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Florida International University

February 5, 2014

Associate Professor 
Gray Read has co-curated a show hosted by The Wolfsonian-FIU and the FIU Patricia & Philip Frost Art Museum. Modern Beauty?: The Aesthetics of Perceptual Simultaneity is on display as a Wolfsonian-FIU Teaching Exhibition, with the help of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The exhibition is a collaboration between Read and Renée Silverman, Assistant Professor of Modern Languages, with assistance from Peter Clericuzio, Academic Programs Manager at The Wolfsonian-FIU. In conjunction with the exhibit, Professor Read and Professor Silverman are teaching a Spring 2014 interdisciplinary course, “Ways of Seeing: Modern Perception in Literature and Architecture,” which invites students to study the objects first hand.

Modern Beauty presents works of art from the early twentieth century that challenge viewers to perceive in multiple ways simultaneously. Read and Silverman selected pieces from The Wolfsonian-FIU’s Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. Collection. The central objects were created by a small group of poets and artists, who specifically highlighted multisensory experiences in art and literature. Subsequently, this “perceptual simultaneity” became a major quality of modern thought. According to The Wolfsonian-FIU brochure for the teaching exhibition, the simultaneity “creat[ed] a jarring new beauty that fit with the violent circumstances of the early twentieth century, in particular industrialization, civil unrest, and war.”

Associate Professor Adam Drisin, Senior Associate Dean of the College of Architecture  + The Arts, has been tapped to serve as the Founding Co-Director of the YoungArts Foundation’s new design arts discipline. Drisin is assisting the YoungArts Foundation in expanding their existing focus on supporting emerging young talent in the literary, performing, and visual arts areas to now include design.  As conceived, the discipline area includes architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, industrial, object design and product design as well as graphic design, gaming and interaction design.

During YoungArts week Drisin and his Co-Director, Professor Helen Maria Nugent, ran a week-long design masterclass for the 12 national winners in design who joined 160 peers from the other nine arts disciplines for an intensive week of learning, designing, making and exhibiting.  Assisting them were six recent graduates from FIU’s School of Architecture who served as teachers for the masterclass. YoungArts Week concluded with a roundtable discussion with Drisin, Nugent, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid and Paola Antonelli to discuss the future of design.  The public event attracted an audience of over 1000. 

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