Assistant Professor of History of Art & Architecture
Edward Vazquez has taught at Middlebury College since the Fall of 2009.
Professor Vazquez holds a BA in Philosophy from New College of Florida, an interdisciplinary Humanities MA from the University of Chicago, and a PhD in Art and Art History from Stanford University. His doctoral dissertation focused on the American sculptor Fred Sandback (1943-2003) and the material and immaterial intersections of minimal and conceptual art. His area of expertise is modern and contemporary art history, theory, and criticism, with a focus on the art of the 1960s and 1970s. His research interests include American and European art since 1945, art historical method and historiography, and intersections between philosophy, aesthetics, and the visual arts.
His current research includes revising a book length manuscript on Sandback, as well as completing a text on the re-imagining of perspectival systems in conceptual art.
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
FYSE 1331 - The Sixties: Writings on Art
The Sixties: Writings on Art
“I am for an art that helps old ladies cross the street.” So wrote Claes Oldenburg in 1961, defining his version of Pop Art. In this seminar we will explore writings on visual art from 1960 America and Europe by both critics and practicing artists. We will engage the difficulties of using language to explain visual material, and the challenges this creates for artists, critics, and historians, with particular emphasis on understanding the cultural and political shifts of the 1960s. We will read essays, statements, reviews, and interviews from the period, in addition to recent contextual and critical material.
FYSE 1379 - Art and the Environment
Art and the Environment
“The land is not the setting for the work but a part of the work.” So did the artist Walter de Maria describe The Lightning Field (1980), a site-specific, environmental work of art built in an isolated part of western New Mexico. In this seminar we will discuss the different ways that recent artists have used, commented upon, and at times altered their surrounding environment. We will take an expansive view of the term "environmental" in our seminar as we explore natural, urban, media-based, and conceptual artistic environments. 3 hrs. sem.
HARC 0202 - Modern Art
In this course we will survey the major movements and artists in the history of modern art in Europe and the United States, from Impressionism to the postwar period. We will focus on the development of style, aesthetic concerns, and social contexts. Topics will include individual artists, such as Picasso and Matisse, as well as the development of styles, such as Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. 3 hrs. lect.
Fall 2010, Fall 2011
HARC 0260 - Contemporary Art
Contemporary Art: From Postmodernism to Globalization
In this course we will survey major developments in international art practice since 1960. We will discuss artists and movements from North and South America, Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, and the Middle East. We will explore debates in traditional media, as well as the emergence of new conceptual paradigms, video and film, land art, installation and institutional critique, and strategies of appropriation. In addition to a focus on formal concerns, students will also discuss broader debates active in various spheres of postwar art and culture. Readings will include artist statements, critical and historical texts, as well as important theoretical material.
Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012
HARC 0261 - Ephemeral Art: 1960 to Present
Ephemeral Art: 1960 to the Present
Much artistic production of the last fifty years is not meant to endure. Land work erodes, performances end, and everyday materials decay. In this course we will explore the works of art that express or engage notions of the ephemeral and the transient, raising questions about both the structure and logic of the 'event.' In moving from "happenings" and Fluxus in the 1960s, to current developments in performance and installation, we will examine the formal, social, and political stakes in the lives and afterlives of fleeting works of art. Readings will include artist statements as well as historical and theoretical texts. 3hrs. lect.
HARC 0265 - Modern Latin American Art
Twentieth Century Latin American Art
In this course we will survey major developments in the art of Latin America from 1890 to the present. We will explore the rise of avant-gardism and abstraction, Mexican muralism, surrealism, kinetic art, neo-concrete art, and conceptualism, as well as the interaction between Latin Americans artists and their European and North American counterparts. We will also study the work of individual artists such as Diego Rivera, Joaquín Torres García, Wilfredo Lam, and Lygia Clark, among others. Readings will be drawn from artist's writings, criticism, primary documents, and recent art historical scholarship.
HARC 0360 - Art, Community, Dissent
Art, Community, Dissent
In this seminar we will focus on artistic reactions to both social and political events. We will explore responses to wars past and present, the AIDS crisis, and various themes associated with globalization. Concurrent with discussions of artistic praxis, we will think through the idea of community and the relevance of recent theoretical debates surrounding the term to current art making. Class meetings will focus on a particular thematic issue, case studies of artists or exhibitions, or on a foundational critical text. Readings will draw from critical venues like Artforum and October as well as from historical and theoretical sources. 3 hrs. Sem
Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011
HARC 0361 - Minimalism
Minimalism: Art, Objects, and Experience
In Artforum in 1966, the sculptor Robert Morris defended his plain, geometric objects, arguing: “Simplicity of shape does not necessarily equate with simplicity of experience.” Such a position has come to define minimalism, one of the most important artistic practices of the postwar era in North America. In this seminar we will explore the development of minimal art across a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, film, and music. We will focus on the practices of individual artists (Donald Judd, Carl Andre, Dan Flavin) as well as broader theoretical arguments. Students will situate figures and debates historically and also explore their contemporary influence. 3 hrs. sem.
Spring 2010, Spring 2013
HARC 0510 - Advanced Studies ▲
Supervised independent work in art history. (Approval Required)
Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013
HARC 0710 - Senior Research Seminar
Senior Research Seminar
In this course students will conceive, undertake research, and plan the organization of their senior theses in art history or senior museum studies projects. Seminar discussions and workshops will focus on research strategies, conventions in art historical writing, project design, and public presentation skills. (HARC 0301; Approval Required) 3 hr. sem.
Winter 2012, Winter 2013
HARC 0711 - Senior Thesis: History of Art
Senior Thesis: History of Art *
This course is a continuation of HARC 0710 which consists of ongoing, supervised independent research with an advisor, plus organizing, writing, and presenting a thesis, which will be due on a Friday, two weeks before the end of classes. (HARC 0301 and HARC 0710)
Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013
INTL 0420 / AMST 0420 / HARC 0420 - Visual Culture of the Americas
Visual Cultures of the Americas
From murals to monuments and telenovelas to veladoras, this bilingual [Spanish/English] seminar will explore the role of visual expression in the history of cultural formation throughout the Americas. We will take a hemispheric and transnational approach to our studies. As such, two related premises inform the material we will examine: images traverse the boundaries of nation-states, and they are intrinsically tied to the developments of modern history. We will combine theoretical works with a variety of still and moving images (artifacts of mass culture, photography, artwork, film, mixed media, and performance) to study the relationship between "visuality" and flows of culture throughout Latin and Anglo Americas. This course is equivalent to AMST 0420 and HARC 0420. 3 hr. sem.