Will South-Talking Art in the 21st Century


I will host a quasi-art history course via Zoom. The course will consist of four talks on four well-known works of art using four different points of view: the traditional method of connoisseurship and what that really entails (judgements based on the notion of quality); biography and historical context–how works of art are interpreted based on a knowledge of the artist’s life and times; post-modern, the idea that art may be seen as a language and communicates in similar ways, and thus may be “deconstructed” (a word people use mainly as a synonym for analyzed); and finally, seeing art as one more manifestation of our evolution as a species–is it an adaptation, or an adjunct to an adaption (stereoptic vision is an adaptation–is art that biologically essential and fundamental?). This may sound difficult, but the idea is to take some long-standing (and some not-so-long standing) ideas and discuss them via accessible language with a dose of humor thrown in. The thrust of this course is allowing participants to experience these different views, how they, at time, overlap, and how they are expressed by critics. Each will be from a different culture and time period.

Via Zoom, participants will be able to ask questions. Each talk is projected to be about forty minutes, with twenty minutes for questions and discussion. Participants should plan to set aside one hour for each session. 

Will South is an art historian, curator and artist who has worked in the museum field for thirty-five years. He has fifty publications to his credit, and is a well-known speaker from coast-to-coast for having a sense of humor, which no other art historian seems to have.