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Variable States: Intention, Appearance, and Interpretation in Modern Sculpture
October 22–23, 2004, at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas

August 27, 2004

DALLAS—The Getty joins the Nasher Sculpture Center to present the conference Variable States: Intention, Appearance, and Interpretation in Modern Sculpture on October 22–23, 2004. The conference, to be hosted at the Nasher Sculpture Center, marks the Center's first anniversary and is a part of its ongoing program of scholarly initiatives uniquely focused on sculpture. Organized by the Nasher Sculpture Center and the J. Paul Getty Museum, the conference is made possible through the generous support of the J. Paul Getty Trust.

 Open to professionals and the public by registration, the two-day conference brings together experts in the fields of conservation, art history, and criticism for a multidisciplinary exploration of modern sculpture. The innovative conference format combines prepared papers, dynamic gallery discussions in front of sculptures by a group of specialists projected into the auditorium by video broadcast, and is concluded by a panel inviting audience participation in the discussion. 

 "This conference, on the one-year anniversary of the Nasher Sculpture Center, will offer an interactive dialogue representing multiple viewpoints on key themes in the study of modern sculpture. It promises to be an important contribution to the field," says Dr. Steven A. Nash, Director, Nasher Sculpture Center. 

 The conference participants include artists Richard Deacon and Joel Shapiro, and scholars from the Henry Moore Institute, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate, Yale University Art Gallery, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Nasher Sculpture Center, and the Kunsthaus Zürich.

 Variable States: Three Masterworks of Modern Sculpture, a focused exhibition at the Nasher Sculpture Center featuring works by Auguste Rodin (Age of Bronze), Alberto Giacometti (Bust of Diego), and Jeff Koons (Louis XIV), has been organized in conjunction with the conference to serve as the springboard for examination and discussion. Different versions of these three sculptures from private and public collections are included in the exhibition, offering a rare opportunity for close comparison. The casts differ from one another in important ways, such as materials, patinas, and appearance due to weathering. 

 Among the topics to be examined in the exhibition and the conference are the effects of multiple casts and mutable physical states on perception and interpretation of a work's basic character and meaning, artistic intent toward change in a work’s appearance, and appropriate conservation in light of artistic intent and change.  

 The conference will open on Friday evening, October 22, 2004, with a keynote lecture by noted author and critic Adam Gopnik, who is also a contributor to The New Yorker magazine. The opening keynote will be followed by a reception and viewing of the exhibition. The second day will begin with two papers featuring art historical and conservation points of view focused on each set of works by the three artists in the exhibition (Rodin, Giacometti, and Koons). These presentations will be followed by a gallery discussion among a group of specialists in front of the sculptures with video projection into the auditorium for the audience to observe. The program will conclude with a panel moderated by Dr. Nash that will expand the discussion among the panelists and the audience. The conference will end with a reception and continued exhibition viewing Saturday at 5:00 p.m. 

 "We hope this conference will generate fresh perspectives and new areas of research in the field of modern and contemporary sculpture, and set a model for future collaborations between the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Nasher Sculpture Center," says Peggy Fogelman, Assistant Director for Education and Interpretive Programs, J. Paul Getty Museum.

 Conference registration is available on the Center Web site at on the "Conferences" page. Advance registration by Friday, October 8 is $80 for professionals and $50 for students. On-site or late registration (after October 8) will be $120.

Conference Panelists
Malcolm Baker, Victoria and Albert Museum and University of Southern California
Michael Brenson, Independent Critic
Ruth Butler, University of Massachusetts at Boston
Penelope Curtis, Henry Moore Institute
Richard Deacon, Artist
Valerie Fletcher, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Peggy Fogelman, J. Paul Getty Museum
Pamela Franks, Yale University Art Gallery
David Getsy, J. Paul Getty Postdoctoral Fellow
Andrew Lins, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Hanspeter Marty, Kunsthaus Zürich
Steven A. Nash, Nasher Sculpture Center
Derek Pullen, Tate
Robert Rosenblum, New York University and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Joanna Rowntree, Nasher Sculpture Center
Joel Shapiro, Artist

About the Nasher Sculpture Center and J. Paul Getty Trust
  The Nasher Sculpture Center, which is dedicated to the display and study of modern and contemporary sculpture, is located on a 2.4-acre site adjacent to the Dallas Museum of Art in the heart of the Dallas Arts District. Renzo Piano, a world-renowned architect and winner of the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 1998, is the architect of the Center's 55,000-square-foot building. Piano worked in collaboration with landscape architect Peter Walker on the design of the two-acre sculpture garden.  The Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection includes masterpieces by Calder, de Kooning, di Suvero, Giacometti, Hepworth, Kelly, Matisse, Miró, Moore, Picasso, Rodin, and Serra, among many others, and continues to grow and evolve. 

  The J. Paul Getty Museum is committed to sharing the power of the visual arts and their ability to inspire, educate, and delight. The Museum achieves this by collecting, preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting important works of art and offeringa wide range of public programs for audiences young and old. The renowned collection includes Greek and Roman antiquities; European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture, and decorative arts; and European and American photographs.

  The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Grant Program. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs are based at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Additional information is available on the Getty Web site at

Beth Brett
Getty Communications Dept.

Maria May
Nasher Sculpture Center

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About the Getty:

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

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