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Viewpoint Series Lecture I: David Platzker and Aruna D’Souza

Aruna D’Souza and David Platzker portraits

Left: Aruna D’Souza. Photo by Dana Hoey.
Right: David Platzker. Photo by Martin Seck. 

The Department of Art and Art History at The University of Texas at Austin is pleased to welcome David Platzker and Aruna D'Souza for the 2019 Viewpoint Series. This program invites leading curators, critics and scholars of the contemporary art world for three separate visits to the UT Austin campus. Each visit lasts several days and is comprised of a public lecture and seminar, as well as private studio visits for current graduate students.

Thursday, February 7

Friday, February 8
ART 3.206 (Performance Room)
Time TBD
The seminars are open to all UT students and faculty as well as the public, but please be aware that there is limited seating.

David Platzker is the director of Specific Object, a curatorial project and bookstore that he founded in 2004 with a specialized inventory in Pop, Fluxus, Minimal, and Conceptual artists’ publications and artworks. Using these holdings as a springboard, Platzker curated focused exhibitions over the past decade, featuring artists including Lynda Benglis, Bruce Conner, Dan Graham, and Lawrence Weiner. 

From 1989 to 1998 he served as curator to Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, co-authoring with Rick Axsom the catalogue raisonnés Claes Oldenburg: Multiples in Retrospect 1964–1990 and Printed Stuff: Prints, Posters, and Ephemera by Claes Oldenburg: A Catalogue Raisonné 1958–1996

Between 1998 and 2004, Platzker was the Executive Director of the non-profit bookstore Printed Matter, where he organized numerous exhibitions and artists’ publications, increased and focused the programming and profile of the organization in addition to founding their annual book fair. Following his tenure at Printed Matter, Platzker served from 2004 to 2008 as Project Director for Art Spaces Archives Project (AS-AP), New York, a non-profit research initiative dedicated to the documentation and preservation of the archives of alternative art spaces. 

From 2013 until February 2017 Platzker was Curator of Drawings and Prints, at The Museum of Modern Art, where he co-curated with Jon Hendricks, Consulting Fluxus Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints, There Will Never Be Silence: Scoring John Cage’s 4’33” (2014); Gilbert & George: The Early Years (2015); and with Connie Butler and Christophe Cherix, Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions at The Museum of Modern Art which is presently on view at the Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles under the title Concepts and Intuitions, 1965–2016.

In collaboration with Elizabeth Wyckoff, Platzker co-authored the book Hard Pressed: 600 Years of Prints and Process, published in 2000. A resulting exhibition traveled to venues throughout the United States.

Aruna D'Souza writes about modern and contemporary art; intersectional feminisms and other forms of politics; and how museums shape our views of each other and the world. Her work appears regularly in, where she is a member of the editorial advisory board, and has been published as well in The Wall Street Journal,, Art News, Garage, Bookforum, Momus, Art in America, and Art Practical, among other places. Her book, Whitewalling: Art, Race, and Protest in 3 Acts was published by Badlands Unlimited in May 2018. She currently editing two forthcoming volumes, Making It Modern: A Linda Nochlin Reader, which will be published by Thames & Hudson, and A Presence Which Signals Absence: Lorraine O'Grady Collected Writings 1977-2018.