Yve-Alain Bois

Picasso and Abstraction: Encounters and Avoidance

Yve-Alain Bois
Professor, School of Historical Studies
April 6, 2016
Pablo Picasso did not speak often about abstraction, but when he did, it was either to dismiss it as complacent decoration or to declare its very notion an oxymoron. The root of this hostility is to be found in the impasse that the artist reached in the summer 1910, when abstraction suddenly appeared as the logical development of his previous work, a possibility at which he recoiled in horror. But though he swore to never go again near abstraction, he could not prevent himself from testing his resolve from time to time.

Art History Lecture Series, Orientations in Renaissance Art

Alexander Nagel
New York University
December 9, 2013
In this lecture, Alexander Nagel, Professor of Fine Arts at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, illustrates some ways in which art produced during the Renaissance period points ­eastward towards Constantinople, towards the Holy Land, and to places further east, even as far as China. Nagel focuses on the forms this "orientation" took between 1492-1507, years during which new lands were being discovered, to great fanfare, but were still believed to belong to the continent of Asia.

The Difficult Task of Erasing Oneself: Non-Composition in Twentieth-Century Art

Yve-Alain Bois
Institute For Advanced Study
March 7, 2007


Yve-Alain Bois, Professor, School of Historical Studies. The lecture examines how, rather than always leading to the myth of the death of painting (or sculpture), as Alexandr Rodchenko had it, the idea that the artist should erase all traces of him- or herself was a dictum that helped sustain many different artistic practices during the past century, from Kasimir Malevich's Black Square of 1915, Jean Arp's collages "according to the laws of chance" of 1916-18, and Piet Mondrian's modular grids of 1918-19, to Pop Art, Minimalism, Process art, Conceptual art, and beyond.