Alan Uglow: Panel Discussion with Elena Alexander, Stephen Ellis, and Greg Williams

May 23, 2013, 6:30PM

20 Ames Street Building E15
Cambridge, MA 02139

The List Center is pleased to host a panel discussion on the work of Alan Uglow, in conjunction with the exhibition Alan Uglow: Standards and Portraits. The work of Alan Uglow (1941-2011) is marked by a by a keen sense of proportion, structure, form, and surface. Working in series that evolved gradually over decades, Uglow maintained an abiding focus on formal economy, using simple geometrical shapes to structure the surface of his canvases and emphasizing the materiality of painting rather than direct pictorial content. Perhaps his two best-known series, Standards and Portraits of a Standard reflect the artist’s commitment to the formal and affective conditions of abstract painting.  The discussion will look to Ugow’s middle period of work along with his place in debates around contemporary painting that have developed over the past fifteen years.

Elena Alexander is a poet and writer. She was married to, and, on occasion collaborated with visual artist, Alan Uglow; this went on, thirty-three-and-a-third years—speed of a long-playing record. 

Ms. Alexander was Special Lecturer, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), 2003-2010, and adjunct, Rutgers, Newark, 2005-2008.

Though primarily a writer of poems, hybrid prose, and fiction, Ms. Alexander authored and edited Footnotes: Six Choreographers Inscribe the Page, (G+B Arts International/Routledge, 1998), part of the series, “Critical Voices in Art, Theory and Culture.” During the 1990s, she was guest lecturer and panelist, the Ewald Scholars’ Symposium, Sweet Briar College; panelist and reader, New York University’s Poetry & Collaboration/NYC Poetry Talks; panelist, New York Foundation for the Arts, Culture Counts: A Cultural Blueprint for New York City. In 2002, she sat on a granting panel, Jerome Foundation, St. Paul, MN.

Her short story, “Sic Transit,” received Honorable Mention, Prize Stories, The O. Henry Awards, The Best of 1997. Her poem, “How the Lurking,” (2002), was chosen by a consortium of four arts organizations, in response to 9/11, made into a poster, and displayed on walls in Manhattan and the boroughs. 

Her work has appeared in anthologies published by Henry Holt, New York University Press, Penguin, and Serpent’s Tail, and various literary magazines. Selections of Ms. Alexander’s poetry and prose have been translated into Serbo-Croation and Slovenian.

Three of her poems appear in BOMB, spring 2013. She is currently at work on the hybrid prose text, The Dead Artist’s Artist Wife.

Stephen Ellis has shown his paintings in numerous galleries in the United and Europe since 1982. Ellis has been associated with a group of American artists, including Jonathan Lasker, Lydia Dona, Terry Winters, David Reed, Philip Taaffe and Christopher Wool, who, beginning in the late seventies, rebelled againt the self-referential formalism theorized by Clement Greenberg and returned abstraction to an engagement with the world.

Ellis has also written about art for magazines including Parkett and Art and America, where he was an associate editor from 1989 through 1992. During the mid-eighties, while living in Cologne, Germany, Ellis wrote extensively on the work of Gerhard Richter, Martin Kippenberger and Albert Oehlen. These articles were some of the earliest coverage in the American press of the work of these artists. Most recently he has written about the paintings of Giorgio Morandi, Dan Walsh and Alan Uglow.

Since the early 1980s, Ellis has taught at various art schools and universities including The Cooper Union, The School of Visual Arts, MICA, New York University, Bard College and Harvard University.

Ellis’s painting and graphic work is represented in public and private collections in the United States and Europe. He has been the recipient of awards including the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and the Joan Mitchell Foundation. His work is included in Phaidon’s recent history of contemporary painting,Painting Today by Tony Godfrey.

Gregory Williams, assistant professor in the Department of History of Art & Architecture at Boston University, received a PhD in art history from the Graduate Center, City University of New York. In addition to serving as an editor-at-large of Brooklyn’s Cabinet magazine, Williams regularly publishes in art periodicals (Artforum InternationalFriezeTexte zur Kunst and others). He has authored catalogue essays for major exhibitions of Rosemarie Trockel (Museum Ludwig in Cologne, 2005, Kunstmuseum Basel, 2010, and Wiels in Brussels, 2013) and Martin Kippenberger (Tate Modern, 2006). His essay, “A Glossier Shade of Brown: Imi Knoebel’s Raum 19,” appeared as a chapter in Regarding the Popular: Modernism, the Avant-Garde and High and Low Culture (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2011), part of the European Avant-Garde and Modernism book series. For the Winter 2012 issue of Art Journal, Williams has written “Ground Control: Painting in the Work of Cosima von Bonin.” His book, Permission to Laugh: Humor and Politics in Contemporary German Art, appeared in 2012 with the University of Chicago Press.

Professor Williams teaches lecture courses and seminars at the undergraduate and graduate levels in modern and contemporary art and critical theory. He is the recipient of several fellowships and awards, including a Fulbright Fellowship to Germany, a grant from the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, a Faculty Research Visit Grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), a Postdoctoral Fellowship by the Getty Foundation, and the Frank and Lynne Wisneski Award for Excellence in Teaching at Boston University.


The panel discussion is free and open to the general public.  All are welcome.

For more information, contact:

Mark Linga
[617] 452-3586