Featured Artists and Conversations

2020 Summer Series: Featured Artists and Conversations

This popular and thought-provoking program will be offered online this year, with all programs beginning at 4PM MST. Our exciting list of speakers and dates is listed below. These will be unique and dynamic virtual experiences – not just video conference meetings! With images, video and surprising guests within the framework you’ve looked forward to for the past decade.

Join us to explore the work of world-renowned artists and curators. Hear stimulating conversations with today’s most influential critics and collectors. Anderson Ranch’s popular Summer Series: Featured Artists and Conversations fosters a broader understanding of contemporary art and art making. Featured events include lectures, conversations, panels and Q&A formats.

*These guests are in conversation with Helen Molesworth, Anderson Ranch Arts Center’s Curator-in-Residence


Mark Grotjahn combines gesture and geometry with abstraction and figuration in visually dynamic paintings, sculptures, and works on paper. Each of his series reflects a range of art-historical influences and unfolds in almost obsessive permutations.

Grotjahn was born in Pasadena, California. He received a BFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an MFA from the University of California at Berkeley. While studying in California, he began his first major project, Sign Exchange (1993–98), in which he painted replicas of signs that he saw in stores around Los Angeles, then had the store owners display his hand-painted versions in place of the originals. In 1995 Grotjahn was an artist-in-residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Madison, Maine. He moved to Los Angeles a year later and, with his classmate Brent Petersen, opened the short-lived gallery Room 702.

In 2001 Grotjahn began the Butterfly series. These geometric paintings and drawings explore the constructs of dual and multi-point perspective and take on various forms as Grotjahn alters their composition and color. A selection of multicolored and monochromatic Butterfly works on paper were exhibited in 2005 at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. In 2018 the Los Angeles County Museum of Art presented 50 Kitchens (2013–18), from the same series, a work with more than fifty parts that all evolved from a single composition and incorporate residual traces of earlier drawings. Continuing his investigations of symmetry, perspective, and form, Grotjahn began the Face paintings in 2003.

Nicole Eisenman lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She is a MacArthur Foundation fellow and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2018. Her work was included in both the 2019 Venice Biennale and the 2019 Whitney Biennial. Recent solo exhibitions include Baden Baden Baden, at the Staatliche Kunsthalle in Baden-Baden, Germany, Dark Light, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects; Dark Light, Secession, Vienna, Austria; Al-ugh-ories, New Museum, New York; and Magnificent Delusion, Anton Kern Gallery, New York. Having established herself as a painter, Nicole has expanded her practice into the third dimension.

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I started my writing career on a weekly called The Santa Fe Reporter, after graduating from Dartmouth in l976. I was paid $100 a week to be the paper’s sports reporter. It was huge fun.

I then returned to New York, where I’d grown up, and became a staff writer at Time magazine. Two years later I was hired to be the editor of a glossy magazine called AVENUE, which went to fashionable addresses on the Upper East Side.

It was from AVENUE that I was hired by Vanity Fair’s new editor-in-chief at the time, Tina Brown. That was in l986. Over the next three decades, I wrote articles on a wide array of subjects, from AIDS in the arts to society murders to Hollywood celebrities. I also helped Tina’s husband, distinguished editor Harry Evans, start Conde Nast Traveler.

Along with writing for Vanity Fair, I’ve published seven non-fiction books, some of them biographies, others on, broadly speaking, environmental themes. My latest is the story of how a few passionate New York art dealers made a global market of contemporary art – and changed the culture. It’s titled “Boom: Mad Money, Mega Dealers and the Rise of Contemporary Art,” and is being published in May, 2019 by Public Affairs, an imprint of Hachette, Little Brown.

Deana Lawson is a photo-based artist born in Rochester, NY. She received her M.F.A. in Photography from RISD in 2004. Her work examines the body’s ability to channel personal and social histories, addressing themes of familial legacy, community, desire, and religious-spiritual aesthetics. Her practice borrows from simultaneous visual traditions, ranging from photographic and figurative portraiture, social documentary aesthetics, and vernacular family album photographs. Lawson meets her subjects in everyday walks of life: grocery stores, subway trains, busy avenues in Bedstuy, Brooklyn, and road trips taken to the American south. Lawson received the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in 2013, which gave her the opportunity to photograph internationally. She has photographed in DR Congo, Haiti, Jamaica, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Brazil. Lawson has exhibited work at the Carnegie Museum, the Underground Museum, the Whitney Biennial, Huis Marseille Museum for Photography, and others. Her work has been published in ArtForum, TIME Magazine, The New Yorker, and Aperture.  Lawson has upcoming solo exhibitions opening at the Kunsthalle Museum in Basel, Switzerland in March 2020, and at the Bienal de São Paulo in Brazil in July 2020. She is currently a Professor of Photography at Princeton University.  

Silke Otto-Knapp lives and works in Los Angeles where she is Professor for Painting and Drawing at UCLA.  Recent solo exhibitions of her work include “In the waiting room’ at the Renaissance Society in Chicago; ‘Bühnenbilder’ at Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis; ‘Land lies in water’ at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; ‘Monday or Tuesday’ at Camden Arts Center, London; ‘Questions of Travel’ at Kunsthalle Vienna and Fogo Island Arts; ‘Geography and Plays’ at Kunsthal Charlottenborg.  She has taken part in the Liverpool Biennial in 2018 , Made in LA 2016 and the Istanbul Biennial in 2006 and exhibited her work in various museums both nationally and internationally. Silke is a member of the Advisory Board of Fogo Island Arts, a residency-based contemporary art venue on Fogo Island, Newfoundland, that supports research and production of new work for artists, filmmakers, writers, musicians, curators, designers and thinkers from around the world.


Christina Quarles (b. 1985 Chicago, Illinois) received an MFA in Painting and Printmaking from the Yale School of Art in 2016 and holds a BA from Hampshire College. She participated in the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan in 2016 and the Fountainhead Residency in Miami in 2017. Quarles is the current subject of a solo exhibition at The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield (October 19, 2019 – January 19, 2020). Forthcoming solo exhibitions of her work will take place at Pond Society, Shanghai (November 5, 2019 – January 15, 2020), marking the artist’s first solo presentation in China, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago (April 4 – August 30, 2020). Past solo exhibitions by the artist have been held at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley (2018) and the Richmond Center for Visual Arts, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo (2019). Her work has appeared in numerous group exhibitions including Made in L.A., Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018); Fictions, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2017); Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon, New Museum, New York (2017); and Still Human, Rubell Family Collection Contemporary Arts Foundation, Miami (2017). She has been the recipient of several awards and grants including the Pérez Art Museum Miami Pérez Prize (2019); Rema Hort Mann Emerging Artist Grant (2017); and the Robert Schoelkopf Fellowship at Yale University (2015). Work by the artist is held in the collections of national and international institutions including Aïshti Foundation, Beirut; Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo; Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; Girls’ Club, Fran & David Horvitz Collection, Ft. Lauderdale; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; KADIST, Paris and San Francisco; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla; Pérez Art Museum, Miami; Rubell Family Collection Contemporary Arts Foundation, Miami; Samdani Art Foundation, Dhaka; Tate Modern, London; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Zabludowicz Collection, London. She lives and works in Los Angeles.

Tavares Strachan’s artistic practice activates the intersections of art, science, and politics, offering us uniquely synthesized points of view on the cultural dynamics of scientific knowledge. He works in collaboration with organizations and institutions across disciplines, to promote a broader and more inclusive understanding of the work of both artists, scientists, and the systems and support networks that make their work possible. 

He is perhaps best known for his work The Distance Between What We Have and What We Want (Arctic Ice Project), 2004-06, in which he extracted a four and half ton block of arctic ice and shipped it to his birthplace in the Bahamas, where it was exhibited in a specially designed freezer chamber that was solar powered. The work plays with the notions of displacement and interdependency, which are central both to the ecological systems which maintain the relative heat and cold of equatorial and arctic environments, as well as the cultural realities which define themselves in relation to these environments. Moving between these environmental extremes points to their interdependency, but also to the precariousness of the human experiences which hang in the balance. 

Strachan was recently named artist in residence for Getty Research Institute’s 2019-20 Scholar Year, and the Allen Institute’s inaugural artist-in-residence in 2018, and has been the recipient of many grants including the 2014 LACMA Art + Technology Lab Artist Grant. Through this exciting collaboration, he has been working on a project with SpaceX to celebrate the forgotten story of Robert Henry Lawrence Jr., the first African American astronaut selected for any national space program.

For more information about the Summer Series, please call Molly O’Leary at 970/924-5056.

Click Here to Watch 2019 Summer Series Videos

Summer Events

2019 Summer Series Sponsors:

Additional Support Provided By:
Janice and Phil Beck
Rona and Jeffrey Citrin
Ann Cook and Charley Moss
Eleanore and Domenico De Sole
Sherry and Joe Felson
Sue Hostetler and William Wrigley, Jr.
Pamela Joseph and Robert Brinker
Ann and Tom Korologos
Mrs. Robert Magoon
Judy and Robbie Mann
Allen and Kelli Questrom
Anne and Chris Reyes
Dorothy Wildman and Albert Sanford


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