The Phillips Collection hosts a series of lectures each year called Conversations With Artists. The topic this year is Engaging Spaces and the first speaker in the series was Vito Acconci. Acconci is a designer and architect who works collaboratively to create spaces that consider the human body and its relationship to public space. His work is extraordinary! See more here.
Some highlights from his talk last night:
- As a performance artist earlier in his career, one of his great interests was melding public and private space. Check out a provocative work he did called Seedbed!
- Art is about engaging the viewer so that they become participants in the art rather than observers. He thought that when viewers look at art in a museum or gallery, they become frustrated because they are put in a position of desire.
- His design and architecture philosophy is to address the occassions of every day life. You don’t necessarily notice wallpaper, rugs, and other elements of daily life, but they have a profound influence on you. H thought maybe these things were more important than an isolated object on a white wall that we call art.
I think it’s really important for collectors at all levels to engage with artists, hear directly from them about what’s behind their work. The Phillips series is an excellent way to have direct contact with some important contemporary artists. See here for more info.