Visual arts scholar Michael Leja will discuss “Cubism in Bondage: Morgan Russell’s Synchromism” at Vanderbilt University Dec. 4.
Leja, a University of Pennsylvania professor of history of art and director of the program in visual studies, will present the Norman L. and Roselea J. Goldberg Lecture in Art History at 4:10 p.m. in Cohen Memorial Hall, Room 203.
Leja, who earned his doctorate at Harvard University, studies 19th- and 20th-century visual arts in various media, primarily from the United States. His work is interdisciplinary and strives to understand visual artifacts in relation to contemporary cultural, social, political and intellectual developments. Leja is especially interested in examining the interactions between works of art and particular audiences.
Synchromism was an art movement founded in the early 1910s by two American artists, Morgan Russell and Stanton Macdonald-Wright, who were living in Paris. With Macdonald-Wright, Russell created an avant-garde style of colorful abstract painting. Russell combined abstract shape and color in paintings in seeking a spiritual exaltation equivalent to that produced by music, with which he also experimented.
Leja is the author of Looking Askance: Skepticism and American Art from Eakins to Duchamp (2004), which won the Modernist Studies Association Book Prize in 2005. Leja was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008.
A reception in the Cohen atrium will follow Leja’s lecture. The Goldberg Lecture, which is sponsored by the Department of History of Art, is free and open to the public. Limited parking is available in Lot 95 adjacent to Cohen Hall.
For more information, call (615) 322-2831.
Fay Renardson contributed to this story.