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The Art of The Figure | Vincent Desiderio, Peter Drake, Natalie Frank, Donald Kuspit, Alexi Worth | An Art Book Series Event

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FREE - Auditorium doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Featuring renowned art critic Donald Kuspit, artist Vincent Desiderio, artists Natalie Frank and Alexi Worth,  and moderated by Peter Drake, The Art of the Figure panel explores the genesis and progression of figurative art through the ages. This fascinating panel also discusses how the impact of technology has changed perceptions of the human body and altered figurative art.

Vincent Desiderio, My Father Fallen, 2009, oil on paper, 13.75 x 16 inches, courtesy of the artist and Marlborough Gallery
Vincent Desiderio, My Father Fallen, 2009, oil on paper, 13.75 x 16 inches, courtesy of the artist and Marlborough Gallery

The Figure: Painting, Drawing, and Sculpture is a celebration of figurative art with a wealth of imagery displaying some of the finest examples of the genre in all mediums. Attesting to the enduring appeal of the art of the human figure, this richly illustrated volume showcases work by acclaimed artists including Jenny Saville, Eric Fischl, and Will Cotton alongside emerging talents. Artists’ texts and essays by distinguished critics and writers, chart the evolution of figurative techniques, from the atelier to the use of photography, Photoshop, and 3D-modeling  programs. Centered on the renowned New York Academy of Art—where many of the featured artists are alumni or instructors—this collection reflects the institution’s mission to instill the rigorous training of past generations within the lively dialogue of the present day.

Championed by artists, art scholars, and patrons, including Andy Warhol, since its founding in 1982, the Academy continues to serve as a creative and intellectual center at the vanguard of representational art.

Copies of The Figure: Painting, Drawing, and Sculpture are available for purchase and signing at the end of the event.

Vincent Desiderio is a master figurative painter whose work can be found in many important public collections, including: the Denver Art Museum, Colorado; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC; The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City; Galerie Sammlung Ludwig, Aachen, Germany; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum of American Art, Philadelphia, PA; and The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN. In 2005 D.A.P. / Distributed Art Publishers published a monograph devoted to his work, Vincent Desiderio: Paintings 1975-2005 with texts by Mia Fineman, Donald Kuspit, Barry Schwabsky and Lawrence Weschler.

  Peter Drake, Parade, 2008, Acrylic on canvas, 58 x 77 inches, courtesy of the artist
 Peter Drake, Parade, 2008, Acrylic on canvas, 58 x 77 inches,
courtesy of the artist

Peter Drake’s art has been featured in 26 Solo exhibitions with works in the collections of the Whitney Museum, Phoenix Museum of Art, MOCA LA, The Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City and the L.A. County Museum of Art.  Drake is currently working on a MTA Arts For Transit site-specific public art commission for the LIRR. Recently he curated The Big Picture featuring Desiderio, Fischl, Rauch, Saville and  Tansey and upcoming is Beastly Beauty a contemporary representational sculpture exhibition opening January 27, 2015.  In 2010 Drake was named Dean of Academic Affairs at the New York Academy of Art. Previously he served as a curator for The Drawing Center in New York City and for several years, wrote for Flash Art Magazine. Peter Drake lives and works in New York and is represented by Linda Warren Projects, Chicago.

Natalie Frank, Cinderella I (Grimm's Fairy Tales), gouache and chalk pastel on paper, 2011-2014, Courtesy of the artist and The Drawing Center, NYNew York-based painter Natalie Frank was born in Austin Texas in 1980. She earned an M.F.A. in Visual Arts at Columbia University’s School of the Arts in 2006 and holds a B.A. in Studio Art from Yale University. In 2003-2004, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for study at the National Academy of Fine Art in Oslo, Norway. Frank's work is represented in numerous collections, including The Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. Natalie Frank's work has been covered in prominent publications and media outlets such as Art in AmericaBOMBFlash ArtThe Huffington PostModern PaintersThe New York Times and others. She has been a visiting artist at Brooklyn College; Cranbrook Academy, Hunter College, Maryland Institute of Contemporary Art, The New York Academy of Art, New York University, The School of Visual Arts, and Yale University. Her upcoming exhibition Tales from the Brothers Grimm drawn by Natalie Frank opens at The Drawing Center in New York in April 2015 and will be on view at Blanton Museum at University of Texas in Austin in July 2015.

Donald Kuspit is one of America’s most distinguished art critics. He has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, Fulbright Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Guggenheim Foundation, and Asian Cultural Council, among other organizations. He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Art History and Philosophy at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and has been the A. D. White Professor at Large at Cornell University (1991-97).  He is also Senior Critic at the New York Academy of Art.  He has doctorates in philosophy (University of Frankfurt) and art history (University of Michigan), as well as degrees from Columbia University, Yale University, and Pennsylvania State University.  He has written numerous articles, exhibition reviews, catalogue essays, lectured at many universities and art schools, curated many exhibitions, and edited several series for UMI Research Press and the Cambridge University Press.  

Alexi Worth, Square II, acrylic on nylon mesh, 48 x 68 inches, courtesy of the artist and DC Moore Gallery
Alexi Worth, Square II, acrylic on nylon mesh, 48 x 68 inches, courtesy of the artist and DC Moore Gallery

Alexi Belsey Worth has had solo exhibitions with the Elizabeth Harris, Bill Maynes, and DC Moore galleries, among others. Recent group exhibitions include Open Windows, curated by Carroll Dunham at the Addison Gallery in Andover MA; Private Future, curated by Michael Cline at Mark Jancou, NY; and In A Violet Distance, curated by David Humphey at Zurcher Studio, NY. He has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Tiffany Foundation, and the New England Foundation for the Arts. He is currently represented by DC Moore. In addition to his painting, Worth has written about art for The New Yorker, Artforum, Art in America, ARTnews, Slate, and other magazines. He has written catalog texts for artists such as Martha Armstrong, Carroll Dunham, David Humphrey, James Hyde, Susan Jennings, Jackie Saccoccio, George Nick, Jim Nutt, and Philip Pearlstein. Worth lives in Brooklyn NY with his wife, the architect Erika Belsey, and their two boys.

In its seventh year the program series An Art Book, initiated and organized by Arezoo Moseni, is a celebration of the essential importance and beauty of art books. The events showcase book presentations and discussions by world renowned artists, critics, curators, gallerists, historians and writers.

Events at The New York Public Library may be photographed or recorded.  By attending these events, you consent to the use of your image and voice by the Library for all purposes.

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