. One’s own perspective, like one’s own age, is the only orientation one will ever have.”

It is no exaggeration to say that Rosalind Krauss has been the preeminent American art historian to have taught generations of colleagues and students, across the arts and the humanities, to courageously espouse, what she once described as “the paraliterary space”: “the space of debate, quotation, partisanship, betrayal, reconciliation…” We honor Rosalind Krauss for her indomitable spirit and her pioneering work.

–Drew G. Faust, President, Harvard University

  1. Man, I haven’t even seen the whole video yet and I’m already praying that guy has some decent speakers in his basement. I’d lose my mind. But he’s got the spirit.

    • Taylor Almond says:

      Have you seen the “blooper” tags around downtown? The same name on different objects with different decorations all over the city. They’ve got the spirit, too.

        • Taylor Almond says:

          Here’s all the places I (remember) seeing it at: 200 S 200 E (in the alley by Diabolical Records, in front of an apartment building on 200 E, and on the side of the art gallery on the corner), on the menu at the 700 E McDonalds drive through, on an electrical box around 1100 E and 500 S, on the trax/road barrier around 1000 E and 500 S, a few near Kilby Court… there’s gotta be others.

  2. Joseph says:

    This whole conversation of reproducibility is fascinating to me. On a quantum mechanical level, all atoms of a gas need to be indistinguishable in order for the laws of thermodynamics to make sense. But… each atom is its own particle is it not? They are, but there are SO MANY that you cannot treat them as individuals–that’s statistical mechanics for you in a nutshell. Another thing is thinking about how all physics undergrads are reproducing essentially the same homework problems to learn the necessary concepts. Are we then all mere copies of the same body of knowledge? We are, but only when we start out in our careers; only after we have the necessary “tools of the trade” to make up our own questions to we begin to differentiate from everything that came before us.

    As far as Krauss’ discussion of Rodin goes, I am perplexed as to why we allowed these myths of his ability to make a “thousand forms” to perpetuate. Didn’t someone ask him what his process was? Did they not have interviews with famous people like we do now?

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