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The Lure of Writing: Modernist Artists in the Medium of Language

In this lecture, scholar Michael Leja discusses how artists working in unconventional, modernist styles often turned to writing to help explain their art, countering what Sol Lewitt referred to as “the notion that the artist is a kind of ape that has to be explained by the civilized critic.” Learn about the relationship between words and images in the work of several artists, including Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Aaron Douglas, Jackson Pollock, and some of their contemporaries.

Leja is the James and Nan Wagner Farquhar Professor of the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania. He is author of Looking Askance: Skepticism and American Art from Eakins to Duchamp (2004) and Reframing Abstract Expressionism: Subjectivity and Painting in the 1940s (1993).

Saturday, March 2 at 2:00pm

Reynolda House Museum of American Art
2250 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27106

Event Type

Speakers, Lectures, Community


Administrative, Reynolda House

Target Audience

Faculty, General Public, Staff



$15; Members/students: $8. Free for Wake Forest University faculty and staff.

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