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Too Many Times: On Klee’s Angelus Novus

Annie Bourneuf, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

April 25, 2017 · 5:00 pm6:30 pm · Room N107, School of Architecture

Co-sponsored by European Cultural Studies with Media and Modernity

The artist R. H. Quaytman recently discovered that Paul Klee mounted his watercolored oil-transfer drawing Angelus Novus (1920)—famous for its prominent place in the writings of its first owner, Walter Benjamin—on top of an engraved portrait of Martin Luther from 1838. In this lecture, Bourneuf ventures a new interpretation of the work in light of Quaytman’s discovery, considering issues of portraiture and defacement, disenchantment and reenchantment, and chronologies of modernity in relation to the object’s material complexity and the relations it proposes among painting, engraving, oil-transfer drawing, and printed book.

Annie Bourneuf is Assistant Professor in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the author of Paul Klee: The Visible and the Legible (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015), winner of the 2016 Robert Motherwell Book Award.

Respondent: Spyros Papapetros

Spyros Papapetros is Associate Professor of History and Theory at the School of Architecture and a member of the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University. He is the author of On the Animation of the Inorganic: Art, Architecture, and the Extension of Life (The University of Chicago Press, 2012) and co-editor of Retracing the Expanded Field. Encounters between Art and Architecture (The MIT Press, 2014).

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