Art historian and critic Michael Newman's lecture “Touch in Vision Against Panoptic Desires: Image and Imprint in Recent Art” will reconsider what is at stake concerning the position artists take for or against the primacy of the image in contemporary art. Newman will draw on the later philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty (The Visible and the Invisible) to articulate the problem of the relation of image to index or imprint. Newman will demonstrate that even though contemporary artists produce work with varying approaches to this issue, they actually share a common concern.
As a freelance critic, Newman has written at length about contemporary art and philosophy, including essays on James Coleman, Jeff Wall, Alfred Jensen, and Hanne Darboven. In 1999, Newman co-edited the book Re-Writing Conceptual Art (Reaktion Books, 1999). He is currently Associate Professor in Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is completing a book on “the trace.” Newman received an MA in the History of Art from the University of London, an MA in Continental Philosophy from the University of Essex, and a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Leuven, Belgium.