Alex Donis in conversation with Julia Bryan-Wilson
Tuesday, April 28, 2020 | 4:00-5:00pm PDT
This event took place online.
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Artist Alex Donis—whose work has engaged in queer Latinx histories and has been subject to frequent censorship —was in conversation with Julia Bryan-Wilson about his then recently completed commission for the exhibition Historires of Dance, co-curated by Bryan-Wilson at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo.
Alex Donis is a Los Angeles-based visual artist whose work examines and redefines the boundaries set within religion, politics, race, and sexuality. Interested in toppling societies’ conventional attitudes, his work is often influenced by a tri-cultural (Pop, Latin and Queer) experience. He has worked extensively in a variety of media including painting, installation, photography, video, and works on paper.
His work has been at the heart of several controversial incidents that have stirred national debates regarding censorship in the arts. He has participated in hundreds of national and international individual and group exhibitions, most notably: “Made in California: Art, Image & Identity 1900-2000” at the LA County Museum of Art, “Potentially Harmful: the Art of American Censorship” at Georgia College and State University in Atlanta, GA and The 10th Biennale of Havana, in Havana, Cuba. His work has appeared in numerous publications including Art in America, Flash Art, Artpapers, ArtForum, ArtNews ,the New York Times, and Art and Queer Culture published by Phaidon Press.
He was a 2005 Alpert Award nominee in the visual arts and has been the recipient of the Durfee Foundation’s Arts Completion Grant and the California Community Foundation Individual Artist Grant. Donis has been awarded residencies at the Brandywine Institute, Philadelphia, Artspace, Sydney, Australia, and the18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica. He was the guest curator for “Collaboration Labs: Southern California Artists and the Artist Space Movement” which was part of the 2011 J. Paul Getty Museum initiative “Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980.” His work is in the permanent collection of the LA County Museum of Art, the San Diego Museum of Art, and the Blanton Museum of Art, at the University of Texas, Austin.
Julia Bryan-Wilson (Doris and Clarence Malo Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art) teaches art since 1945 in the US, Europe, and Latin America; she is also the Director of the UC Berkeley Arts Research Center. Her research interests include theories of artistic labor, feminist and queer theory, performance and dance, production/fabrication, craft histories, photography, video, visual culture of the nuclear age, and collaborative practices. She is the author of Art Workers: Radical Practice in the Vietnam War Era (University of California, 2009, named a best book of the year by the New York Times and Artforum); Art in the Making: Artists and Their Materials from the Studio to Crowdsourcing (with Glenn Adamson, Thames & Hudson, 2016); and Fray: Art and Textile Politics (University of Chicago, 2017, a New York Times best art book of the year and winner of the Frank Jewett Mather Award, the Robert Motherwell Book Award, and the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present Book Prize). She is the editor of OCTOBER Files: Robert Morris (MIT Press, 2013), and co-editor of two special journal issues (“Visual Activism,” Journal of Visual Culture, 2016; and “Time Zones: Durational Art in its Contexts,” Representations, 2016).
Bryan-Wilson is an adjunct curator at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, where in 2019 she co-curated the exhibit Women’s Histories. With Andrea Andersson, she curated Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen, which opened at the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans in 2017 and traveled to the Berkeley Art Museum, the Henry Art Gallery, and the ICA Philadelphia. She is currently writing a book about Louise Nevelson (under advanced contract with Yale University Press). Bryan-Wilson has published articles in Afterall, Art Bulletin, Art Journal, Artforum, Bookforum, Camera Obscura, differences, Grey Room, October, the Journal of Modern Craft, Oxford Art Journal, TDR: The Drama Review, and many other venues. Her article “Invisible Products” received the 2013 Art Journal Award.