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


The voice of Lynley said...

Dear Mariano,
Last night I went to the P block to hear a seminar from a sustainable development body- org and was disappointed in the presentations I happened to hear after 4 Indian speakers had already spoken. We really need "Grey collar" workers here, an American term I like to apply to you, since it means practical hands on as well as theoretical and cuts to the quick rather than impractical waffling around the periphery.
I admire your educational objectives. I also appreciate your easy lecture style and methods- good in themselves for educators in any field to imbibe and attempt to emulate stimulated by your example.
Best Regards, Lynley Ruth Butt

NCL said...

Seguí así, siempre para adelante. Yo te auguro grandes logros y quizá no veré toda tu trayectoria, pero te auguro que será brillante. Un beso enorme.

Alana MacConnon said...

Many thanks for this opportunity :-)

Nasir Kayani said...

Dear Mr. Akerman,
Thank you very much for the session. It was really wonderful it helped me a lot in learning about the arts.
I won’t be missing next one at any costs. My best wishes and regards to you and all the participants.

A. Tassoulis said...

Hello Mariano, I enjoyed the lecture and presentation very much. Thanks.

Prof. J. Pohl said...


Amera Khan said...

I enjoyed the lectures very much. Thx.

Yuka Nakasone said...

Es fantástico. Comprendo muy bien de que amas el país donde vives y su gente. A seguir con tus trabajos maravillosos por la humanidad. Y sobre todo, sigue inspirando la gente.

Jenny Naseem said...


Sidra Khan said...

Merci de partager Mariano! Magnifique.

Babur Kamal said...

Thank you ! You are far too intelligent. With best wishes, BK

DebCo from Spring Hill said...


Maliha Elahi said...

Dear Friends,
I have attended Mariano's sessions and they have helped me understand art better. I enjoyed every bit of it, I am sure you will too.

JT Mooney said...

The lecturer is welcoming and generous with his knowledge. The visual content leads the discursive narrative in a coupled and congruent way. The setting is comfortable. The slides capture the artistic history and succeed to 'fill out' a dimension of the world events, making learning a rich experience. Culture and artistic expression in the human drama of life are egoistic, sensual, essential, so I like the series of lectures and the information I get from them.
The materials are presented in an engaging, authoritative way. The lecturer knows the material and what he wants to say about it. It is both entertaining and interesting. His English is very good, and most clear for anyone to understand. I believe most attendees find him at ease. At times there is a tangential conversation or direction, but he usually starts it in the first place and brings it back to the subject at hand. He does stay in control of the material and presentation. I find the lectures rewarding.
JT Mooney, Engineer and Construction Manager

Rafael P. Foley said...

I found it interesting to look at works of art presented within their historical context. The lectures are well presented. They invite reflection and appreciation. I enjoy the presentations.

Babur Kamal said...

I enjoy attending the lectures on art very much. The material presented is useful and has great relevance to the public, particularly the schedule of presentation, which follows the chronological progression of art. The speaker is a very knowledgeable person and conducts the lectures professionally, presenting the topics in an easy to comprehend manner. The presentation is enjoyable, interesting and informative. It is a pleasure to listen to Mr. Akerman talking about art.

Franka Wandelen said...

Mariano Akerman presents his art lectures with knowledge and enthusiasm. He takes you by the hand through centuries of art including paintings, sculptures and architecture. He is able to surprise the public with details not seen or known before. Most enjoyable.

Dr Jenny Naseem said...

Mariano Akerman's lectures are certainly the most intellectually lively events I have ever been to in Islamabad.
His breadth of knowledge, not only on Art, but also on Literature and History, allows him to place his views in a global perspective and context. I thought I had a good background in Art History, but I have learned a great deal at every lecture.
What is more, he doesn't take a linear, progressive, approach to his course and topics, so every lecture can stand on its own.
Some of the topics are quirky areas of Art appreciation I had never considered, but all are stimulating, and it is particularly interesting to be drawn into discussion during these lectures, rather than simply taking part in a dry question and answer formula.
This week we are even using Art to consider the meaning of Life!
Mariano is clearly an experienced lecturer, confident in his approach and has a wealth of slides to illustrate his points. We have also studied Architecture in these sessions, since he was also an architect, but the sessions on Architecture were integrated smoothly into his overall view of Art and History.
These sessions keep me pondering all week, and so I highly recommend them to anyone who wants to think outside their own environment, in Islamabad.

Nicole Myrand said...

I found that the slides presented are of great interest and allow me to discover many artists from different periods. I also like the way the periods are grouped, for this gives me a better idea of the cultural environment of the time. Mariano has a way of his own to attract attention and to gain interest from his audience. His presentations are so live! And he also allows people to exchange on various matters at length. In a positive cultural environment, his art-appreciation meetings have tremendously changed my way to see art. I discovered many artists and now I am more attentive to the art surronding me and also try to better understand the artistic creativity that is behind the work.

Amera Khan said...

I immensely enjoy Mariano's informative series of lectures in Islamabad. Particularly, his architectural lectures. They are plenty of food for thought for us, bright-eyed. Of our illustrious and passionate lecturer, I say, he's like an energiser bunny that keeps going and going and going! Two thumbs up! Amera Khan ;-)

Franka Wandelen said...

I always leave the meetings with the feeling that I've learned something (even when my attention was drawn to just one aspect of the topic discussed). Overall I leave each meeting with one new thing and I’m pleased that my evening was well spent. We've touched a few times the topic of architecture, which personally I find very interesting. The build up of each topic is good and the atmosphere during the meetings is relaxed. Participation and communication between lecturer and participants are fine. I’m enjoying the meetings very much. I attend them as much as possible: they are interesting.

Jenny Dann said...

The Art Appreciation meetings are thought provoking, exciting and informative. Also fun!
Subjects have ranged from individual painters and also art movements (fauvism, cubism, etc) and generally the topics are logically and sequentially presented. So in the context of the History of Art, movements are explained and contextualized. The topics are also always presented in the context of the history of the times, which markedly increases the listener’s understanding. Visual material is abundant.
The participants usually join in group discussion and bring their own perspective. Discussions are lively.
For me the art appreciation lectures are a highlight of my busy week and I try not to miss them. I have always learnt more and expanded my knowledge, even when considering topics I thought I knew well.

NCL said...

Me da gran alegría tu labor.

Lize Hill said...

I would like to thank for the very interesting and detailed lectures.

Micheline Assier said...

Merci infiniment. C'est impressionnant !

NCL said...

Qué temario interesante.

Sharon Abraham-Gordon said...

Thank you for the great art discussions.

Nicole Myrand said...

Merci Mariano de m'avoir fait découvrir ce monde artistique et je garderai un souvenir inoubliable de toutes nos soirées éducatives grâce à vos présentations vivantes et plus qu'animées en certaines circonstances ! Ce fut pour moi une très belle expérience et je continuerai à m'intéresser à l'art par mes lectures et mes recherches sur le net afin de parfaire ces connaissances.

Viviane Verbelen said...

Dear Mariano,
The art meetings were a real delight for me. They opened a lot of doors in my mind. Beside the fact that I discovered painters and artists who I didn’t know before, the meetings taught me also that art is not essentially about academism and techniques but much more about personal expression of feelings.
The sessions which linked art with religion and the evolution of the art through the religions where very interesting.
Moreover, the meetings encouraged me to take up again my own paintings and also to go around town to discover what’s happening in the art galleries.
So, I thank you so much for all the knowledge you shared through the art meetings, and I hope sincerely you’ll have the recognition for your work and for your teaching which you deserve.
Very kind regards,

Micheline Assier said...

Bonjour Mariano,
Merci encore infiniment. J'ai pris énormément de plaisir à participer à toutes nos lectures qui étaient très intéressantes à tous points de vue. C'est un enrichissement personnel, une invitation au voyage et à la réflexion. Merci aussi de l'accueil que vous nous avez réservé, et à la soirée de clôture, et lors de notre thé. Ces moments n'ont pas de prix.
Par ailleurs, j'ai été particulièrement sensible au fait que vous nous ayez fait entrer dans votre monde intérieur en nous parlant de tout ce que vous avez mis dans le "Chat botté" et "Peau d'âne" et suis très heureuse que Nicole ait un des tableaux et l'autre moi. Cela ne fait que renforcer les liens qui se sont tissés.
Merci, merci infiniment de tout ce que vous nous avez apporté et de l'amitié que vous nous accordez.

Beliza Espinoza said...

Respecto a las reuniones, a mí me han gustado mucho y por diferentes razones. Siempre me sentí a gusto porque a pesar de que el público siempre fue variado (gente que sabe más, que habla más, los que sólo aprecian el mirar, etc) siempre se sintió un ambiente muy cómodo, donde todas las opiniones son valoradas.
Siempre tengo presente la gran diversidad de temas y la manera en la cual preparas cada sesión, considerando quien asistiese. En mi caso, personalmente, me gustaba el llegar y luego de 10 minutos poder cambiar el chip y disfrutar mientras apreciaba cada artista presentado. Me gustó sobre todo la conclusión a la que llegamos en la última sesión.
Un abrazo, Beliza