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University of Iowa News Release

Release: March 28, 2003

UI School Of Art And Art History Presents Public Lectures April 8-11

The University of Iowa School of Art and Art History will present three public lectures by visiting artists and scholars April 8-11:
--Tong Yan, the former director of the department of art & design at the Xu Beihong School of the Arts at the Renmin University of China will speak on "Chinese Visual Arts in the Past Century" at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 8;
-- Art historian Christopher Johns from the University of Virginia will speak on "Canova's 'George Washington' and the Cultural Politics of Classicism in the Antebellum South" at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 10; and
-- Dan Powell, a professional photographer and arts faculty member at the University of Oregon, will present a free lecture, "The Keeping of Record," at 8 p.m. Friday, April 11.

All three lectures will be in Room E109 of the UI Art Building, and will be free and open to the public.

Tong's visit is sponsored by the UI School of Art and Art History and the UI Center for Asian and Pacific Studies. His lecture will focus on the western influences on modern and contemporary Chinese art.

A native of Beijing, People's Republic of China, Tong Yan received a bachelor's degree from the Institute of Fine Arts of the Capital Normal University in Beijing. He received his master's from the National Higher Institute of Fine Art in Antwerp, Belgium and was a visiting researcher in the department of Oriental language and culture at the University in Gent before returning to China.

Tong taught drawing at the Institute of Architecture at Tsinghua University for several years. In 2000 he joined the faculty of the department of art and design of the Xu Beihong School of the Arts at Renmin University.

Johns has taught in the McIntire department of art at the University of Virginia since 1985.In 1991 he received the University of Virginia Alumni Council Outstanding Young Teacher Award. He received a bachelor's degree in history and art history from Florida State University and his master's and doctorate degrees in art history from the University of Delaware.

Johns studies the visual culture of 18th- and early 19th-century Europe in an interdisciplinary context. Recent publications include "Antonio Canova and the Politics of Patronage in Revolutionary and Napoleonic Europe"; "The Cultural Entrepot of Europe: Rome in the Eighteenth Century," in "Art in Rome in the Eighteenth Century"; "Ecclesiastical Politics and Papal Tombs: Antonio Canova's Monuments to Clement XIV and Clement XIII," in the Sculpture Journal; and "''That Amiable Object of Adoration': Pompeo Batoni and the Sacred Heart," in Gazette des Beaux-Arts.

Before moving to the Pacific Northwest, Powell taught photography at the University of Northern Iowa. He has been recognized through photographic exhibitions throughout the country and has received a grant from the Iowa Arts Council/National Endowment for the Arts to produce a catalog and an exhibition that traveled the State of Iowa. His photographs can be found in the corporate collections of Allied Group Insurance, National Travelers Life, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Norwest Bank and the Maytag Company. Powell received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Illinois.

Powell's recent work is inspired by several trips to Europe where he studied the antiquities of Greece and Italy. His black and white photographs of partial ruins and statuary provided the basis base for several major series of photographs.

Powell has written, "Photography is a discipline that is rich in both process and dialogue; a tool for an enormously wide range of expressive postures. . . . To be a photographer, among other things, is to be a collector. The photograph always resides in the past, dragged along into continual presence. The narrative, however, is not of the thing which is photographed, but of the image itself. The image displaces the point of authenticity as it becomes the point of origin for a new narrative. The photograph is the new sign which destroys the old sign."

The School of Art and Art History is part of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

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