The Wendy Evans Joseph Lecture on Art and Architecture
Mitch Epstein: “New York Arbor”
Discussion following with Joshua Chuang and Matthew Wells
Moderated by Michael Kimmelman
Introduced by Wendy Evans Joseph
1.5 AIA and New York State CEUs
Artist Mitch Epstein will present his recent series of photographs of trees made in New York’s five boroughs. The series inverts our usual view of the city: trees do not function as background, but instead dominate the human life and architecture around them. These photographs underscore the importance of trees to urban life and their complex relationship to their human counterparts.
Following the lecture, Michael Kimmelman will lead a discussion that draws from Epstein’s pictures, with a focus on the interface of art, nature, and urbanism. Based on their own work—Chuang, as curator of the Robert Adams exhibition “The Place We Live;” Wells as an urban horticulturist with expertise on trees; and Kimmelman, as an architecture critic who writes not only about buildings, but about their context and their influence on communities—the panel will discuss topics that range from art as cultural comment, to private vs. public trees, to the symbiotic bond between city dwellers and nature.
Mitch Epstein is a New York based artist whose works are in numerous major museum collections, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of American Art, The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Tate Modern in London. Winner of the 2011 Prix Pictet for his series American Power, Epstein was also awarded the 2008 Berlin Prize in Arts and Letters by the American Academy in Berlin, and a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship. To learn more about Epstein and his work, read this interview with him on the League’s Urban Omnibus.
Joshua Chuang is Curator of Photographs at Yale University Art Gallery.
Michael Kimmelman is the New York Times architecture critic.
Matthew Wells is Director of Tree Preservation at New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
The Cooper Union
41 Cooper Square