November 14, 2018 – 6:00 pm

Art, Democracy and Justice Program and Discussion

Auditorium • Free; first come, first seated



Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Cornelius Vanderbilt Endowed Chair and Professor of Art, Vanderbilt University
Adam Szymczyk, artistic director, documenta 14, Athens/Kassel
Olu Oguibe, award-winning artist and Smithsonian Institution senior fellow
Holland Cotter, co-chief art critic, The New York Times

Cornelius Vanderbilt Endowed Chair and Professor of Art María Magdalena Campos-Pons invites you to be a part of the first event in her new Art, Democracy and Justice lecture series at the Frist Art Museum. Professor Campos-Pons gathers Adam Szymczyk (director of an art exhibition series in Greece and Germany), Olu Oguibe (winner of the 2017 Arnold Bode Prize), and Holland Cotter (winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for criticism, as well as the College Art Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Art Writing) for an evening of discourse and ideas.

Download a poster about the event



Adam Szymczyk
Artistic Director
Documenta 14

Adam Szymczyk was Artistic Director of documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel in 2017. In 1997, he co-founded the Foksal Gallery Foundation in Warsaw. He was Director at Kunsthalle Basel from 2004 to 2014. In 2008, he co-curated with Elena Filipovic the 5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art, When Things Cast No Shadow. He is a Member of the Board of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and Member of the Advisory Committee of Kontakt. Art Collection of Erste Group and ERSTE Foundation in Vienna. In 2011, he received the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement at the Menil Foundation in Houston.


Olu Oguibe
2017 Arnold Bode Prize of the City of Kassel winner

Olu Oguibe has practiced for four decades as an artist and writer whose work spans a wide range of issues. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world, and he has participated in several international biennials and triennials. He has also created permanent public works in many countries, and curated or co-curated several significant international exhibitions. His writings on art, literature and cultural theory are widely published. A senior fellow of the Smithsonian Institution, Oguibe has received many honors including the State of Connecticut Governor’s Arts Award for excellence and life time achievement in 2013, and the 2017 Arnold Bode Prize of the City of Kassel for documenta 14.

Photo ©Michael Godehardt/Ruhrtriennale

Holland Cotter
Co-Chief Art Critic
The New York Times

Holland Cotter is co-chief art critic and a senior writer at The New York Times. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2009 and, in 2010, the Lifetime Achievement Award for Art Writing by the College Art Association.

He has been a Poynter Fellow in Journalism at Yale University, and an Alain LeRoy Locke lecturer at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. He is the recipient of the Religion and the Arts Award from the American Academy of Religion, and the inaugural Award for Excellence in Criticism from the International Association of Art Critics. He is Fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

He has an A.B. from Harvard College, where he studied poetry with Robert Lowell; an M.A. in America Modernism from Hunter College of the City University of New York, and an M.Phil. in South Asian art, with a focus on early Indian Buddhist art, from Columbia University. He has honorary degrees from California College of the Arts; Hunter College; Maryland Institute College of Art; Pratt institute, and the State University of New York at Purchase.

He was for many years a contributing editor to Art in America, and an editorial associate of Art News.

photo courtesy of Holland Cotter

This event is made possible with the collaboration of and generous support from Vanderbilt University and Fisk University.


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