Materialising Modern Identities: Architectural Sculpture After 1750 (International)

Deadline: November 10, 2014

Dates: April 9-11, 2015

Location: Sainsbury Institute for Art, UEA, Norwich

CFP Link

Association of Art Historians 41st Annual Conference

In recent years, sculpture studies within art and architectural history have grown exponentially, increasingly taking diverse themes into account including materiality, gender, postcolonialism and affect. In the rapid transformations of state power and imperial activity in the 18th century, through into the post-revolutionary political atmosphere of the 19th century, nations appeared to sponsor the celebration of the public citizen and actively projected imperial stability in the midst of change and resistance. Despite its association with permanence, sculpture was charged with representing change: materialising new identities and formulating representational traditions. 

Architectural sculpture in particular marked sites of urban modernity, such as stations, cultural institutions, civic landmarks and sacred structures; these large and prestigious commissions often sparked public debate around identity and artistic production. As the onset and outcomes of the First World War shaped the power and politics of cultural memory, sculpture took centre stage, with new responsibilities amongst global tensions. Interwar architectural sculpture negotiated and articulated increasing anxieties regarding ornament, historicism, modernism and minimalism. With the arrival of modernism worldwide, some believed architectural sculpture was anathema. Others looked to it as the vehicle to facilitate and embody vitality in bold new architectural experimentation. Architectural sculpture was a crucible for artistic and wider cultural dialogue concerning modern life and modern subjects.

The convenors invite proposals for papers that explore architectural sculpture and identity in a global context between 1750 and the present.

Paper proposals, to be sent to the session convenor in accordance with proposal guidelines.

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