The Frist Center for the Visual Arts presents a new lecture series, State of the Art: Contemporary Issues, which will focus on issues in the contemporary art world and will feature presentations by nationally and internationally renowned authorities. The series will debut Thursday, Oct. 18, with guest speaker, artist and Newsweek magazine contributing editor Peter Plagens. The lecture series will be free to the public and will be held in the Frist Center auditorium. 

State of the Art: Contemporary Issues is sponsored by Pinnacle Financial Partners. “Pinnacle Financial Partners is honored to sponsor this new lecture series and reinforce our commitment to the Frist Center,” says Rob McCabe, chairman of Pinnacle Financial Partners. “The 2007 lectures by two prominent experts promise to be informative and provocative.”

At the series’ inaugural lecture Thursday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m., Peter Plagens will present The Absolute Truth. Plagens, also a contributing editor of Artforum and former art critic and senior writer for Newsweek, will offer an overview of the current moment in contemporary art, with a personal, philosophical—and somewhat quirky—viewpoint.

He has had solo exhibitions at the Nancy Hoffman Gallery (New York), Jan Baum Gallery (Los Angeles), Galerie Grashey (Konstanz, Germany), as well as the Southeast Center for Contemporary Art (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and Hirshhorn Museum (Washington, D.C.). He is a former recipient of National Endowment for the Arts fellowships in painting (1977, 1985) and art criticism (1973), and a senior fellow in the National Arts Journalism Program, Columbia University (New York, N.Y.) (1998).    

Friday, Nov. 16, at 6 p.m., Katy Siegel will present Contemporary Art in the Age of Extremes. Siegel is an associate professor of art history at Hunter College, City University of New York, a senior critic at Yale University’s School of Art (New Haven, Conn.), a contributing editor of Artforum and a visiting professor at Princeton University (Princeton, N.J.). Siegel is the co-author of Art Works: Money (Thames & Hudson, 2004), and more recently, she curated the traveling exhibition High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting, 1967-1975, which will travel to Europe this fall. She is the author of a major essay on artist Jeff Koons for his monograph (Taschen, 2007) and has written widely on contemporary art and artists, including Takashi Murakami, Lisa Yuskavage, David Reed and Richard Tuttle.

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