sfai news

August 10, 2012

SFAI Presents Oscar Wilde's The Critic As Artist and Keynote Speaker Lane Relyea at 26th Annual Art Criticism Conference

The San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious contemporary art colleges, will host its annual Art Criticism Conference next week at its 800 Chestnut Street campus. This two-day event will include a free staged reading of Oscar Wilde's play The Critic As Artist performed by Clayton B. Hodges and Nick Childress, and a keynote presentation by Lane Relyea, Associate Professor of Art Theory & Practice at Northwestern University. This year’s conference will not only examine the historical and contemporary practice of writing about art, it’ll also take a closer look at the relationship between art and rhetoric in today's political environment.

“We’re exploring exciting new territory during this election year! Next week’s conference will use current populist politics as a lens to evaluate criticism in today’s art world,” explains Mark Van Proyen, SFAI Painting Faculty and conference coordinator. “Lane Relyea’s forthcoming book D.I.Y. Culture Industry touches on this complex matter, as does Wilde’s play. It’s important that our students and the broader Bay Area art community understand and evaluate all the intellectual and ethical issues that lurk within the operation of today’s art marketplace.”

The reading and keynote are free and open to the public, but space is limited and advanced registration recommended: http://bit.ly/ArtCrit26. Please join SFAI in this critical assessment of art, rhetoric and politics!

Oscar Wilde, The Critic As Artist
Tuesday, August 14, 7:30 pm

Originally published under the title of Intentions in 1890, Oscar Wilde’s play The Critic as Artist is a philosophical dialogue evaluating the important role of criticism to art, and as more than just journalism. Through its witty, sarcastic prose, the play attacks the genteel hypocrisy that was common in England during Wilde’s lifetime and the similar pretension that exists in today’s art world. The issues raised by Wilde still resonate a hundred years later, anticipating the philosophical orientations of many postmodern critics.

Actor and teacher Clayton B. Hodges returns to the stage this year to direct the reading of The Critic as Artist and perform alongside actor Nick Childress. When he’s not in L.A. focusing on film and television projects, Clayton teaches acting and public speaking skills across the U.S. Childress is a recent graduate of the San Francisco-based American Conservatory Theater’s Master of Fine Arts Program.

Keynote Speaker: Lane Relyea
Thursday, August 16, 7:30 pm

Lane Relyea is Associate Professor of Art Theory & Practice at Northwestern University. He also serves as the editor-designate of Art Journal. His essays and reviews have appeared in Artforum, Frieze, Modern Painters, Art in America, and Flash Art. Relyea has written monographs on Polly Apfelbaum, Richard Artschwager, Jeremy Blake, Vija Celmins, Toba Khedoori, Monique Prieto, and Wolfgang Tillmans. Relyea’s book D.I.Y. Culture Industry: Signifying Practices, Social Networks and Other Instrumentalizations of Everyday Art is forthcoming from MIT Press.