Artist Adam Pendleton, designer Kelli Anderson, Whitney curator Adrienne Edwards and architects Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi are among an international array of creative professionals who will discuss their work for the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis’ fall Public Lecture Series.
Uniting WashU’s academic units in art, architecture and design with its nationally renowned Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, the Sam Fox School brings an interdisciplinary approach to contemporary issues and challenges, from sustainable design and digital technologies to the importance of strengthening local communities.
The fall Public Lecture Series will highlight themes relating to climate, urbanism and cultural politics. Talks begin Sept. 22, when the Kemper Art Museum hosts a conversation between Pendleton, one of the most celebrated visual artists of his generation, and curator Meredith Malone. An opening reception for “Adam Pendleton: To Divide By,” a large-scale exhibition featuring new paintings, drawings and ceramics, as well as two recent film portraits, will immediately follow.
New York-based artist Marie Lorenz will discuss her work Sept. 28. Basing her practice on the exploration and documentation of urban waterways, Lorenz combines psycho-geographic investigations with highly crafted material forms to heighten the awareness of place.
Multidisciplinary artist, writer and experimental filmmaker Crystal Z Campbell, the Sam Fox School’s 2023-24 Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Teaching Fellow, will discuss their work Oct. 4. Known for centering historically under-acknowledged people, places and events, Campbell, over the next year, will lead a course for the Sam Fox School, titled “Artist in the Archive,” while preparing a solo exhibition for the Saint Louis Art Museum for fall 2024.
Architect Javier García-Germán, the Ruth & Norman Moore Visiting Professor, will discuss his work Oct. 19. Founder of the award-winning practice TAAs — totem arquitectos asociados — García-Germán also directs the Madrid School of Architecture’s graduate programs in collective housing and ecological building. Recent projects include the Castellana 94 office building and the 159-unit Carabanchel collective housing for the Madrid city council.
The series will continue Oct. 23 with architects Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi, co-founders and principals of Weiss/Manfredi. The New York-based design practice has developed an international reputation for projects that encompass landscape, architecture, infrastructure and art. Recent examples include the Seattle Museum of Art’s Olympic Sculpture Park, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center and Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park.
Artist William Villalongo and data scientist Shraddha Ramani will present the school’s fall Prensky lecture Oct. 24. Over the past several years, the pair have developed “Printing Black America: W.E.B. Du Bois’s Data Portraits in the 21st Century,” a collaborative print portfolio that considers the legacy of Du Bois’ ground-breaking sociological research into the lives of Black Americans in the early 20th century — and projects those insights forward into the 21st. The talk kicks off a weeklong residency at the Sam Fox School’s Island Press.
Adrienne Edwards, the Engell Speyer Family Curator and director of curatorial affairs at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, will speak Nov. 2. Edwards is co-curator, with David Breslin, of the 2022 Whitney Biennial, “Quiet as It’s Kept” (an exhibition that included Pendleton’s film portrait “Ruby Nell Sales”). Edwards previously originated “Jason Moran” (2018), that artist’s first museum survey, for the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and curated “Blackness in Abstraction” (2016) for Pace Gallery in New York.
On Nov. 8, the series will host a conversation between Kyle Abraham and Joshua Chambers-Letson at COCA, the Center of Creative Arts. Abraham is a celebrated dancer, choreographer and founder of the company A.I.M. by Kyle Abraham. He is also the subject of Pendleton’s celebrated short film “What Is Your Name? Kyle Abraham: A Portrait” (2018–19). Chambers-Letson is a professor of performance studies and of Asian American studies at Northwestern University and author of “After the Party: A Manifesto for Queer of Color Life” (2018).
Concluding the series, on Dec. 7, will be artist, designer and animator Kelli Anderson. Known for reinventing commonplace objects in ways that disrupt audience expectations, Anderson is the creator of — among other projects — “This Book is a Camera” (2015), a pop-up book that transforms into a working camera, and “This Book is a Planetarium” (2017), which explores how paper taps into larger phenomena of light, time, sound and mathematics.