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Art & Art History

Date: 7:30pm EDT April 11, 2013

“Art History and Ecology” with Greg Levine

Gregory Levine is Associate Professor of the art and architecture of Japan, and Buddhist visual cultures, in the Department of the History of Art, UC Berkeley.

“Silenced by Aesthetics”? A Tentative Poetics of Art History and Ecology,” April 11, 7:30pm, Hynson Lounge

This talk considers art historical praxis in an age of ecological collapse. How does art history, a system of knowledge, concern itself with systems of organisms and habitats in planetary ecology? Do art historians practice according to Commoner’s dictum “…everything is connected to everything else” or Bateson’s relations over relata? How might art history contribute to ecological thinking, perhaps in ways that the natural sciences cannot? Should we make “art objects” “ecological subjects”? What would “eco-arthistory” look like?

Gregory Levine is Associate Professor of the art and architecture of Japan and Buddhist visual cultures in the Department of History of Art and a member of the Groups in Buddhist Studies and Asian Studies at U.C. Berkeley. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Fulbright Hayes Fellowship, and other awards. His book, Daitokuji: The Visual Cultures of a Zen Monastery (2005), was a finalist in 2007 for the Charles Rufus Morey Prize (“for an especially distinguished book in art history”) awarded by the College Art Association. He was co-curator with Yukio Lippit of the exhibition Awakenings: Zen Figure Paintings from Medieval Japan (Japan Society, 2007) and catalogue co-editor and contributor. He is co-editor of Crossing the Sea: Essays on East Asian Art in Honor of Yoshiaki Shimizu (2012) and of the forthcoming Re-presenting Emptiness: Essays on Zen and Art (both P.Y. and Kinmay W.

Tang Center for East Asian Art and Princeton University Press). Recent publications include “On Return: Kano Eitoku’s Flowers and Birds of the Four Seasons & the Digital World” (in Crossing the Sea, 2012) and “Buddha Rush: A Story of Art and its Consequences” (BOOM: A Journal of California, Fall 2012). Forthcoming publications in 2013 include “Zen Art before ‘Nothingness,’” in Murai and Chong, eds., Inventing Asia, and “The Faltering Brush: Looking at a Zen Buddhist Death Verse Calligraphy,” in Sensational Religion: Sense and Contention in Material Practice, ed. Sally Promey. Past graduate seminars have considered art and architecture at the Zen monastery Daitokuji; Kan’ei-era visual culture; portraiture in Japan; Shōhekiga (Wall and Sliding Door paintings); art, forgery, and authenticity; the fragment and ruin in art; and the visual cultures of Buddhist modernism. His lecture courses include surveys of the art and architecture of Japan; Buddhist art and architecture in Japan; Buddhist images in the modern-contemporary world; and painting and print cultures in Japan. Undergraduate seminars have included Zen painting and calligraphy; collecting Japanese art in the West; and the antiquities trade and market. In Fall 2012, he and theartist Scott Tsuchitani reprised their seminar “Socially Engaged Art and the Future of the Public University.”

Co-sponsored by the Center for Environment and Society