Visitors enjoy the 2011 MFA Graduate Exhibition at the Winery SF on Treasure Island.

Public Events

27th Annual Art Criticism Conference
Tuesday, August 13 - Thursday, August 15, 2013
Lecture Hall
Free and open to the public
San Francisco Art Institute
800 Chestnut Street
San Francisco,
The San Francisco Art Institute will be hosting the 27th iteration of its summer Art Criticism Conference starting August 13 and running through August 15.

SFAI’s Art Criticism Conference introduces participants to the contemporary practice of writing about art in its many poetic and professional functions, while acquainting them with art-historical practice. The 2013 Art Criticism Conference is coordinated by Mark Van Proyen, art critic and Associate Professor in SFAI’s Painting Department.

The conference consists of a week-long seminar for enrolled students, as well as the following free, public events held in the SFAI lecture hall at 800 Chestnut Street.

Staged Reading: Oscar Wilde’s The Critic As Artist
Tuesday, August 13, 7:30 pm

In 1890, Oscar Wilde published a quartet of plays under the title of Intentions, one of which was The Critic as Artist. Full of witty repartee, the play is a philosophical dialogue that takes the role of criticism as its subject. It makes provocative claims about the importance of criticism to art, as well as why criticism should be something more than journalism. Over one hundred years after its initial publication, the issues raised by this play still resonate, and in many ways the play anticipates the philosophical orientations of many postmodern critics.

For nine years, SFAI’s summer Art Criticism Conference has staged a public reading of Wilde’s famous play as part of its annual inquiry into the state of art criticism. Actor and teacher Clayton B. Hodges, currently of Sierra Repertory Theatre, directs the reading, and will also perform along with Nick Childress, a graduate of the American Conservatory Theater's Master of Fine Arts Program.

Keynote Speaker: Julia Bryan-Wilson
Thursday, August 15, 7:30pm

Julia Bryan-Wilson is Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary art at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Art Workers: Radical Practice in the Vietnam War Era (University of California Press, 2009) and the editor of Robert Morris, forthcoming from the MIT Press in the OCTOBER Files series. Bryan-Wilson is a frequent contributor to Artforum and has written criticism on artists such as Sharon Hayes and Carey Young. Some of her recent scholarly publications include “Practicing Trio A” (about learning Yvonne Rainer’s well-known dance, which appeared in the journal October); “Dirty Commerce: Art Work and Sex Work Since the 1970s (differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies); “Invisible Products” (Art Journal); and “Occupational Realism” (TDR: The Drama Review). She is completing a book about contemporary textiles and politics. 

Image: From the cover of Art Workers, by Julia Bryan-Wilson