Giorgio de Chirico: Metaphysical Painting, Self-Portraiture, and More with Dr. Jennie Hirsh

Giorgio de Chirico: Metaphysical Painting, Self-Portraiture, and More with Dr. Jennie Hirsh


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This seminar focuses on the painting and writing of Greek-born, Italian painter Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978), exploring not only his enigmatic metaphysical plazas and interiors but also his many other genres of production during a career that stretched across more than six decades.

This seminar presents a comprehensive but accessible introduction to the oeuvre of Italian artist and writer Giorgio de Chirico, tracing his work from his early education in Greece, where he was born, to his time in Germany, Italy, France, and even the US. We will discuss not only key examples of his early metaphysical piazze, or Italian squares, and interiors that inspired the Parisian-based surrealists (with whom he eventually had a terrible falling out) but also his life-long self-portraiture project that comprises his likeness rendered in a wide range of styles and executed between 1908 and the 1970s (dozens of images that were the subject of Dr. Hirsh's Ph.D. thesis and her monograph-in-progress). Finally, we will review some of de Chirico's writings, including not only his autobiography but also his two surrealist and semi-autobiographical novels.

Led by an expert on modern and contemporary art and architecture, Jennie Hirsh, this interactive seminar will explore all six decades of de Chirico's painting as well as literary contributions. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased appreciation for the ways in which this artist radically changed the history of art as we know it.

Jennie Hirsh (PhD, Bryn Mawr College) is Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She has held postdoctoral fellowships at Princeton and Columbia Universities, as well as pre-doctoral fellowships from the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, the U.S. Fulbright commission, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and the Wolfsonian FIU. Hirsh has authored essays on artists including Giorgio de Chirico, Giorgio Morandi, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Yinka Shonibare, and Regina Silveira, and is co-editor, with Isabelle Wallace, of Contemporary Art and Classical Myth (Ashgate 2011).

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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