Emeritus art professor giving talk on Mercedes Matter

Hugh Lifson, Professor Emeritus of Art at Cornell College, will give a talk Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Figge Museum in Davenport about the Pedagogy of Mercedes Matter.

Matter, a member of the second generation of the New York School and daughter of the early abstractionist Arthur B. Carles, was a student of Hans Hoffman, one of the leading theoreticians and teachers coming from the School of Abstract Expressionism. Matter took many of Hoffman’s ideas and coupled them with ideas ranging from Michelangelo, Poussin, to Cezanne and others into what became one of the leading methods of teaching drawing in the l960’s and beyond.  In the mid 60’s she founded the N. Y. Studio School, which became one of the influential and  important art schools in the country.  Cornell College sent three graduates to the school: Francis Wu ’74, Sara Mast ’78, and John Orth ’77.

Lifson was her student teacher when he was getting his M.F.A. at Pratt Insitute in the early l960’s.  In this position he was in a position to absorb many of her most salient ideas, which he then passed on to his students at Cornell.