10 November 2021
Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-57. A Curatorial Case Study.
This seminar tells the story of making the acclaimed exhibition Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-57, and how the curators (Ruth Erickson and Helen Molesworth) attempted to translate the college’s radical experimentation into an exhibition more than 50 years later. With a particular focus on pedagogy, this presentation traces the ways that learning and living coalesced. Erickson will closely consider a range of examples, including class exercises, campus architecture, performance workshops, and artwork by Ray Johnson, Robert Rauschenberg, Ruth Asawa, and Merce Cunningham, to illuminate the culture of “making do” at the college, which, she argues, allowed for increased experimental ingenuity on the part of students and teachers.
Black Mountain College Catalogue
Ruth Erickson is the Mannion Family Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, where she has curated solo exhibitions with artists Kevin Beasley, Mark Dion, Wangechi Mutu, and Vivian Suter, as well as traveling group exhibitions on Black Mountain College and another on contemporary art and migration. Her forthcoming projects include a group exhibition titled “A Place for Me: Figurative Painting Now” that registers the current wave of portraiture among artists of her generation as well as “To Begin Again,” an international and intergenerational survey of artists who’ve been inspired by childhood. She has presented and published her work widely, in venues from Jeu de Paume, the Wexner Center for the Arts, and the Armand Hammer Museum to Art in America and Framework. She received a BA in Art History from Carleton College and an MA and PhD in Art History from the University of Pennsylvania.