Lene Østermark-Johansen (University of Copenhagen)
Responding: Alexandra Gerstein (Courtauld Institute of Art)When: Monday 28 November 2016, 7:30pm Where: Keynes Library, Birkbeck School of Arts, 46 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD
Abstract: This talk explores some of the many links between sculpture, writing and dance in fin-de-siècle Paris through a study of Arthur Symons’s involvement with the works of Auguste Rodin and avant-garde dance as represented by Loïe Fuller and Isadora Duncan. As spatial arts, engaging in and exploring three-dimensional space, sculpture and dance impinge on the physical space of the spectator. Although one art is solid and static, the other evanescent and ephemeral, the approximations between the two arts were many at the turn of the century. The Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900 became the epicentre for the display of the moving body, whether as modern machine with sophisticated stage effects or as erotic bodies captured in drawing, photography, and sculpture.
Speaker: Lene Østermark-Johansen is Reader of English literature and art at the University of Copenhagen. She has published widely on a range of the figures of aestheticism: A. C. Swinburne, Oscar Wilde, Frederic Leighton, Vernon Lee, and most significantly, Walter Pater. She is the author of Sweetness and Strength: The Reception of Michelangelo in Late Victorian England (1998) and more recently of Walter Pater and the Language of Sculpture (2011). She has edited volumes on Romanticism and the Victorian reception of the Italian Renaissance, and in 2014 she published the first annotated edition ever of Walter Pater’s Imaginary Portraits. She is currently at work on a monograph about Pater and portraiture in Late Victorian England.
Respondent: Alexandra Gerstein (Courtauld Institute of Art) is curator of ‘Rodin and Dance: The Essence of Movement’ at the Courtauld Gallery. More information about the exhibition is available on the Courtauld Gallery website.