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Conceptual Artist Buzz Spector Highlights Methods in April 5 Talk

By Amy Matzke-Fawcett

Conceptual artist Buzz Spector will visit Old Dominion University from April 4 to 6 to meet with students in the Department of Art and deliver a public talk about his work.

In his presentation, Spector will offer a survey of his work and methods. The talk is offered for free at 12:30 p.m. April 5 in Room 2013 of the Hixon Art Studio & Annex, located at 1028 W. 46th Street in Norfolk.

Spector, a retired teacher (most recently at the Sam Fox School in St. Louis), is known for creating art from altered books, postcards, photographs and other media. His work explores relationships between public history, individual memory and perception.

"While internationally known as a conceptual artist, Buzz Spector's work is clearly anchored in the material world of paper, pulp and the richly layered strata of the printed word," said Peter Eudenbach, chair of the Department of Art. "His visit is a rare opportunity for our students and others on campus to hear from an artist who reminds us that books and even words are objects."

Since the 1970s, he has explored construction from destruction, masterfully tearing paper to create something new. He has altered found books by methodically tearing their pages, but also created his own printed texts or images that he transforms through tearing.

In its description for his exhibition "Buzz Spector: Alterations," the St. Louis Art Museum wrote, "Through this refashioning of existing printed materials, he poses questions about authorship, the history of art and the written word. His works are at once deeply literate and slyly humorous."

His work has been shown at the Art Institute of Chicago, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh. He co-founded WhiteWalls, a magazine about art by artists, and has contributed reviews and essays to American Craft, Artforum, Art on Paper and others.

He is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching of Art Award from the College Art Association in 2013, a 2005 New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Fellowship and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Awards in 1982, 1985 and 1991.

Spector's work is on display at the Rockford Art Museum in Rockford, Illinois, through May 29.

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