Saturday, May 8, 2010
The Board of Directors,
The Friends of Artists Space,
The Executive Director & Curator, Stefan Kalmár and Team,
Honored the artist, art historian, critic, curator
and co-founder of Group Material Julie Ault
Laudation was given by Wolfgang Tillmans
With a live performance by iconic British choreographer Michael Clark & Company to Kraftwerk’s “Hall of Mirrors”, and a set of songs by Stephen Prina. Dinner was served by Fergus Henderson, St John Restaurant, London, Margot Henderson and Melanie Arnold, Arnold & Henderson, London.
Julie, you are an amplifier. You amplify issues we should pay attention to. You genuinely say something about the world we live in.
You also use your voice to amplify the voices of others, who may have been forgotten, because their career changed or their lives ended far too early. One can honestly say that your engagement for Sister Corita Kent has single-handedly brought her work to the attention of a whole new generation and beyond. She is only one of the artists who you have been instrumental in keeping in the focus.
You have published repeatedly about the politicized art scene of the 1980s and kept alive a sense of the urgency of that time that seems hard to grasp for a younger generation. And of course there is Felix Gonzalez Torres; originally a fellow member of Group Material. I know working on the exceptional book on Felix’s work, which you edited in 2005 and 2006, almost killed you. But its publication was a proud moment for meticulous art historical research.
All your work on historical subjects is guided by your conviction that Historiography is not a neutral but a creative as well as interpretative practice. It is as you said a form of production.
Of course you also write for the living. You are an author in high demand, but you are selective and almost exclusively write for friends or projects that are close to your heart; repeatedly for example for Roni Horn, who as it happens was honoured in this place last year. When you write you do so from a position of personal perspective and high intelligence, yet your words are understandable by non-professionals.
This is a rare ability indeed. You connect the discursive and analytical with the personal, which is grounded in real people and real encounters with the work and the artist that made it.
– Excerpt from Wolfgang Tillman’s laudation
Julie Ault co-founded Group Material in 1979. The NYC-based collaborative produced over fifty exhibitions and public projects until 1996. Ault is an artist and author who independently and collaboratively produces exhibitions, projects and publications. Her work emphasizes the interrelationships between cultural production and politics.
Show and Tell: A Chronicle of Group Material, Four Corners Books, 2010.
Come Alive: The Spirited Art of Sister Corita, Four Corners Books, 2006.
Felix Gonzalez-Torres, steidldangin, 2006.
Alternative Art New York, 1965-1985, University of Minnesota Press, 2002.
Art Matters : How the Culture Wars Changed America, New York University Press, 2000.