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Monday, October 2, 2023


Warhol grant funds art faculty projects

Twenty of the nation’s best art writers recently received grants from the Creative Capital-Warhol Foundation; among them were two professors from the UH School of Art.

The Creative Capital-Warhol Foundation, through the Arts Writers Grant Program, provides the grants to authors in genres ranging from articles and blogs to books and scholarly journals. Raphael Rubinstein and Sandra Zalman are the two UH art professors receiving the grants.

The program was designed to recognize and reward arts writers who provide critical analysis of art that is both engaging and thought-provoking. The money will go to fund specialized projects that each professor is currently working on.

Rubintein’s grant will fund the continuance of his blog where he profiles artists who are overlooked by other critics.

In his blog, Rubinstein uses the archival potential of the Internet to address artists from a range of mediums and nationalities who were not as well known because their work did not fit with the prevailing styles of the time.

Rubinstein, a poet and art critic, said he turned to blogging because he realized we were in midst of a revolution in publishing.

“The Web allows me, as a critic, to write about whatever I want, whenever and however I want, and potentially reach a lot of readers,” Rubinstein said. “As a writer, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity, even if it meant writing without getting paid, but luckily the Warhol Grant has changed that for me.”

Zalman’s grant will fund the research for her article “Whose Modern Art?”, a case study on the significance of Huntington Hartford’s Gallery of Modern Art, which opened in 1964 just a few blocks away from The Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

The article focuses on an important, and often overlooked, moment in art history where Hartford, a millionaire playboy, challenged the paradigm set forth by MOMA.

“This is a project I have wanted to do for some time now, so I am thrilled for the opportunity to pursue it,” Zalman said.

“What interested me in this topic was that this was the first time someone from outside the art world came in and tried to change the contours of what could be considered art.”

Zalman did preliminary research last summer through a grant from UH and plans to use the Warhol Grant to fund the completion of her study.

“I don’t know if it’s anything more than a coincidence that two of this year’s grantees teach at the UH School of Art,” Rubinstein said, “but we shouldn’t be surprised.

“Houston is one of the most important art centers in the country, and the faculty and graduates of the UH School of Art make a significant contribution to the Houston art scene,” Rubinstein said.

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