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Artists on the Future

The Komal Shah and Gaurav Garg Artist Conversation Series

Stanford University is the home of interdisciplinary thinking that catalyzes innovation. Artists on the Future is a new conversation series that will pair world-famous artists with cultural thought leaders from various fields to talk about issues vital to our society. These public events will bring those working at the highest levels of human expression, creative thinking, and aesthetic impact into our deepest national conversations.

In 2019, the Office of the Vice President for the Arts at Stanford University will bring three artists to campus for one conversation per academic quarter. The program will be free and open to both members of the Stanford community and the public.

This program is generously supported by Komal Shah and Gaurav Garg.

FALL 2019

Artist Lynda Benglis in conversation with Kimberly Drew



lives and works in New York; Santa Fe; Kastellorizo, Greece; and Ahmedabad, India. First recognized in the late 1960s for her poured latex and foam works, Benglis created work that was a perfectly timed retort to the male-dominated fusion of painting and sculpture with the advent of Process Art and Minimalism. Known for her exploration of metaphorical and biomorphic shapes, she is deeply concerned with the physicality of form and how it affects the viewer, using a wide range of materials to render dynamic impressions of mass and surface: soft becomes hard, hard becomes soft, and gestures are frozen.

Photo courtesy of Billie Scheepers.

Tuesday, October 22

Time: 6 p.m.

Location: CEMEX Auditorium
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is a writer, curator, and activist. Drew received her B.A. from Smith College in Art History and African-American Studies, with a concentration in Museum Studies. Drew first experienced the art world as an intern in the Director’s Office of The Studio Museum in Harlem. Her time at the Studio Museum inspired her to start the Tumblr blog Black Contemporary Art, sparking her interest in social media.

Since starting her blog, Drew has worked for Hyperallergic, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Lehmann Maupin, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has delivered lectures and participated in panel discussions nationally and internationally. Her writing has appeared in Vogue, Glamour, W, Teen Vogue, and Lenny Letter. She also serves as a board member for Recess Activities, Inc. Drew recently left her role as the Social Media Manager at The Met to pursue writing full-time. You can follow her at @museummammy on Instagram and Twitter



Artist Dana Schutz in conversation with Hamza Walker, Director of LAXART

SCH Portrait


(b. 1976, Livonia, Michigan) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Schutz’s paintings depict darkly humorous narratives, hypothetical situations and impossible physical feats, such as swimming while smoking and crying or a manically refracted self- exam. Vibrant and tactile, Schutz's oddly compelling images simultaneously engage the unique capabilities of the medium while conjuring a world both urgent and harrowing.

Schutz has had numerous solo exhibitions both nationally and internationally, and her work has been included in many acclaimed group exhibitions including the Whitney Biennial and the Venice Bienniale. Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Institute of Contemporary Art Boston; Museum of Contemporary Arts, Los Angeles; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; among many others.

She is represented by Petzel Gallery, New York, Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin and Thomas Dane Gallery, London

Photo courtesy of the artist and Petzel, New York.



is the Director of LAXART, an independent nonprofit art space in Los Angeles. From 1994–2016, he was the Director of Education and Associate Curator at the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, a non-collecting museum devoted to contemporary art. He recently curated the group exhibition Sperm Cult and Sol LeWitt: Page-works 1967-2007 both in 2018.


Artist Lorna Simpson in conversation with Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation



came to prominence in the 1980s with her pioneering approach to conceptual photography. Simpson’s early work – particularly her striking juxtapositions of text and staged images – raised questions about the nature of representation, identity, gender, race and history that continue to drive the artist’s expanding and multi-disciplinary practice today. She deftly explores the medium’s umbilical relation to memory and history, both central themes within her work. Her works have been exhibited at and are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Haus der Kunst; Munich amongst others. Important international exhibitions have included the Hugo Boss Prize at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, Documenta XI in Kassel, Germany, and the 56th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy. Lorna Simpson is represented by Hauser & Wirth.

Photo courtesy of James Wang.

Monday, May 20th

Time: 6 p.m.

Location: Bing Concert Hall

Ford Foundation - Darren Walker 2018


is president of the Ford Foundation, an international social justice philanthropy with a $13 billion endowment and $600 million in annual grant making. For two decades, he has been a leader in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Darren led the philanthropy committee that helped bring a resolution to the city of Detroit’s historic bankruptcy, and chairs the US Alliance on Impact Investing. He co-chairs New York City’s Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers, and serves on the Commission on the Future of Riker’s Island Correctional Institution and the UN International Labor Organization Commission on the Future of Work. He also serves on the boards of Carnegie Hall, the High Line and the Committee to Protect Journalists, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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