Art in the Picture - Seminaire des Arts

Lectures and debate conducted in English by architect and art historian Mariano Akerman. Projection of slides. No previous knowledge required. Topics will include learning how to appreciate a work of art, its formal and meaningful aspects, art history, traditional and modern art, debates on interpretation, masterpieces, aesthetics, provocation, and more.

All lectures will be given with fundraising aims and aiming to promote the development of new projects in educational institutions (schools, colleges and universities).

Specializing in visual communication, architect and art historian Mariano Akerman is an experienced educator. He gives lectures at renowned institutions such as Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Argentina, the National Museum of the Philippines and the National College of Arts in Lahore. Only in Pakistan, he has given more than twenty lectures ad honorem (Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi, 2008-10).

Born in Buenos Aires, Akerman studied at the School of Architecture of Universidad de Belgrano (Argentina), completing his education with a prized graduation project on the limits and space in modern architecture (1987).

Abroad from 1991, he received a full British Council Grant and researched the visual imagery of Francis Bacon (1995) and the architectural projects of Louis I. Kahn (1997). He is a professional art historian (Suma cum Laude, 1999).

In Asia, Akerman developed the educational series of lectures From Van Eyck to Magritte (2005), Arte Argentino (2006), In the Spirit of Linnaeus (2007), Raisons d’être—Art, Freedom and Modernity (2008-10), and German Art, Its Peculiarities and Transformations (2010; see review by Ishrat Hyatt).

An artist himself, Akerman exhibits his paintings and collages since 1979 onwards. His pictures are featured in important collections, including the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Swedish Statenkonstråd. Mariano Akerman has received more than twelve major international prizes.

1. Argentinean Art
2. Art as Shape and Contents
3. The Imaginary in the Visual Arts
4. Bible-inspired Art
5. The Long Road from Representation to Abstraction
6. Image and Prejudice
7. Art Boundaries: Some Kind of Fluid Matter?
8. Tradition and Innovation
9. Art as Intention in Context
10. Power in the Picture
Figuration, simplification, abstraction
Representation, visualization, creation
Artistic values and effectiveness: harmony, originality, empathy, suggestion
Mariano Akerman: Shell and Content in the Argentinean Years, 1967-1991. Exploration, Configuration, Meaning.
Debate: Can art make of us better persons?

11. Fine Arts in the Nineteenth Century

12. Nineteenth-Century Architecture: Historicism meets Progress
13. Six European Masters
Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin
Francisco de Goya y Lucientes
Théodore Géricault
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Camille Corot
Honoré Daumier

14. Fin-de-Siècle: Symbolism and Art Nouveau
15. Modernist Attitudes towards Ornament: Art Nouveau and Art Deco
16. As Wild as It Gets: Avant-garde Art
17. Modern Architecture in the Machine Age
18. Late-Modern and Post-Modern Trends in Architecture
19. Art as Paradox: Transcategorical Disorder, Caprice and Ordered Chaos
20. Of Purpose in 20th-Century Art: Waiting for Godot?
a. "You will know them by their fruits," Matthew 7:16
b. Warhol and Picasso: Repetition meets Inventiveness?
c. Artist and Strategy
Empathy —Matisse
Provocation —Duchamp
Commitment —Picasso
Ambivalence —Bacon
d. The Giving Tree Reconsidered
Moore, Lipchitz, Co Westerik, Bacon

21. Art as Development
Pablo Picasso and the Developments of Art after WWII: The Emperor's New Clothes?
The Unbearable Lightness of Being: "Vanity of Vanities," Ecclesiastes 1-2 (iconography)
Art as Design and Development: Mariano Akerman's Recent Work

22. Modernity, Modernism, Modern Art: The Same Thing?
23. Fauvism
24. Die Goldenen Zwanziger
25. Why was Henri Matisse a great artist?
26. Picasso and the Genesis of Cubism
27. The Cubist Constellation
28. Argentinean Visual Art: European Influences?
29. Paris: Avant-Garde Art
Jawlensky, Modigliani, Brancusi, Soutine, and Chagall
30. Art and Ethics
31. Influential Moderns: Gauguin and Picasso
Gauguin: Chromatic freedom, Primitivism, Synthetism
Influence on Matisse, Picasso, and Modigliani
Picasso's Inventiveness between 1898 and 1907

32. New Figuration: Francis Bacon's Case as a Detective Story
Reflexions on Francis Bacon's Figurative Disfiguration
Beautiful Deformities and Deformed Beauties
Art as Surface and Symbol

33. Totem, Mask, and Other Pagan Expressions of Excess
34. Transformations in Christian Art
35. From Abraham and the Idols to the Mosaic Experience with the Visual Arts
Following Abraham's Steps: Towards Aniconism
36. "O afflicted one...
Isaiah 54:11
Something in Common
Jerusalem: Significance of the Foundation Stone in the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Traditions.

12 Additional Lectures
A. Architectural Differentiation: Structure, Decoration, Ornament
B. Images in Context
Dynamics of the West: Reconsidering "The Other"
Around the Gallery: The Imaginary in Mariano Akerman's Work

C. The Fear Factor in Post-Biblical Imagery
D. Stereotype: The Shortest Way... To Where?
Images of Otherness, Prejudices, and Stereotypes
Social Stigma: Religious Segregation, Economic Prejudice, Racial Stereotypes and Discrimination

E. Author and Aim: Expressions of Discontent and Disapproval or Manipulative and Convinient Propaganda?
F. Expressive Commitment: Modern Artistic Explorations as New Ways to Convey Truth
Cubism: Braque, Picasso, Ribera
Primitivism: Modigliani
Expressionism: Soutine
Futurism: Boccioni, Severini, Balla
Abstraction and Suprematism: Kandinsky, Malevitch, El Lissitzy

G. The Imaginary in Art, Dada and Surrealism
Goya's Sleep of Reason
Baudelaire's Il faut épater le bourgeois
Dadaist Anarchy and Nihilism
Lautréamont's Chants de Maldoror
Surrealist Dreams and Nightmares, Accidents and Chance, Repression and Expression
Was Picasso a Surrealist in the 1920s?

H. The Universal Dimension of Henry Moore's Sculpture
I. "And you shall be as God,"Genesis 3:5
Consciousness and Design in the Work of Escher and Disney
Escher: "My work is a game, a very serious game."
Disneyland as the place where "you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy."

J. The Things I tell You
Contemporary Art Trends are Problematic? Why?
Talking to a Christmas Tree: Aren't You Missing Something?
Back to The Root: Reconsidering Meaning in the Interplay between God's Word and His Children's Art

K. Expressive Commitment: Modern Artistic Explorations as New Ways to Convey Truth
L. The Imaginary in Art, Dada and Surrealism

50 Participants. Micheline Assier, Nicole Myrand, Jenny Naseem, Rafael Foley, Sidra Kahn, Caroline Austin, Mariana Figueroa-Sanchez, Lize Hill, Franka van Vandelen, Francisco Gonzalez, Raja Nasir Kayani, Lylac Naqvi, Lucia Carro, Melissa Flattery, Lynley Butt, Hanniya Abid, Milada Svecikova, Romah Samuel, Celita Janyna Rohr, Maliha Elahi, E. Johannsen, Daniela Forte, Stephane Mund, Liouba Fedotova, Caroline Bates, Zoryana Verbich, Peter Hill, Susan Sears-Carter, JT Mooney, Saba Mansur, Karla Maynard, Blanca Fagan, Stephan Roeken, Babur Kamal, Mary Lackie, Rudi Treuzdiger, Caroline Nichols, Sylvianne Maudonnet, Paul Ross, Carmen Fabian, Sara Mahmood, Joan Pohl, Vivian Verbelen, Ilona Yusuf, Alana McConnon, Amera Kahn, Sebastian Carmona, Beliza Espinoza, Sharon Abraham-Gordon, Trevor Martin

Motif from the central panel of Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion (Francis Bacon, 1944) and its visual source of inspiration from Maladies de la bouche (Ludwig Grünwald, 1903). Original research. Comparison by Mariano Akerman. 2008. All rights reserved.

Other resources that may interest you:
Educational events developed by Akerman's initiative
Mariano Akerman: Profile + Curriculum Vitae PDF 2010