Please join us for a talk and book signing to celebrate the English release of author Isabelle Graw’s ‘On the Benefits of Friendship’ from MIT Press and Sternberg Press. Graw will speak with artist Avery Singer and writer Lynne Tillman on the importance of contemporary friendship, and the purposes and struggles in competitive social milieus.
By focusing on her own social milieu—the art world—Graw demonstrates how friendships are neither totally disinterested nor reduceable to their use. Written in the intimate form of a fictional diary, this book laments useful friendships while praising true friendship in all its forms. For Graw, friendship is an existential necessity—if only because it points to how we relate to and depend on others. Friendship, she finds, is as important as the air we breathe—with it, we are able to fully live.
Attendance is free; however, reservations are required.
About Isabelle Graw Isabelle Graw (Berlin) is a professor of art history and art theory at the Staatliche Hochschule für bildende Künste (Städelschule) Frankfurt am Main. She founded Texte zur Kunst in 1990 with Stefan Germer (†) and co-edited and conceptualized 119 issues so far. In 2003 she co-founded the Institut für Kunstkritik at the Städelschule with Daniel Birnbaum. Current research areas: The Value of Art, Friendship in dark times, judgment and value-creation under new forms of capitalim, Trace and Agency in Painting. Publications include Die bessere Hälfte. Künstlerinnen des 20. und 21. Jahrhunderts (2003), Der große Preis. Kunst zwischen Markt und Celebrity Kultur (2008), High Price. Art Between The Market and Celebrity Culture (2010), Texte zur Kunst. Essays, Rezensionen, Gespräche (2011), Where Are We Now? (2015), Die Liebe zur Malerei. Genealogie einer Sonderstellung (2017), The Love of Painting. Genealogy of A Success-Medium (2018), In Another World. Notes 2014-2017 (2020), Three Cases of Value Reflection Ponge, Whitten, Banksy (2020), On The Benefits of Friendship (2023)
About Avery Singer Avery Singer (b. 1987) was born and raised in New York. Her parents, the artists Janet Kusmierski and Greg Singer, named her after Milton Avery. Growing up in a creative community, Singer experimented with photography, film, and drawing, but in those years never considered working with paint. In 2008, Singer studied at the Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, and in 2010, she received her B.F.A. from Cooper Union, New York. During her studies, Singer engaged in performance art, video making, as well as sculpture utilizing carpentry, metal casting, and welding. After graduation, she discovered her chosen art form from an unanticipated experiment with SketchUp, a program used by her peers to design exhibition spaces, and airbrushed a black-and-white painting based on a digital illustration. Since then, Singer has employed the binary language of computer programs and industrial materials in order to remove the trace of the artist’s hand while engaging the tradition of painting and the legacy of Modernism.
About Lynne Tillman Lynne Tillman is a novelist, short story writer, and cultural critic. Her novels are ‘Haunted Houses’, ‘Motion Sickness’, ‘Cast in Doubt’, ‘No Lease on Life’, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and American Genius, A Comedy. Her nonfiction books include ‘The Velvet Years: Warhol’s Factory 1965–1967’, with photographs by Stephen Shore; ‘Bookstore: The Life and Times of Jeannette Watson and Books & Co.’, and ‘What Would Lynne Tillman Do?’, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and an Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Arts Writing Fellowship. Tillman is Professor/Writer-in-Residence in the Department of English at The University of Albany and teaches at the School of Visual Arts’ Art Criticism and Writing MFA Program in New York. She lives in Manhattan with bass player David Hofstra.