Symposium | Minimal, Conceptual, Pop: A symposium on American Art 1960–80

The United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney is joining with the Art Gallery of New South Wales to mount an international symposium on the Gallery’s American art collections of the 60s and 70s. This period of radical experiment gave rise to many practices and aesthetics underpinning contemporary art. Enriched by the John Kaldor gift of 2009, the Gallery boasts the world’s finest museum collection of Sol Lewitt. Major pieces by Lewitt, Carl Andre, Christo, Donald Judd, Edward Ruscha, Richard Serra, Frank Stella and Laurence Weiner are on display during the symposium.

Three leading American experts, Alexander Alberro (Columbia), Charles W. Haxthausen (Williams) and Robert Slifkin (NYU) will travel to Sydney for the event. They will be joined by Australian scholars including Sue Best, Keith Broadfoot, Rachel Kent, Chris McAuliffe, Meredith Morse, and Ann Stephen. Convened for the US Studies Centre by Professor Roger Benjamin, the symposium will also throw new light on Australian responses to American art.

This is the second of two symposia funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art (the Abstract Expressionist holdings of the NGA were the subject in 2012).

Date: Friday 16 and Saturday 17 August Time: 10.00am — 4.45pm (both days)

Venue: Domain Theatre, Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Rd, Sydney

Tickets: Daily rate Adult $65, Gallery Members $50, Students $30. A 20% discount applies if you book both days. Lunch and afternoon tea is included in the price.

Tickets can be booked by calling the Art Gallery of NSW on 02 9225 1740.


Visit to view the event program, abstracts and biographies

Friday 16thAugust 2013

10:00 – 10:25 Registration, Domain Theatre Foyer, AGNSW

10:30 – 10:45 Welcome: Michael Brand, Director, AGNSW

Introduction: Roger Benjamin, USSC, University of Sydney

Morning Session: New Art on the Public Scale

10:45 – 11:35 Charles W. Haxthausen, “Doing Wall Drawings”: Five Notes on Sol LeWitt

11:35 – 12:25 Keith Broadfoot, Uncanny Landscape: Christo, JeanneClaude and the arrival of contemporary art in Australia

12:30 – 2:00 LUNCH and viewing of Level 2 collections

Afternoon Session: Minimal Aesthetics

2:00 – 2:50 Robert Slifkin, The Empty Room and the End of Man

2:50 – 3:40 SusanBest,“Utterly free of human associations”: Impersonality in Minimalism and Conceptual Art

3:40 – 3:50 Short break

3:50 – 4: 40 Chris McAuliffe,“To discard, to repair, to continue”: Minimalism and a larger modernism

4:50 Close

Saturday 17th August 2013

10:00 – 10:15 Registration, Domain Theatre Foyer

10:15 – 10:20 Welcome: Sean Gallagher, COO, US Studies Centre

Morning Session: Conceptual and Performance Art

10:20 – 11:10 Alexander Alberro: Conceptual Art and Language

11:10 – 12:00 Ann Stephen, 1969: Australian Landfall for Christo and Conceptual art

12:00 – 12:10 Short Break

12:00 – 12:50 Meredith Morse:Dance/constructions: Simone Forti’s Huddle, Minimalist Sculpture, and ‘Minimalist’ Dance

12:50 – 2:00 LUNCH

Afternoon Session: Pop and the Public for American Art 2:00 – 2:20 John Kaldor in conversation with Anthony Bond

2:20 – 3:10 Jaklyn Babbington: Roy Lichtenstein: Pop art in the remix era

3:10 – 4:00 Rachel Kent: Language and meaning in the art of Ed Ruscha

4:00 – 4:30 Concluding discussion