Stephen E. Ostrow Distinguished Visitors Program

Spring 2018

Thomson & Craighead

"Never Odd or Even"
Wednesday, February 7 at 6:30pm
Eliot Hall chapel
The lecture will be followed by a reception with the artists and is free and open to the public.

Untitled (Balloon work), 2016

British artists Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead will present a selection of their work made over the last twenty years as part of this spring's Stephen E. Ostrow Distinguished Visitors in the Visual Arts series.

Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead are artists living and working in London. They make artworks and installations for galleries and specific sites including online spaces. Much of their recent work looks at live networks like the web and how they are changing the way we all understand the world around us. Having both studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, Thomson is Reader in Fine Art at The Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, while Craighead is a reader in contemporary art and visual culture at University of Westminster and lectures in Fine Art at Goldsmiths University.

Thomson & Craighead work across video, sound, sculpture, installation and online space, using technology as a means to reformulate fundamental human questions for contemporary times. They have produced artworks that both exercise the dramatic conventions of cinema and examine the changing socio-political structures of the Information Age. In particular they look at how the digital world is ever more closely connected to the physical world, becoming a geographical layer in our collective sensorium. Time is often treated with a sculptor’s mentality, as a pliable quantity that can be moulded and remodelled. Solo shows include Wake me up when it’s over, Young Projects Gallery, Los Angeles (2017); Party Booby Trap, Carroll/Fletcher, London (2016); Maps DNA and Spam, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, UK (2014); and Not Even the Sky, MEWO Kunsthalle, Memmingen, Germany (2013). Recent group exhibitions include Perpetual Uncertainty, Z33, Hasselt, Belgium (2017); Electronic Superhighway, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2016); Big Bang Data, Somerset House, London, UK; Art In The Age Of…Asymmetrical Warfare, Witte de With, Rotterdam, Netherlands; How to Construct a Time Machine, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, UK (all 2015) and the Nam June Paik Award, Haus Lange, Krefeld, Germany (2014).

Image Credit:
Thomson & Craighead
Untitled (Balloon work), 2016
Video (3:19 min), printed balloons. Dimensions variable. Courtesy the artists. © 2018 Thomson & Craighead.

About the Program

The Stephen E. Ostrow Distinguished Visitors Program in the Visual Arts was established by a generous 1988 gift from Edward and Sue Cooley and John and Betty Gray in support of art history and its place in the humanities. The lecture program enables Reed College's art department to bring distinguished individuals in the arts to the college for periods of up to a week. These visitors give public lectures and seminars with students.

The intent of the program is to bring to campus creative people who are distinguished in connection with the visual arts and who will provide "a forum for conceptual exploration, challenge, and discovery." The program is named in honor of art historian Dr. Stephen E. Ostrow, as a tribute to his career and out of respect for his advisory role in the formulation of the Cooley-Gray gift and the design of the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery. Ostrow is the Emeritus Chief of the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

Past artists have included:

2017.04 Finbarr Barry Flood, art historian
2016.02 Douglas Crimp, art historian
2015.10 Jeremy Deller, conceptual/video/installation artist
2015.03 Janine Antoni, sculptor/photographer/performance artist
2014.02 Fred Wilson, conceptual artist
2013.10 Dario Gamboni, art historian
2012.10 Kara Walker, collage artist
2012.02 Richard Shiff, art historian
2011.09 Do Ho Suh, installation artist/sculptor
2011.03 Joseph Koerner, art historian
2010.11 Patricia Fortini Brown, art historian
2010.02 Terry Winters, painter/printmaker
2009.10 David Rosand, art historian
2009.03 Alexander Nemerov, art historian
2008.10 David Reed '68, painter/installation artist
2008.03 Martin Powers
2007.11 Gary Hill, video artist
2007.10 Barbara Stafford, art historian
2007.04 David Freedberg, art historian
2006.10 Mona Hatoum, installation artist/sculptor
2005.04 Ann Hamilton, installation artist
2004.09 Hans Haacke, conceptualist artist
2003.11 Jennifer Bartlett, painter/printmaker
2003.04 T.J. Clark, art historian
2003.04 Al Held, abstract painter
2002.11 Leo Steinberg, art historian
2000.04 Michael Fried, art historian
2000.01 Judy Pfaff, installation artist
1999.04 Linda Nochlin, art historian
1999.03 Adrian Piper, performance artist
1998.09 Robert Davidson, performance/installation artist
1997.09 Robert Morris, minimalist sculptor
1996.09 Jules Feiffer, graphic artist