We owe the Italian Renaissance picture more than the ideal human figure. Experiments in figuration, whether they involve contour or sfumato, cannot exist without ground, here understood in three senses of the word: first, the preparation of a given support (such as a gesso ground on panel); second, the plane on which figures stand; and third, the field in and against which figuration occurs.... Read more about Thursday Seminar “Point, Ground, Figure, Field”
Renaissance doctors, philosophers, theologians, poets, and musicians understood that all sensible experiences of time and space were linked, to a certain extent, to the cosmic order by a universal harmony, an astral-magic rhythm that influenced everything from the rotation of the planets down to the musicality of the pulse.... Read more about Thursday Seminar “Titian and the Skies of Tomorrow”
In 1616, Monteverdi told Alessandro Striggio that he couldn’t imitate winds because they are not human. “Ariadne moved us because she was a woman and similarly Orpheus because he was a man.” But what if Orpheus was not a man driven by his own internal passions and creative instincts but instead was an automaton—an inanimate machine with spontaneous motion and sound creation.... Read more about Thursday Seminar: What if Orfeo was an Automaton?