October 05, 2009

Peter Plagens kicks off Visiting Artist series

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Visiting Artist series in the School of Art and Design at Southern Illinois University Carbondale kicks off the fall 2009 season with a lecture from Peter Plagens, artist and critic.

The lecture is at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8, in the University Museum auditorium. Plagens will be on campus through Oct. 10 to work with students.

Plagens is a contributing editor to “Newsweek” and “Artforum” magazines. He is the author of “Sunshine Muse: Modern Art on the West Coast 1945-1970,” “Moonlight Blues: An Artist’s Art Criticism,” and a novel, “Time for Robo.” Plagens posts several of his essays about art and artists on his Web site at www.peterplagens.com.

He is also a painter. His wife, artist Laurie Fendrich, notes in an essay accessible through his Web site, that he “makes art out of a sense of the absurd, the arbitrary, and the indifferently-watching universe.” His abstract art sometimes uses form in neutral colors as a backdrop for bright colors in geometric shapes and lines.

Recent solo exhibitions include the Warschaw Gallery in San Pedro, Calif., and a traveling exhibit that began at the University of Southern California. His art is part of collections including the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y., Baltimore Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, Calif.

Plagens has been on the faculty at Middlebury College, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of California at Berkeley, and elsewhere.

The Visiting Artist Program in the School of Art and Design brings artists and art experts to campus for a public lecture and workshops with students. For more information, visit artanddesign.siuc.edu.