Lecture with Angela Lorenz: “The Artist’s Book as Theater of Knowledge: When Communicating Becomes Learning”

Thursday, March 15, 6:00PM

John Carter Brown Library
MacMillan Reading Room,
94 George St. Providence, RI.

Free and open to the public.


Angela Lorenz will discuss the process of making her limited edition, mixed-media works, acquired by more than one hundred permanent collections in the US and Europe, including the Victoria & Albert, the British Library, Graphische Sammlung Albertina, the Clark Art Institute, the Getty, the Fogg Art Museum, the Metropolitan and many university collections, including the John Hay Library, where curator Rosemary Cullen was the first person to collect Lorenz’s undergraduate work.

The talk will address the need to both doggedly pursue an idea, and a vision of the finished work of art, together with great flexibility and detachment in the experimental phases of the process, when the original concept or premise might get derailed. Lorenz will also show how her conceptual approach, geared toward communicating historical and cultural research, mimics Renaissance memory theaters, three-dimensional mnemonic devices with associative images inside. What started out as a passion for inventing playful and eccentric modes of communication in words, images and structures became a self-serving mechanism for the artist to remember her non-fiction research.

A frequent visitor to undergraduate courses at Brown and RISD, where she studied graphic arts and glass, the artist has been Visiting Critic twice for RISD’s European Honors Program in Rome, and a visiting artist to the Summer Institute for Graphic Design Studies. Her solo show “Creating with Abandon” in 2006 inaugurated the exhibition space at RISD’s Fleet Library, to which she donated her process archive. The John Hay Library held a concurrent satellite exhibition, and lent a piece from the extensive Lorenz holdings to the Bell Gallery for an exhibition in 2010 entitled “Pictures from the Hay.”

Lorenz has been based in Bologna, Italy since 1989, a city she grew to love during a year on the Brown in Bologna Program in 1985, at which time she learned bookbinding from a local artisan. In her Bologna studio, the artist frequently welcomes Brown interns studying on her former program, an opportunity to return the favor for an experience which charted the course of her life.

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