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Discover & Research

Research fellows 2013

Each year our fellowship programme enables artists and researchers to develop their work.

In 2013 our visiting fellows included Thomas Morgan Evans, Luca Palozzi, Marin R. Sullivan, Ileana Pintilie, Will Holder, Dawn Pereira, Jane Thomas and Edward Vazquez.

A wood frame affixed with leather strips, with the outline of a yellow hand painted on top.

Thomas Morgan Evans

University College London

Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship

Objectifying the Image: Sculpture after Andy Warhol

Thomas Morgan Evans will attempt to consider Andy Warhol’s sculptural practice from the very early Brillo Boxes to the Invisible Sculpture exhibited much later in the mid-eighties (though conceived in the sixties).

This investigation will do a number of important things that have knock-on implications for how we think about art today. Warhol’s undeniably sculptural works are yet also notable for their lack of categorical discipline – the Silver Clouds (1966), for example, were ordained ‘paintings’ – and this holds the key for working towards a conception of Warhol’s work that resists the division, within approaches to his practice, between the film and the painted work, while at the same time resisting simply triangulating the binary with another fixed category.

This work hopes to achieve a theoretical unfixing of the way that we think about Warhol; it re-inserts the notion of the material in various guises, philosophically, economically, and in terms of medium. If Warhol’s work has had a huge effect on art history, and more widely cultural studies, for its promotion of the simulacral, this is a philosophically idealist legacy, one that all too easily and happily complements ‘post-modernist’ preoccupations with the floating signifier: well what about floating things?

These questions are asked in the context of emerging discussions in philosophy and the social sciences concerning materialism and ‘realism’ which have been referred to as ‘speculative realism’ and also, now nearly thirty years after Warhol’s death, looking back on a history of ways in which artists still working today have returned the sign to the object, making the photographic print, that key technology of the simulacral age, question its own status as matter.

Luca Palozzi

University of Edinburgh

Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship

Monumental sculpture and artistic relations in late Medieval Italy: The historiographical context, old-standing paradigms and new perspectives

Luca Palozzi will reconsider monumental sculpture in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries in Italy under the paradigm of artistic relations within Italy and Europe.

His project will focus on the long-standing and controversial issue of the introduction of the Gothic in Italy, with particular attention to the contribution of foreign sculptors working in southern and central Italy in the thirteenth century, Italian artists who worked north of the Alps in the same period, and the ‘centrality’ of Curial and Angevine Rome as an important relais of international artistic experiences. Specifically, the study will address the origins and artistic biography of the Roman sculptor Marco Romano (ca. 1255/60-shortly after 1318).

More broadly, by re-reading the problem of ‘Italian Gothic’, the research will lead to a reassessment of the ‘geography’ of sculpture in Trecento Italy.

Marin R. Sullivan

University of Leeds

Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship

Photography as an Integral Aspect of Post-WWII Sculpture

Marin R. Sullivan will adapt her dissertation, Material Dispersions: Sculpture, Photography, and International Interventions in Italy, 1962-1972, into a book manuscript.

Her research examines how avant-garde artists in the 1960s and early 1970s, emboldened by new collaborative patronage models and increasingly ephemeral materials, embraced the possibilities of the photographic image while continuing their commitment to the making and display of three-dimensional, physical phenomena. Using four sculptural projects – David Smith’s Voltri series (1962), Yayoi Kusama’s Narcissus Garden (1966), Robert Smithson’s Asphalt Rundown (1969), and Joseph Beuys’ Arena – dove sarei arrivato se fossi intelligente! (Arena – where would I have got if I had been intelligent!) (1972) – Sullivan suggests that sculpture became a centre of transaction consciously disseminated through photographic components.

Her research will further investigate the intermedial relationship of sculpture and photography, to look more broadly at why photography became a dominant medium and course of action in the post-war period. The combined presence of sculptural object and photograph created a fragmented but conjoined work of art that offered a new model of sculptural work: not a singular, autonomous ‘thing’, but an active, dispersed arena of engagement with the physical and social world, with photographs operating within the sculptural phenomena they depict.

Ileana Pintilie

West University, Timișoara

Senior Research Fellowship

Paul Neagu: From Tactile Object to Catalytic Sculpture

Ileana Pintilie’s research focuses on Paul Neagu (1938-2004), a Romanian-born British artist, with special emphasis on the evolution from the concept of ‘palpable art’ and the tactile object, to ‘catalytic’ sculpture, from the organic object, the expression of a manufacturing tradition, to the monumental language of sculpture.

Educated in Bucharest, when the official Romanian art was imbued with ideology, Neagu was in search of other cultural benchmarks, seeking inspiration in archaic artistic traditions, in folk art. He was the member of a generation of artists who felt compelled to renounce the communist past and find their own, new way towards the freedom of expression. At the same time, he applied several ideas, which led him to the concept of generative art. All these experiments, numerous installations and performances gave birth to the first sculpture in the ‘Hyphen’ series. With this sculpture, which he considered a generator of vital artistic force, a whole system of objects was created, claiming more and more space.

Ileana Pintilie is Professor at the West University, Faculty of Fine Arts in Timișoara. An art historian, art critic and freelance curator, she has curated many one-person and group exhibitions in Romania and abroad, and published widely on modern and contemporary art.

Will Holder

Research Fellowship

The Premises of Constructivist Objects

Typographer Will Holder will be conducting research into the premises of constructivist objects, following the writings of Boris Arvatov and a legacy through the work of later twentieth-century artists such as Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica. Holder will be looking for uses and readings of objects that might inform a contemporary understanding of humans as language-producing commodities. This research will naturally acknowledge concrete poetry but also be an attempt to find an ‘everyday’ (Arvatov) space beyond concrete poetry’s theoretical premises – with forms of linguistic exchange that are more made, more thing-like, on and off the page.

Will Holder once read that oral tradition would lead us out of the post-modern condition, and has since become preoccupied with ‘publishing’. The publications do not always take the form of ink and paper, and a large part of the preoccupation is spent in finding suitable ‘forms’ for transmission.

Will Holder is editor of F.R.DAVID, a journal concerned with reading and writing in the arts, published by de Appel, Amsterdam. Together with Alex Waterman, Holder is currently editing and designing a biography of American composer Robert Ashley, for two or more voices (New Documents, Vancouver, 2013). In May 2009, Holder curated ‘Talk Show’ at the ICA, an exhibition and season of events concerning speech and accountability.

Dawn Pereira

Artist, writer and teacher

Research Fellowship

Sold, Stolen, Lost, Listed, Renewed or Rediscovered; the journeys of the London County Council ‘Patronage of the Arts Scheme’ artworks (1957-1965)

In the wake of the controversy late in 2012, regarding Tower Hamlets Council plan to sell the Henry Moore sculpture Draped Seated Woman originally acquired in 1962, there is an increased interest in learning more about the London County Council’s (LCC) commitment to placing art in the regenerated heart of post-war London and why artists were so keen to take part in this process too.

Dawn Pereira wishes to use her Henry Moore fellowship to further her research into the artists commissioned by the LCC’s Patronage of the Arts Scheme’ that have papers, drawings and photographs within the Institute’s archives; this includes Austin Wright, A H Gerrard, Franta Belsky and the newly acquired collections of Trevor Tennant and Dorothy Annan. Also of relevance are a number of artworks held within the Leeds Art Gallery Collection by LCC artists. Pereira is keen to explore how the ‘survivors’ have continued their journeys as pieces of public art and how their particular guardians have handled this responsibility.

The story of artists being commissioned or employed to create sculptures and murals for LCC housing estates, schools, highways and homes for the elderly formed the focus of Pereira’s PhD thesis entitled ‘Art for the Common Man: the Role of the Artist within the London County Council (1957-1965)’ which was completed in 2009.

Jane Thomas

University of Hull

Research Fellowship

Thomas Hardy and the New Sculpture

Thomas Hardy timed his arrival in London on 17th April 1872 to coincide with the opening of the London International Exhibition, which included Thomas Woolner’s half-size, plaster statuette Love. Hardy met, corresponded with and was a frequent visitor to the studios of Woolner, Frederic Leighton and Hamo Thornycroft, and it was his great friend Edmund Gosse who coined the term the ‘New Sculpture’ to describe their work in the Art Journal in 1894.

Hardy’s last novel, The Well-Beloved (1892/96), describes the romantic, sexual and artistic frustration of a sculptor searching for the ideal of feminine beauty in his life and in his art. Hardy claimed that the plot was suggested by Woolner’s remark that he had “often pursued a beautiful ear, nose, chin, &c, about London in omnibuses and on foot”.  This struggle to imbue sculptures with ‘the informing spirit’ echoes the move towards a new dynamism and vibrancy in the work of the New Sculptors from the late 1870s onward.

Using the Ford and Gunnis archives, the papers of Thornycroft, Woolner and Bayes, this interdisciplinary project will explore new biographical and aesthetic links between Hardy and the practitioners of the ‘New Sculpture’ in an attempt to identify elements common to their artistic practice.

Dr Jane Thomas is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Hull. She specialises in the work of Thomas Hardy and late Victorian literature and art. Her publications include two monographs on Hardy; new annotated editions of Hardy’s The Well-Beloved and two volumes of his shorter fiction.

Edward Vazquez

Middlebury College, Vermont

Research Fellowship

Aspects: Fred Sandback’s Sculpture

Edward Vazquez will be completing a study of the work of the American artist Fred Sandback (1943­-2003), whose sculptural constructions made from lengths of yarn rest between the concrete objecthood of minimal art and the material slightness of conceptualism. His book project is the first complete study of Sandback’s work, and approaches Sandback’s practice as a radical mixture of observation and measured physical intervention that not only unsettles traditional understandings of sculptural presence but also stages an ethics of interaction between viewer and object.

Arguing that Sandback’s practice reorients our understanding of sculptural materiality, Vazquez posits Sandback’s work as a ghostlike, spectral presence that operates historically and critically to recast the terms of sculptural experience and material presence in creating physical situations that model a way of being in the world. While in residence at the Institute, Vazquez will focus in particular on Sandback’s little seen relief sculptures, which the artist began making in the middle 1990s.

Dr Edward Vazquez is an Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at Middlebury College in Vermont, USA, where he has taught since 2009. He received a PhD in Art and Art History from Stanford University, also in 2009. His writing on Fred Sandback has been published in Art Journal and is forthcoming in RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics.

Previous Research Fellows

Find out more about previous research fellows and their projects.