Join us Friday, September 24th at 6pm for a conversation between current Bell artists Harry Gould Harvey IV and Faith Wilding and William Blake scholar and RISD Professor Alexander Gourlay. The event will be held inside our List Auditorium. The Bell and List Lobby galleries will have extended viewing hours that day through 8pm. Masks are required both indoors and outdoors at all times.
Friends, collaborators, and intergenerational activists whose practices both enrich and reflect one another in their Bell exhibition Arrows of Desire, Harry Gould Harvey IV and Faith Wilding have emerged from the pandemic in a state of mutual reverence. Hinged by their shared devotion to William Blake (1757-1827), a gravitational force that has been overt throughout both careers, Wilding and Harvey embrace the apocalyptic language and imagery of the Romantic writer and artist, whose illustrated poem Milton (1804-1811) titles the show. Installed in the Bell are solo and collaborative works, including a series of ten archival images of Wilding’s radical feminist performances from the 1970s and 1980s, enlarged and enframed by Harvey in intricately carved wood.
Alexander Gourlay has been studying, writing, and teaching about British literature and art, especially William Blake, for more than 40 years. He hopes to be able to understand Blake's Jerusalem someday. He is particularly interested in the intersection of visual and verbal in literary illustration. When he was hired in 1991 by the Rhode Island School of Design, he felt like a frog that had been kissed—still a frog, but happier.
Harry Gould Harvey IV is an artist and curator whose practices are embedded in community and social justice. His work is featured in Soft Water Hard Stone, the 2021 New Museum Triennial, New York, and he has had numerous exhibitions at Bureau, New York and at national and international spaces including Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, GA (2018) and GRIN, Providence (2016). In 2020 Harvey and his wife, artist Brittni Ann Harvey, founded the Fall River Museum of Contemporary Art (FR MOCA) on the first floor of the historic Granite Mills textile mill. Previously, his roving curatorial platform Pretty Days, co-founded with Gregory Kalliche, produced projects in Providence and Miami, FL.
Faith Wilding is a renowned feminist artist, writer, and educator who is currently a Visiting Scholar at Brown University’s Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women. For over four decades her work has remained at the intersections of feminism, social justice, cyberfeminism, biotechnology, radical pedagogy, and eco-feminism. Wilding co-initiated the Feminist Art Programs at California State University, Fresno, and CalArts, Los Angeles in the early 1970s, and was a founding member of the feminist art movement in Southern California. Her work was the subject of the retrospective Faith Wilding’s Fearful Symmetries organized by Threewalls, Chicago in 2014 which traveled to multiple venues.
Moderated by Kate Kraczon, Director of Exhibitions and Chief Curator, Brown Arts Institute / David Winton Bell Gallery.
Brown University abides by public health guidance and health and safety protocols to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Event attendees, including visitors and guests, must comply with all University policies and protocols in place at the time of the event, including current University policy regarding face masks and coverings (see the University’s COVID-19 Campus Activity Status page for the current policy for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals).