Join Cranbrook Academy of Art at deSalle Auditorium for a free, public lecture from Visiting Artist Michael Lim. Please enter through the Cranbrook Academy of Art Library entrance, the galleries at Cranbrook Art Museum will be closed.

In the topography of (post-)contemporary art in the 21st century, the re-emergence of sculptural or unmonumental objects has been attributed to the demise of installation art once flourished in the era of globalization, particularly multimedia video installations, which had developed a meta-criticism predicated on discursive site-specificity. However, there are more fundamental drivers behind the resurgence of sculptural form. In a complex situation where 2D is perceived as 3D, and 3D is perceived as 2D, due to changes in the media landscape and changes in the post-industrial object-making process, painterly painting and sculptural or ‘sculptorly’ sculpture are, in effect, addressing different aspects of the same problem: the crisis of human existence or existential crisis of all things.What historical challenges will today’s contemporary artists face, who weave meta-objects using 21st-century ready-made products and their formative order as materials? Are a series of artistic attempts to find aesthetic value in utilitarian objects or functional structures, and to extract and reconsolidate projected sentiments, merely errors based on ignorance of design history? How are today’s museums and art institutions responding to these challenges?“At a time when artists may work without obligation to medium, why choose the materials of sculpture? What does it mean for an artist to assume the role of sculptor today? And just what is at stake for a new generation committed to sculpture?”


Michael Lim is an Art & Design Historian. Formerly LGBTQ activist, queer artist, assistant curator at ArtSonje Center and Dong-A Ilbo Press Museum, and editor-in-chief of SigongArt Publications and Art in Culture magazine, in the late naughties and early 2010’s he published “Off Kilter: Notes from a Study of Contemporary Korean Artists,” “SKMoMA Highlights: 350 Works from the Museum of Modern Art, Seoul, Korea” and “What is Art? – From the Modern to the Post-Contemporary.” Currently, he is working on new titles – “The Post-Contemporary: Twilight of Modern & Postmodern Art,” “New Perspective for Designers: Post-Contemporary Issues after the Death of Postmodernism,” and “The Methods of 20th and 21st Century Art.”

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