XXL: On Scale


This lecture addresses the importance of scale in contemporary art. I will be highlighting our bodily encounter with three-dimensional works (phenomenology) as well as drawing on MacArthur Fellow Susan Stewart’s wonderful study, On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection, that explores the relation of language to experiencing art. Stewart looks at the miniature as a metaphor for interiority and at the gigantic as an exaggeration of the exterior. I will also discuss critical reception surrounding this issue. Specifically, how the diminutive in art has been under-valued as “decorative” since the 18th c. and how artists might counter this continued bias. This lecture may be focused on either glass or ceramic art.

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