The Work of Art 2016 | Keynote Speakers


The 2016 AAANZ Conference keynote speakers are Dr Melissa Chiu, Director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C and Professor Anthea Callen, Professor Emeritus of Visual Culture, University of Nottingham, UK and Professor Emeritus, School of Art, Australian National University.

MelissaChiu_2015Dr Melissa Chiu | Performing the Public Sphere: Art in the 21st Century
6pm December 1, National Gallery of Australia

What does the work of art look like in the 21st century? One could argue that this in and of itself is a question that resides in the past century when art was largely still an object—a painting, sculpture, photograph or installation– that could be preserved for posterity, a role that museums have taken on with greater professionalism over the past fifty years. Today, the work of art not only looks different, but operates differently within the art world ecology of the global art market, large-scale public museums and even the virtual and online world. This paper will examine some of the changing variables for how art work is conceived and produced by artists today, including a move towards the performative and experiential, as well as the evolution of more formal and demanding conditions of display and exhibition in museums.

Dr. Melissa Chiu is Director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the national museum of modern art, a Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.  She was previously Museum Director and Senior Vice President, Global Art Programs at Asia Society in New York responsible for overseeing the programming for museums in New York, Houston, and Hong Kong. As a leading authority on international art, with a specialization in the Asia-Pacific region, she has organised nearly 30 exhibitions including a retrospective by Zhang Huan, a survey of Yoshitomo Nara, and an exhibition of art from China’s Cultural Revolution. Chiu earned a M.A. in Arts Administration (1994) and a PhD (2005) in Art History and is the author of numerous articles and books including Breakout: Chinese Art Outside China (2007), Chinese Contemporary Art: 7 Things You Should Know (2008), Asian Art Now (Monacelli Press, 2010, co-authored with Benjamin Genocchio) and an anthology Contemporary Art in Asia: A Critical Reader (MIT Press, 2011, co-edited with Benjamin Genocchio). She has lectured widely including at Yale University, Harvard University, New York University, as well as Cornell University. She has taught seminars and courses in Museum Studies and Asian contemporary art at the Rhode Island School of Design and Columbia University, New York.

callenphotoProfessor Anthea Callen | 50 Shades of Grey
9 am  December 2,  Australian National University

“My keynote will consider the strange material history of grey as a fine artists’ ‘colour’, and examine attitudes to its use in painting around the fin-de siècle in France and again in later twentieth century painting, notably the work of Cy Twombly and Marlene Dumas. My discussion questions the existence of ‘grey’ as a neutral or negative hue, considering it rather as a plurality: ‘coloured’ greys.”

Professor Callen’s expertise in art history, visual culture and the gender politics of visual representation spans the eighteenth to twentieth centuries, notably in France and Britain. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in the UK and was recently awarded a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship 2016-18 to research a new edition of her major book The Art of Impressionism: Painting, Technique and the Making of Modernity (Yale University Press). Her most recent publication is The Work of Art: Plein Air Painting and Artistic Identity in Nineteenth-Century France (Reaktion Books, 2015) and Looking at Men: Art, Anatomy and the Modern Male Body ( Yale University Press) is forthcoming.