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Nicole Fabricand-Person, assistant professor of art, will discuss “The Art of Redemption: Absolving the Sin of Poetry in Early Medieval Japan” noon today as part of a new series of talks by Lafayette art professors about their summer research projects. Dessert will be served.

It has been debated that poetry was considered a frivolous pastime in medieval Japan under the perception of the last degenerate age of Buddhism. Fabricand-Person believes that the decoration of poetry anthologies and Buddhist scriptures (in terms of both painting and paper decoration) was used as a means of absolving this perceived sin of writing poetry.

A professional artist from 1976-85, Fabricand-Person served previously at Princeton University’s art museum and library of art and archaeology. She taught at Barnard College, Bryn Mawr College, Columbia University, Swarthmore College, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Rutgers University. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Japanese art and archaeology and an A.B. in Chinese art and archaeology, all from Princeton.

Robert Mattison, Marshall R. Metzgar Professor of Art History, delivered the first lecture in the art lecture series Sept. 14. His talk placed Jasper Johns’ most recent works in the context of both modern art history and Old Master painting. Mattison also discussed the significant questions posed by Johns’ works and the very nature of picture making.

Curlee Raven Holton, professor and head of art and director of the Experimental Printmaking Institute, gave a lecture Sept. 28 on his work with art major Melissa Spitz ’06 (Livingston, N.J.) to study prominent American abstract expressionist painters Sam Gilliam, an African American artist known for his experimentation with color on varying media, and Grace Hartigan, a leading female artist associated with “ab ex” who was vital to the movement in the 1950s and 1960s. Both late-career artists are still investigating new methods and themes in their studio practice.

Their work was supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania Arts Council. The artists were filmed and graduate Christopher Tague ’00 produced a DVD that was shown to accompany the lecture.

Alastair Noble, assistant professor of art, presented a talk on the installation of Zang Tumb Tumb IIin Tucson, Ariz., Oct. 12. It is the sequel to a site-specific work designed for the Grossman Gallery that used the site’s architectural features, particularly a pit and the concrete column in front. Zang Tumb Tumb, named after a poem by Italian Futurist Marinetti, is typical of Noble’s work. His intention is not to illustrate the text, but to “manifest its essence in space,” he says. Mechanical engineering major Brian Finkelstein ’07 (Mendham, N.J.) assisted Noble in creating and installing the work.

Mattison has curated more than 25 exhibitions and has shared his research in many academic publications, including book chapters and articles published by journals such as

Arts Magazine, Art International, The New Arts Journal, The Print Collector’s Newsletter, Studies in Iconography, and Women’s Art Journal. He has also published entries in International Dictionary of Art and Artists, The MacMillan Dictionary of Art, and The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives. He received funding for a Sloan Workshop in Engineering Methodology, a Sloan Grant for development of an architectural structure and design course, a Senior Colloquium Development Grant for participation in development of the course Art and Politics between the Wars, Princeton’s Samuel Kress Fellowship for Dissertation Research, and Kress and Graduate Fellowships from Williams College while studying there.

Holton has been a mentor and collaborator for numerous Lafayette students in creative art projects. Most recently as part of the Community of Scholars program, he oversaw the completion of a 130-foot mural that three seniors created for installation in Farinon College Center. His works are in the collections of universities, foundations, and corporations, including Cleveland Museum of Art, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Allentown Art Museum, Villanova University, and Morehouse College. He was the 1999 recipient of Lafayette’s Carl R. and Ingeborg Beidleman Research Award, recognizing excellence in applied research or scholarship.

Noble’s art has been exhibited nationally and internationally for more than 25 years, including at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy. His works are part of many private, corporate, and public collections. He has been the organizer of several symposia and exhibitions on public art and poetry, contributes regularly as a reviewer for Sculpture magazine, and has published other articles, including a piece in Journal of Architecture.


Katherine Cinnamond ’05 (left) and Blythe Ford ’05 created sculptures that were installed in the Breast Cancer Awareness Garden in Easton’s Riverside Park with the guidance of Alastair Noble, assistant professor of art.

Categorized in: Academic News