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Artist Talk: Cynthia Daignault and Matthew Israel in Conversation

February 16, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


RSVP to RSVP@flagartfoundation.org

On Thursday, February 16, from 6-8PM, The FLAG Art Foundation will host “This never happened to Pablo Picasso,” a conversation between Cynthia Daignault and Matthew Israel on digital image archives and art approaching the singularity

The conversation will begin at 6:30PM

Artwork is increasingly experienced online, in archives of virtual surrogates, on sites such as Artsy, Instagram, Contemporary Art Daily, Google image search, supplanting the purpose and primacy of brick-and-mortar art spaces.

This conversation coincides with There is nothing I could say that I haven’t thought before, Daignault’s current solo exhibition at The FLAG Art Foundation (on view through May 13, 2017), for which the artist used online indexes as her point of departure, exploring the inherent aesthetics and politics in these purportedly neutral platforms.  Matthew Israel, Curator at Large at Artsy and the Director Emeritus & Advisor of The Art Genome Project, is an expert in the creation, functionality, and usage of these platforms. Israel and Daignault will discuss digital image archives, the online experience of art, subversive politics in art making, the complication of the index, the fascism of algorithms, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Vietnam, the death of the object, and art approaching the singularity.


Matthew Israel is an art historian based in New York City. He is currently Curator at Large at Artsy and Director of Artsy OnSite, a global series of artist and curator talks and conversations. Previously at Artsy, he was Director of The Art Genome Project. Israel has written for international art magazines and exhibition catalogues; delivered talks about modern and contemporary art and his work at Artsy globally; worked for prominent galleries; managed major artist estates and foundations; and taught modern and contemporary art at NYU, where he received a PhD in Art History and Archaeology-from NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts. Matthew’s first book, Kill for Peace (University of Texas Press, 2013), concerned American artists’ engagement with the Vietnam War. His next book, The Big Picture: Contemporary Art in 10 Works by 10 Artists, will be published by Prestel in March 2017. John Elderfield, Chief Curator Emeritus of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, writes of The Big Picture: “Matthew Israel’s extraordinary book gets a score of ten out of ten. Mapping contemporary art in ten very focused chapters is a brilliant and audacious way of both showing its widest range and giving us the big picture as we read avidly from one subject to the next.” Matthew’s personal website is matthewisrael.com. 

Cynthia Daignault is an artist, writer and musician based in New York City. She received a BA from Stanford University, Stanford, CA, in 2001, was a MacDowell Colony Fellow, and was the recipient of a Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant. She has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including There is nothing I could say that I haven’t thought before, Stems Gallery, Brussels, Belgium (2016); Light Atlas, Lisa Cooley, New York, NY (2015); Home, This must be the place, Rowhouse Project, Baltimore, MD (2015); among others. Her paintings have been included in major museum group exhibitions, including at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (2015); the Fort Worth Modern (2014); the Brooklyn Museum (2014); and many others. In 2017, Daignault will be exhibiting at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; MASS MOCA, North Adams, MA; Capital Gallery, San Francisco, CA; and the Herron Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN.

Image: Installation view of Cynthia Daignault: There is nothing I could say that I haven’t thought before at The FLAG Art Foundation, 2017.


February 16, 2017
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm