Classicism and Contemporary Art

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As a student of the nineteenth century, and as a one-time student of the Classical world, I am intrigued by Aby Warburg’s “afterlife” or “survival” of antiquity unto our own time. The artists I will discuss are drawing upon Classical and Neoclassical artworks and motifs, reactivating them to question, critique, and explore the artistic and intellectual ideals within those artworks. In these moments of inspiration and reinterpretation, artists connect to the past to illuminate current issues and ask how and why these works still speak to us. Artists to be discussed include Sanford Biggers, Igor Mitoraj, Simon Starling, Lily Cox-Richard, Karen LaMonte, Vik Muniz, Kehinde Wiley, and others.