EXTRAPOLATION AND INFLUENCE: TONY SMITH
Seton Hall University,
Beck Room of the Walsh Library
South Orange Avenue, South Orange, NJ 07079
Tom McGlynn, artists, art educator, curator
Joan Pachner, Tony Smith Scholar
David Rifkind, Associate Professor, Architecture
This panel discussion will explore how Smith’s architectural work informed his sculpture, and vice versa, then considers his influence on contemporary artists through processes, inspirations or ideals. Presented by LPMAF in collaboration with SHU and the Village of South Orange.
EXTRAPOLATION AND INFLUENCE: Tony Smith
Panel discussion at Seton Hall University, September 19, 2013
Two days of engaging in understanding and engaging in the arts and the creative process is September 19 and 22nd in South Orange. Both are free events open to the general public and include a panel discussion as well as viewing or participating in creating works with artists from around the region.
Extrapolation and Influence: Tony Smith brings to the podium Joan Pachner and David Rifkind, and moderator Tom McGlynn. They will explore how Smith’s architectural work informed his sculpture, and vice versa, then considers how Smith’s processes, inspiration or ideals influenced his own work as well as other contemporary artists.
In the history of art, there are few artists who in developing their own work, also resulted in helping to push one major art movement into the next. Tony Smith has played this remarkable role in the contemporary art world in the subtle art historical transition from abstract expressionism to Minimalism. While often named a ‘Minimalist’, he in fact began creating his sculptures through an abstract expressionist approach, building small models, tearing down, building again, to the desired effect. “Morris and Judd and all those guys really thought about what they were doing,” Smith was quoted as saying. “I never thought about anything that I did. I just did it.” However, although his conceptual ideas as well as his model building had an organic approach, his architectural background is evident in the final product.
Joan Pachner has long been considered an independent scholar and authority on Tony Smith since her dissertation, Tony Smith: Architect, Painter, Sculptor at NYU. For over 20 years, she has been called upon to curate, present, and write about Smith in various points of view. These include curatorial consultant at The Museum of Modern Art, Matthew Marks Gallery, and the Estfalisches Landeesmuseum, Germany. Her lectures and presentations were included at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Boston Architectural Center, Sarah Lawrence College and State of the Arts: On the Beat for New Jersey Network. Her writings have been included in Art in America and numerous Smith publications including major contributions to the seminal Tony Sm
David Rifkind brings a diverse component to the discussion about Tony Smith relating his significant architectural background to his major sculptural contributions. As an Associate Professor in the College of Architecture and the Arts at Florida International University, his private research dealing with urbanism and architecture in Ethiopia has brought him grants and fellowships in Rome. In addition, he recently had published the award winning The Battle for Modernism: Quadrante and the Politicization of Architectural Discourse in Fascist Italy. He has won best article awards for essays in architectural education and history, was curator for an exhibition at the Frost Art Museum, and is currently co-editing A Critical History of Contemporary Architecture to be published next year. As a designer, Rifkind has worked to make environmental stewardship and community development the central focus of architectural practice in South Florida and built a house which serves as a model of sustainable construction. Along with his partner, Holly Zickler, Rifkind has been an enthusiastic fan of Tony Smith and an avid supporter of the Tony Smith Project in South Orange since inception.
As moderator, Tom McGlynn brings another viewpoint to the panel as an artist, educator, art historian, and independent curator. His work is represented in many national and international
collections including the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, and The Cooper- Hewitt National Design Museum of the Smithsonian. His art has been reproduced for the cover of Artforum magazine and featured in articles in the New York Times. His critical writing has been published in the Brooklyn Rail and in various online arts journals. Mr. McGlynn has taught as an Assistant Professor at Castleton State College, Vermont, and has previously been a Visiting Artist Lecturer at the Mason Gross School of Fine Arts at Rutgers University, NJ. He is currently a visiting lecturer at The New School in New York City. McGlynn’s projects take into account the role of the artist in the expanded field of interdisciplinary practice to include socially oriented sculptural installation, abstract painting derived from social semiotics, and photography that blurs the line between quotidian documentation and abstraction.
This event was co-presented by the LPMAF and the Undergraduate Program in Art History and the MA Program in Museum Professions at Seton Hall University, and Seton hall University and the LPMAF.
The Tony Smith and Arts celebration continues on Sunday, September 22, at Art Party in the Park, 1-6 pm. This is the second annual event produced by The Lennie Pierro Memorial Foundation and the Village of South Orange in honor of renowned sculptor and South Orange native, Tony Smith. Last year the Art Party featured the work of over 15 artists in a one day outdoor exhibition, information stations for arts organizations and hands on art activities for children.
Art Party is a free public event for the family, held rain or shine in Meadowland Park, North Ridgewood Road, South Orange at the site of the sculpture, TAU, by Tony Smith. This event is co-presented by the LPMAF and the Village of South Orange through the Pierro Foundation.