Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Performance Artist Laurie Anderson Deconstructs Warhol's "Little Electric Chair" in Second 'American Pictures' Lecture at the Smithsonian

Washington — Laurie Anderson, known for her brilliant multimedia performances, will appear at the Smithsonian on Saturday, March 15, to discuss Andy Warhol's "Little Electric Chair."

Anderson's lecture is part of the new American Pictures Distinguished Lecture Series sponsored by Washington College in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. On four Saturdays this spring, an all-star lineup of speakers—Anderson, novelist Allan Gurganus, author Garry Wills and actress/playwright Anna Deavere Smith—will each explore a single powerful image in American art.

Warhol's iconic "Little Electric Chair," acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen, is part of a series he began in the early 1960s based on a Wide World Photos image of the execution device used at Sing Sing prison in Ossining, New York, where Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were infamously executed as Soviet spies in 1953, at the height of the Cold War.

Laurie Anderson is one of our premier performance artists, and has cast herself in roles as varied as visual artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, electronics whiz, vocalist and instrumentalist. Recognized worldwide as a groundbreaking leader in the use of technology in the arts, she has invented new instruments such as the tape-bow violin and the talking stick. Her visual work has been presented in major museums throughout the United States and Europe. Winner of the 2007 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, Anderson is currently working on a new album, Homeland.

Her March 15 "American Pictures" lecture, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 4:30 p.m. in the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture at 8th and F Sts., N.W., in Washington, D.C. There will be free bus service, courtesy of Valliant & Associates, from Chestertown. Call 410-810-7165 or e-mail jsmith7@washcoll.edu to reserve seats on the bus and/or at the lectures. For more information about the series, visit http://starrcenter.washcoll.edu.

March 10, 2008

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