In Cambridge, Saunders took a break from working with color — and the processing equipment’s toxic chemicals — to explore other modes of combining printmaking, photography, and painting. He used oil paints to draw directly onto undeveloped silver gelatin (black-and-white photo) paper, then immersed it in a bath of water-based developer, causing an image to emerge in the repellant reaction between the materials. He developed the image for three minutes in a darkroom used for black-and-white photography at the Linden Street studios.His engagement with different materials and modes of making art extends to his classroom.“Recently, I’ve done a lot more work in printmaking, which gave me a direct line to collaborating with art historian Jennifer Roberts on a course called ‘Critical Printing,’” offered this fall through AFVS, he said. “Conversely, my studio practice hasn’t looked like traditional painting for a long time, but my engagement with those materials in the classroom as an instructor keeps my passion alive and mind in gear.”While Saunders relishes the freedom and time that summer provides for artmaking on campus and abroad — he also works in Berlin, where he lived for nine years prior to joining Harvard’s faculty — his experimental mindset will serve him well in his first foray into a different model of teaching with the new College program in General Education. In spring 2020, Saunders will teach “Painting’s Doubt,” a Gen Ed course in painting that invites students across disciplines to build their own relationship with art practice and analysis.“I hope that this course makes the AFVS department and painting itself visible in a new way to Harvard students,” he said. “The role of the AFVS department is to engage with making, and I want students inside and outside the department to be able to do that.”The course will also prompt questions about representation of bodies and identity in art, and the responsibility of artists to engage with difficult issues in their work.“There is a craft-obsessed trap that happens where people get stuck trying to make technically excellent work without engaging with the world,” Saunders said. “It’s important to learn that nature and materials may know more than we do.” When Matt Saunders talks about his art, he could be describing his life. “I try to avoid rote ways of working, and find ways to do things that allow for a kind of blindness about what a process may yield,” says Saunders, the Harris K. Weston Associate Professor of the Humanities. “It allows me to see something differently than I might be accustomed to.”As a teacher Saunders, the incoming director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Art, Film, and Visual Studies (AFVS), will collaborate on a fall course on printmaking with an art historian. And in spring he is preparing to offer a new Gen Ed course in painting that will require him to find ways to introduce large groups of students, most of whom are not studying art, to “a language outside of words,” as the course description puts it.As an artist, the hazy, lazy days have been few this year.“For the past few years, I’ve been staying in Cambridge for more of the summer,” he said. “It’s actually a great time to work here, with a quiet and surprising sense of focus that is hard to get during the school year.”This summer, Saunders focused his attention on projects that combine painting and darkroom photography techniques, emphasizing his love of experimentation and unorthodox materials. For instance, in his studio on Linden Street in Cambridge and in his color processing lab in Allston near the Harvard ArtLab opening this fall, Saunders used traditional darkroom processes to explore the material possibilities of paint, photo paper, and photo processing and to ask questions about the representations of bodies in art.In one image, Saunders exposed blank photo paper by passing light directly through painted materials (a kind of handmade photo negative), then used a 52-inch Kreonite color processor to develop it. As he exposed the paper, Saunders interrupted the process by shining light on it or moving the negative. The spontaneity of these disruptions changed the colors, sharpness, or clarity of the images. His goal for combining these interventions with unconventional, hand-drawn means is to force the viewer to recalibrate his or her expectations for photography and how an image is embodied and produced.“I got interested in the idea of X-rays and ‘passing through,’ moving out of narratives and thinking about representing bodies in space,” he said. “I’m working in an in-between space of drawing by hand and using process to manipulate light and the image.” “There is a craft-obsessed trap that happens where people get stuck trying to make technically excellent work without engaging with the world. It’s important to learn that nature and materials may know more than we do.” The aesthetic attitude to art Harvard researcher’s latest book explores how and why we react to it Related Harvard Art Museum curators challenge expectations with new art pairing An unanticipated juxtaposition
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Former Nassau County Police Department Second Deputy Commissioner William Flanagan inside Nassau County Court in January.A jury must decide whether an ex-deputy Nassau County police commissioner committed a crime when he helped return property his friend and nonprofit collaborator’s son stole from school to avoid an arrest as prosecutors allege, or if there is not enough evidence to convict him of conspiring with other cops accused of initiating the alleged cover-up, as the defense argues.Both sides made their closing arguments Thursday after jurors heard testimony from 18 witnesses, listened to dozens of emails be read into evidence and endured what observers estimated was a record number of sidebars for 12 days at county court in Mineola starting Jan. 15. Deliberations were slated to begin Friday after Judge Mark Cohen provides the jury with its instructions.“When you go hunting for the big fish, sometimes you get caught up in the hunt and you end up looking for something that’s not there,” said Bruce Barket, attorney for the defendant, William Flanagan, while discrediting the case sparked by a Press expose. “At the end of the day, the return of property is not criminal and that…is the fatal flaw with this prosecution.”Bernadette Ford, an assistant district attorney trying the case, aimed to connect the dots back to Gary Parker, who testified he asked Flanagan and his co-defendant, former Deputy Cheif of Patrol John Hunter, for help returning stolen computers–effectively dropping charges against Parker’s son, Zachary, who burglarized $11,000 in electronics from John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore four years ago.“Discretion to not arrest because of a relationship, that is an abuse of discretion,” she told the courtroom packed with law enforcement officials on either side of the case. “It’s a violation of duty.” She added, “It’s not what you did, it’s who you know, or who your father knows.”While both sides agreed that the elder Parker was not credible when testifying that school officials told him they planned to drop the charges against his son, prosecution and defense attorneys disputed whether his gifts to Flanagan were compensation for returning the property.They also disputed if Lorraine Poppe, the school’s principal, was unclear when telling police she wanted an arrest. The only testimony more debated than Parker’s and Poppe’s was that of retired Det. Bruce Coffey, who testified against Flanagan to avoid prosecution himself.Flanagan faces up to four years in prison, if convicted. Hunter and another co-defendant, retired Det. Sgt. Alan Sharpe, had their cases severed from Flanagan’s after all three pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and misconduct charges in March 2012. The younger Parker is serving prison time upstate after pleading guilty to the burglary last year.
President Donald Trump intends to visit El Paso, Texas, on Wednesday in the wake of a deadly shooting at a Walmart store that killed 22 people.The President is making the trip despite calls from the area’s Congresswoman and other Democrats for him to “stay away.”Democrats have cast blame on Trump for the El Paso shooting after an anti-immigrant manifesto believed to be posted by the gunman before he entered the Walmart Saturday morning.President Trump has faced severe backlash and accusations of racism for his strong push against illegal immigration.U.S. representative, Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, and her predecessor in Congress, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, both said the President should not come to El Paso.Rep. Escobar took it a step further by saying President Trump was not “welcome.”In spite of this, Republican Mayor of El Paso Dee Margo confirmed Monday that the President would visit and said he would be welcome.“I want to clarify for the political spin that this is the office of the mayor of El Paso in an official capacity of welcoming the office of the president of the United States, which I consider is my formal duty,” Margo said.Not even 24 hours after the deadly shooting in El Paso, nine people were killed in a mass shooting at a bar in Dayton, Ohio.A total of 31 people died in two separate mass shootings over the weekend.President Trump spoke out about the tragedies at the White House on Monday condemning white supremacy and offering his condolences to the victims.Related content:President Trump Condemns “Hate” after Mass Shooting He said the nation would respond with “urgent resolve” to a weekend of mass shootings but did not offer additional information.Trump is also expected to visit Dayton on Wednesday.