Jean Tinguley. Homage to New York

Peter Selz

Directions in Kinetic Sculpture: From George Rickey to Jean Tinguely

Date 2/23/04

Affiliation Art Historian, University of California, Berkeley


Questions of art as representation have long been challenged by science and technology. Laszlo Moholy-Nagy wrote in "Vision of Motion" (1922), that artists must replace the static principles of classical art with dynamic principles from life. Duchamp and Gabo experimented with new visual forms based on scientific discussions of space and time, and kinetic artists viewed movement itself as a new medium.


Peter Selz, Professor Emeritus of Art History at UC Berkeley, will describe his roles as professor in Moholy-Nagy's New Bauhaus School, curator of Jean Tinguely's momentous "Homage to New York" (1960) at NY MOMA, founding director of the Berkeley Art Museum, and curator of the pioneering exhibition, "Directions of Kinetic Sculpture" (1966). He will screen two rare historic films based on these exhibits and discuss problems that remain at the intersection of art, science, and technology.

After receiving his PhD from the University of Chicago and teaching at the Institute of Design, Peter Selz was appointed Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA, where he sponsored Tinguely's controversial self-destroying artwork. Later, he became Founding Director of the Berkeley Art Museum. Prof. Selz has authored many reviews and articles including 15 books on 20th Century Art, from German Expressionist Painting (1957) to The Art of Engagement (2005).

-- As of 2/23/04

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