Public Program

On Drawing: “Fluxus Forms” with Natilee Harren

Natilee Harren delivers a talk about her recently published book, Fluxus Forms: Scores, Multiples, and the Eternal Network. Reacting against an elitist art world enthralled by modernist aesthetics, the international Fluxus collective encouraged playfulness, chance, irreverence, and viewer participation. This diverse group of artists embraced humble objects and everyday gestures as critical means of finding freedom and excitement beyond traditional forms of artmaking. In particular, Harren’s presentation considers a multi-disciplinary approach to event scores, a format of performance instruction developed by Fluxus artists as a key tool in their practice. She is joined by the Menil Drawing Institute’s Assistant Curator Kelly Montana for a discussion of Fluxus scores amidst an expanded field of experimental notations and instructional drawings in the 1950s and ‘60s.

About the speaker:

Natilee Harren is a scholar of modern and contemporary art history and theory with particular focus on experimental, interdisciplinary practices after 1960. She is author of Fluxus Forms: Scores, Multiples, and the Eternal Network (University of Chicago Press, 2020, winner of the Terra Foundation for American Art International Publication Grant) and Karl Haendel: Knight’s Heritage (LAXART, 2017). Her current research projects include a study of the early-career drawings of Walter De Maria and their relation to experimental performance, sculpture, and conceptual art of the 60s; a critical history of listening practices in contemporary art; and a media-rich digital publication, forthcoming from the Getty Research Institute, that surveys and theorizes a range of 20th-century experimental notations from the fields of visual art, music, performance, poetry, and dance. She is on the faculty at the University of Houston School of Art.

About the series:

On Drawing is a new initiative of the Menil Drawing Institute. Each year, three programs address topics ranging from the history, theory, criticism, and materiality of drawing. Leading academics, curators, and experts in the field are invited to participate alongside Menil curators and conservators.