Buzz Spector (Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.) will give an American art lecture at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, April 15, in Room 148 of the Fine Arts Building. The event is sponsored by the Department of Art and Art History.
Spector, former chair of the Department of Art at Cornell University and current Dean of the College and Graduate School of Art at Washington University, is an internationally recognized artist and critical writer. He works in a wide range of mediums including sculpture, photography, printmaking, book arts and installation.
Spector has held visiting professorships and lectureships at a number of universities and schools of art including the University of California’s campuses at Los Angeles, Riverside and Santa Barbara; California State University, Fullerton; Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif.; and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. A native of Chicago, Spector received a bachelor’s degree in art from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1972 and a master of fine arts degree from the Committee of Art and Design at the University of Chicago in 1978, combining studies in art and philosophy.
Spector’s work makes frequent use of the book, both as subject and as object, and concerns the relationships among public history, individual memory and perception. He has issued a number of artists’ books and editions since the mid-1970s, including “Time Square,” a letterpress limited-edition book published in 2007 by Pyracantha Press at Arizona State University in Tempe. Other publications include “Details: closed to open” (2001), an artist’s book of photographic details from images in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, an archive of historical and contemporary information related to peace and social justice, and “Beautiful Scenes: Selections from the Cranbrook Archives” (1998). Spector’s work has been shown in numerous museums and galleries, among them the Art Institute of Chicago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, Penn., and the Luigi Pecci Center for Contemporary Art in Prato, Italy. Spector is a co-founder of WhiteWalls, a journal of art and language first published in 1977 at the University of Chicago. He served as the journal’s editor until 1987; since then, he has written extensively on topics in contemporary art and culture for American Craft, Artforum, Art Issues, Dialogue, Exposure, New Art Examiner and Visions.
He is the author of “The Book Maker’s Desire” (1995), critical essays on topics in contemporary art and artists’ books, and numerous exhibition catalogue essays including “Dieter Roth” (1999, University of Iowa Museum of Art) and “Ann Hamilton: Sao Paulo-Seattle” (1992, University of Washington Press). The recipient of several awards and fellowships, Spector was honored with an Artist’s Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts (2005), a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (1991), a Visual Artist’s Fellowship from the Illinois Arts Council (1988) and three fellowship awards from the National Endowment for the Arts (1991, 1985 and 1982).