USF's Museum Blog

A new geography of art: John Zarobell in London and beyond

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John Zarobell

Between April 9 and 14, University of San Francisco Professor John Zarobell went on a mini-speaking tour in London, Norwich, UK and San Francisco. On April 9, Zarobell gave a public talk at London’s National Gallery of Art titled Lessons from Paul Durand-Ruel: the contemporary art market then and now. Durand-Ruel was a key dealer (“The Man Who Sold 1000 Monets”) who did much to inaugurate the market for contemporary art. Drawing on research on historical and contemporary art markets, Zarobell illuminated how market patterns from the 19th century are still active today, and how they have been reinvented in our own era. Zarobell drew on his own essay in the exhibition catalogue, “Paul Durand-Ruel and the Market for Modern Art, 1870-1873” and his current book project, Art and the Global Economy.

Paul Durand-Ruel was a prominent art collector in the early 20th century.

Paul Durand-Ruel (the man who “sold a thousand Monets”) was a prominent art collector in the early 20th century.

Zarobell also participated in the international Association of Art Historians’ annual conference in Norwich, UK, presenting a paper on April 10, concerning the late sculptures of Auguste Rodin: “Mass Production and Originality: The Patinas of Auguste Rodin, 1902 – 1917″. In this paper, he explored how Rodin’s studio became a factory (long before Warhol) producing hundreds of sculptures a year yet developing a range of expressive surface effects to distinguish his works from one another and to add to his creative expression. 

August Rodin overseeing work in his Paris studio

August Rodin overseeing work in his Paris studio

Back in San Francisco on April 14, Zarobell gave an evening lecture on “The New Geography of the Contemporary Art Market.” at the new SFAQ Project Space in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco.  SFAQ [Projects] aims to bring new dimensions to art and discourse through artist, writer, and curator talks, workshops, exhibitions, and to provide a home for collaboration. In his talk, Zarobell elaborated his theory of how globalization is changing the dynamics of the art world from a center/periphery structure, to one anchored with regional centers and a general dispersal of wealth, markets and artistic production spread around the world.
SFAQ's popup space opened in San Francisco in Spring 2015

SFAQ’s popup space opened in San Francisco in Spring 2015

Professor Zarobell will teach the Museum Studies curatorial practicum this Fall where he will co-create with USF Museum Studies graduate students an exhibition of work by contemporary California Native American artists for USF’s Thacher Gallery.

For more information on USF’s Museum Studies program, click here.

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