Germano Celant, one of contemporary art's leading curators and critics, will inaugurate the Mordes Lecture in Contemporary Art at Washington's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden tomorrow.
The lectureship is sponsored by Dr. Marvin and Elayne Mordes of Baltimore, leading collectors of contemporary art who own works by Joseph Kosuth, Cindy Sherman, Christian Boltanski, Rebecca Horn, Vito Acconci, Jenny Holzer, John Baldessari and Richard Serra, among others. They have also recently promised to donate to the Hirshhorn a major work by British artist Damien Hirst, "The Asthmatic Escaped II," now on view at the museum as a promised gift.
Mr. Celant, a native of Genoa, Italy, and author or editor of more than 30 books, is curator of contemporary art at New York's Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. He organized the recent Rebecca Horn exhibit there, as well as the forthcoming exhibit, "Mapplethorpe's Self-Portraits," which opens Nov. 8.
A leading critic since the 1960s, he identified and championed Italy's Arte Povera movement in the late 1960s and has written books on Claes Oldenburg, Mario Merz, Giuseppe Penone and the architect Frank Gehry, among others.
His slide-illustrated lecture tomorrow is titled "The War of the Body: Contemporary Art 1960s/1980s."
According to a Hirshhorn statement, the lecture will "contrast two artistic generations -- one identified with Vietnam, anti-materialism and liberation, and the other with AIDS, consumerism and ideological retrenchment." It will touch on artists from Joseph Beuys, Vito Acconci and Gilbert and George to Kiki Smith, Cindy Sherman and Jeff Koons.
The lecture, free and open to the public, will start at 4:30 p.m. in the Ring Auditorium of the Hirshhorn, Independence Avenue and Seventh Street Southwest.
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