April 18, 2012
Art History Professor Ken Allan lectured on artist Wallace Berman at the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, earlier this month. Allan is an expert on modern and contemporary American art of the 1960s. “Wallace Berman is often considered an underground figure of the 1960s art scene, but was included in the massive group portrait on the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s album and is becoming more and more recognized as having been engaged with so many areas of creative practice in the 1960s,” Allan said. Berman’s work spanned the media of photography, collage, assemblage sculpture and film. In his presentation, “Radio-Mastery of the Ether - Wallace Berman and Materiality in 1960s Los Angeles,” Allan discussed how Berman’s interest in the history of radio technology, Jewish mysticism, and ideas of transmission and reception come together in his later work. This lecture was part of the traveling exhibition, “Speaking in Tongues: Wallace Berman and Robert Heinecken, 1961-1976, curated by Claudia Bohn-Spector and Sam Mellon. Allan received his MA and PhD from University of Chicago and joined the College of Arts and Sciences faculty in 2006. He teaches courses on modern and contemporary art, specializing in American art of the 1960s. His recent publications include essays for the Getty Museum catalog, Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles Art, 1945-1980 (Getty Publications, 2011) and articles on Ed Ruscha (Art Bulletin, September 2010) and Wallace Berman (Art Journal, Spring 2011). His talk on Berman is part of his book project on artistic practice, social space and spectatorship in 1960s Los Angeles, which received a College of Arts and Sciences faculty research grant. The College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college in Seattle University, offers 33 undergraduate and 7 advanced degrees. The Fine Arts Department offers degrees in music, theatre, and visual art and an MFA in Arts Leadership.
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