On May 10, 2018, art historian and critic Michael Fried, professor at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, gave a conference at Palazzo Grassi’s Teatrino, cosponsored by Università IUAV.
<span class="alinea"></span>Open to the public, this lecture concluded a seminar on the theme of “the anti-theatrical imperative,” during which Fried analyzed the role of the audience in painting from the seventeenth century to today, focusing on the art criticism of Denis Diderot, American painting in the 1960s, photography, and Caravaggio.
<span class="alinea"></span>Michael Fried is a key figure in critical debates on the subject of modernism, and has authored a number of important works presenting new interpretations of questions pertaining to artistic media and to viewer’s experience of art. His most famous essay, <i>Art and Objecthood</i>, published in 1967, focuses on the notion of “theatricality” in painting and photography, analyzing the viewer’s position in relation to the work as a means of understanding and appreciating works from different periods. Fried is best known for his trilogy of books on French painting and art criticism from the mid-eighteenth century to the advent of Manet, analyzed through the lens of Diderot’s art criticism and the concepts of absorption and theatricality.