2006 Daphne Mayo Lecture: Professor Roger Benjamin 'Juan Davila: from Convulsive Decoration to the Salon'
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- The 2006 Daphne Mayo Lecture is presented by the University Art Museum and The School of English, Media Studies and Art History, in association with The Alumni Association of The University of Queensland Inc.
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Professor Roger Benjamin, JW Power Professor of Art History & Visual Culture, and Director of the Power Institute at the University of Sydney
'Juan Davila: from Convulsive Decoration to the Salon'
From the outset of his career, artist Juan Davila has had novel ideas about presenting the work of art. Always a painter with a brush and oils on canvas, the way Davila has presented his pungent images in galleries around the world is unorthodox. To refigure the physical object is to redefine what art can be, and the means by which it colludes with or seeks escape from the powers of the market to consume it. This lecture will consider the changing physical being with which Davila has endowed his work, from the mural and the assemblage, to the floor installation and the circular panorama, and back to painting as window-on-the-world, edged by an ornate frame. It is an art-language of delectation—the self-amusement of ‘Maria’ Davila the supreme decorator, versed in styles historical, Indigenous, naive and modernist, and given to the impossible hybrid.
The forthcoming book 'Juan Davila' (Miegunyah Press), with Roger Benjamin and Guy Brett, and writings by Juan Davila, will be launched in September 2006.
Professor Roger Benjamin
Roger Benjamin (b. Canberra, 1957) trained in Fine Arts and Philosophy at the University of Melbourne before travelling to the United States for his MA and PhD (Bryn Mawr College, 1981 and 1985). His first book and articles in leading British and American journals focussed on Matisse and the art of the Fauves. His article ‘The decorative landscape, Fauvism and the arabesque of observation’ ('Art Bulletin', 1993) won the Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize of the College Art Association of North America. 'Orientalist aesthetics: art, colonialism and French North Africa, 1880-1930' (Berkeley, 2003) is his most recent book, for which he received the prestigious Robert Motherwell Book Award in 2004. In 1995 Benjamin co-curated the travelling retrospective 'Matisse' for the Queensland Art Gallery. His 'Orientalism: Delacroix to Klee' was held at the Art Gallery of NSW in 1997. In February 2003 his exhibition 'Renoir and Algeria' was organised by the Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute before travelling to Dallas and Paris, where it was reincarnated as 'De Delacroix à Renoir: L'Algérie des peintres'. He was appointed JW Power Professor of Art History & Visual Culture, and Director of the Power Institute at the University of Sydney, in April 2003. He was Chair of the Department of Art History and Theory 2003 to 2005.
Daphne Mayo Visiting Professorship in Visual Culture
To honour and commemorate the life of one of Queensland’s most prominent artists and art educators, the School of English, Media Studies and Art History at The University of Queensland has established the annual Daphne Mayo Visiting Professorship in Visual Culture. Each year, a major world figure will visit Brisbane to speak about the latest trends, influences, and theories in their area of visual culture. They will give public lectures and take master classes with postgraduate students at The University of Queensland.
Daphne Mayo (1895 – 1982)
Daphne Mayo was for much of her life Queensland’s best known artist and a passionate advocate for the arts. Her work includes the tympanum on the Brisbane City Hall and the Women’s War Memorial in ANZAC Square. She was a trustee of the Queensland Art Gallery (1960-67), established an art reference library now at The University of Queensland, and left her private papers to The University of Queensland’s Fryer Library.
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