To celebrate the life of Nam June Paik, John G. Hanhardt, Senior Curator for Media Arts, Nam June Paik Media Arts Center, has written a remembrance of the artist on the fourth anniversary of his death.
October is National Archives Month and as such it gives us a chance to celebrate some of the unique archival holdings that the Smithsonian owns. Blogs across the Smithsonian are giving an inside look at the Institution's archival collections. Kathleen A. Brown, an archivist tasked with sorting through and organizing 40 plus boxes of papers and ephemera from American Art's recently acquired archive of Nam June Paik fills us in on her process.
"Watch this. You've got to see what I'm doing," an enthusiastic Nam June Paik would say to John Hanhardt, his longtime friend, curator, and currently curator of new media at American Art. Paik, who died in 2006 at the age of 74, is long considered the father of video art.
The exhibition Nam June Paik: Global Visionary opens at American Art on December 13, 2012. This is a complicated installation with artworks that involve a mix of old and new technology, robots made from TVs, and even several hundred plants, and staff has been working hard behind-the-scenes to get everything ready.
If you've been following Eye Level for a while, you won't be surprised to know we love Nam June Paik. We celebrate his birthday every summer and held a comprehensive exhibition of more than 60 of his artworks, some of which were on public view for the first time. This month, we completed the installation of the Paik Archive case in the Luce Foundation Center. If you were able to see the exhibition you might remember some of these pieces from our Paik archive wall, including the sitting red Buddha and four martial arts figurines.
Nam June Paik: Global Visionary opens next week on December 13, 2012. The exhibition features key artworks from Paik's career that demonstrate the complexity of his ideas as well as his groundbreaking approach to technology and video.
The artwork and ideas of Nam June Paik were a major influence on late twentieth-century art and continue to inspire a new generation of artists. Each year, the museum celebrates Paik's birthday on July 20 with a talk by a contemporary artist who was influenced by his work.
July 20 would have been Nam June Paik's 80th birthday. To celebrate last year we enjoyed a cake inspired by Paik's work Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, and this year I have heard a rumor that there will be cupcakes.
Nam June Paik: Global Visionary closes this Sunday. The exhibition has been on view for a little over eight months, a long time for both the museum and the artworks. I will be sad to see it go. I'll sincerely miss having this work on view, and it is nice to see the artist himself as I pass through the gallery every day. But mostly, I’m excited. While this installation is indeed closing, Nam June Paik has really set the stage for the museum's Film and Media Art Initiative, in more ways than one.
Russell Connor was an abstract painter, happily minding his own business, when in Boston in 1969, he met media visionary, Nam June Paik. As Connor told us the other night at a program in honor of Paik's birthday.
This blog post is part of a series of pieces about our film and media arts initiatives here at American Art. Michael Mansfield, associate curator of film and media art, fills us in on our exhibition Nam June Paik: Global Visionary, which runs through August 11, 2013.