Critical Dialogue

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The Critical Dialogue Program at Anderson Ranch seeks to engage the community in lively discussion about contemporary art and art making. Artists, curators and other creatives lead these conversations, inviting a broad audience to join in on taking a closer look at art’s power to change the world. This program is intended to be informative, motivating, and inspiring for those interested in the ways that artists are confronting and unpacking current challenges in our culture such as climate change, mass incarceration, gender inequality, and much more. This program is open to artists, Ranch supporters, collectors, art enthusiasts and those seeking a rigorous and dynamic look at what it means to be an artist in today’s world.

2024 Programming

Mothers of Invention: The Feminist Roots of Contemporary Art

June 26, 2024 | 10am – 12pm  |  Book signing to follow  |  Free and open to the public

Join us in this exciting conversation between writers and curators Eleanor Heartney, Helaine Posner, Nancy Princenthal and Sue Scott, who will be discussing their book, Mothers of Invention: The Feminist Roots of Contemporary Art. Contributing to the dialogue is multimedia installation artist Ann Hamilton, one of the book’s subjects.

Mothers of Invention is the third in a series of books about women artists created by these four acclaimed writers during their twenty-year collaboration. This new volume articulates the links that bind feminist ideas to the evolution of contemporary art. Digging deep into four crucial practices, the authors illuminate how the feminist revolution sparked an artistic revolution as well. They demonstrate how feminist ideas like mutualism, impurity, corporality and return to the handmade laid the groundwork for current conceptions of performance, craft, abstraction, and ecofeminism.  This vital conversation delves into the perspectives of pioneering women artists who shook up a rigid art establishment and planted the seeds for today’s vibrant art world.

2024 Faculty

Eleanor Heartney

Eleanor Heartney is Contributing Editor to Artpress, Editor at Large for the Brooklyn Rail and former Contributing Editor to Art in America and has written for Artnews, Artnet, Art and Auction, the Washington Post and The New York Times. Heartney was the 1992 recipient of the College Art Association’s Frank Jewett Mather Award and was honored in 2008 by the French government as a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.  Her books include Critical Condition: American Culture at the Crossroads,Postmodernism, Postmodern Heretics, Doomsday Dreams, and Art and Today. Heartney is past President of AICA-USA, the American section of the International Art Critics Association.

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Alicia Hall Moran

Alicia Hall Moran is an operatic mezzo-soprano and conceptual vocal artist.  Performances include critically-praised ALBUMS Heavy Blue and Here Today, CHAMBER-MUSICALS of her imagination: the motown project, Breaking Ice/Cold Blooded, and Black Wall Street; performances on FILM Breakdown (Liz Magic Laser/Simone Leigh), Arrows to Infinity (Dorothy Darr), Scenes From Western Culture (Ragnar Kjartansson), Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane’s Chapel/Chapter, Lee MingWei/Bill T. Jones’ Met Museum installation Our Labyrinth, Rebecca Miller’s feature She Came To Me, Carrie Mae Weems’ Slow Fade To Black, Tania León’s O Yemanja at the 45th Kennedy Center Honors; BROADWAY Porgy&Bess (Tony Award: Best Musical Revival)+Nat’l Tour earning NAACP Theater Award nomination for Moran’s portrayal of Bess; SOLO ENGAGEMENTS w/SYMPHONY ORCHESTRAS incl. Oregon Symphony’s emergency shelter (Kahane), San Francisco, Milwaukee, Austin, Virginia, Philadelphia Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra Pops, Dayton Phil, Chicago Phil, Ocean City Pops, 1B1 Norway, and Spoleto Festival; ENSEMBLE w/AiR: Brandon Ross, Harriet Tubman, Thomas Flippin, w/skate Olympian Surya Bonaly, w/AskoSchönberg, Roomful of Teeth in Bryce Dessner’s Triptych, w/Charles Lloyd Quartet, Lara Downs (album, Holes in the Sky), Yosvany Terry’s Atlantic Connections, Allison Loggins-Hull’s Diamatrically Composed, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, The Hands Free, stargaze, Kaoru Watanabe Taiko, Harlem Chamber Players, and Charles Gaines for Venice Biennale; WRITING for New York Amsterdam News & Tidal; COMPOSING-DIRECTING in collab. w/Jason Moran Chantal (Washington National Opera), Family Ball (ICA Boston), Bleed (Whitney Biennial), Work Songs (Venice Biennial), Milestone (Walker Art Center), Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration (Carnegie Hall).  In all Ms. Moran’s output across classical music, dance, contemporary composition, choral, visual art, figure skating, opera, jazz, journalism, film, and literature—as singer, composer, skater, writer, producer, and director—her vocal beauty, sensitivity and daring always shine through.

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Ann Hamilton

Ann Hamilton is a visual artist internationally acclaimed for her large-scale multimedia installations, public projects, and performance collaborations. Born in Lima, Ohio, she received her MFA in sculpture from the Yale School of Art. Ann is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Art at The Ohio State University.

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Jason Moran

Pianist, composer, and artist Jason Moran is the Artistic Director for Jazz at The Kennedy Center. He has released 18 solo recordings with Blue Note Records and Yes Records. In 2010 he was awarded the 2010 MacArthur Fellowship. Recently he curated the permanent exhibition Here to Stay for the newly opened Louis Armstrong Center in Queens, New York and has co-curated the exhibition I’ve Seen the Wall: Louis Armstrong on Tour in the GDR 1965 at Das Minsk Kunsthaus in Potsdam, Germany. In 2022, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was  awarded the 2023 German Jazz Prize for Pianist of the Year. His latest recording, From the Dancehall to the Battlefield, is devoted to the music of World War 1 jazz pioneer and organizer James Reese Europe, the big bang of jazz.  He has collaborated with artists Joan Jonas, Adam Pendleton, Lorna Simpson, Kara Walker, Glenn Ligon, Adrian Piper, Julie Mehretu, Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch.  His self titled exhibition was hosted by The Walker Art Center, Wexner Center for the Arts, ICA Boston, and the Whitney Museum. He currently teaches at the New England Conservatory in Boston. 

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Adam Pendleton

Adam Pendleton (b. 1984 in Richmond, VA) is based in Brooklyn, New York. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at notable museums including the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum in St. Louis (2023-24), mumok – Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien (2023-24), the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (2022), the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2021-22), Le Consortium in Dijon (2020), and the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin (2017). His work has also been featured in the Whitney Biennial (2022), the Venice Biennale (2015), and other prominent group exhibitions, including Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America at the New Museum in New York (2021).

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Helaine Posner

Helaine Posner is Chief Curator Emerita of the Neuberger Museum of Art, SUNY, Purchase College, Purchase, NY. She is the author of monographs on the artists Kiki Smith, Louise Fishman, and, most recently, Donna Dennis: A Poet in Three Dimensions, and co-author of After the Revolution: Women Who Transformed Contemporary Art, The Reckoning: Women Artists of the New Millennium, and Mothers of Invention: The Feminist Roots of Contemporary Art. She was Curator of the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA, and United States Co-commissioner for the 48th Venice Biennale.

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Nancy Princenthal

Nancy Princenthal is a New York-based writer whose book Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art received the 2016 PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography. She is also the author of Unspeakable Acts: Women, Art, and Sexual Violence in the 1970s and Hannah Wilke, and her essays have appeared in monographs on Doris Salcedo, Robert Mangold, Willie Cole and Gary Simmons, among many others. A longtime Contributing Editor (and former Senior Editor) at Art in America, she has also written for The New York Times, Hyperallergic, Bomb, Apollo and elsewhere. Princenthal has lectured widely, and taught at Bard College, Princeton University, Yale University, and the School of Visual Arts.

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Sue Scott

Sue Scott is an independent curator and writer living in New York City. She was Adjunct Curator of Contemporary Art at the Orlando Museum of Art from 1989 to 2008 and founder and director of  Sue Scott Gallery in New York. She is co-author of the award-winning book After the Revolution: Women Who Transformed Contemporary Art and of The Reckoning: Women Artists of the New Millennium (Prestel, 2007 and 2013) with Eleanor Heartney, Helaine Posner and Nancy Princenthal. The third book in this series, Mothers of Invention: The Feminist Roots of Contemporary Art is published by Lund Humphries (2024).

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Past Critical Dialogues

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