Modern Banalities: Recto and Verso of the Artistic Self. Conference by Jordana Mendelson

Within the programming of the seminar “Being an artist. “Julio González Seminar”

SeminarsIVAM Centre Julio González

Jordana Mendelson presents the lecture Modern Banalities: Recto and Verso of the Artistic Self as part of the seminar Ser artista. Seminario Julio González, coordinated by Juan José Lahuerta, which seeks to propose a new reading of the artist’s work.

“This talk explores the role of postcards in the creation of artistic selves that circulated widely in the twentieth century among artists, writers, and the general public. Featuring subjects that ranged from artistic masterpieces to tourist locations and ethnographic subjects, modern artists expressed their amuseument and admiration for these tiny, ephemeral pieces of modern visual culture while sharing them with family, friends, and acquaintances. Placed in the context of other artists who turned to the postcard fo communication (and creativity), Julio González’s cards offer another opportunity to consider the ways his adoption of mass culture mirrored that of other artists, like Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, and Salvador Dalí among others. Postcards were particularly fascinating for the surrealists, especially poets like Paul Eluard. González’s turn to the postcard was part of a generational phenomenon that was registered in the literary and general press as something that marked a nostalgia for the turn of the century, and kept the postcard circulating in the mind and work of artists well past its golden age” Jordana Mendelson. 


Jordana Mendelson (1970). PhD in art history from Yale University. Director of the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center and a professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at New York University. She is the author of Documenting Spain: Artists, Exhibition Culture, and the Modern Nation 1929-1939 (2005) and co-editor of Postcards: Ephemeral Histories of Modernity (2010) . She has curated or co-curated Miró i ADLAN (2021), Encuentros con los años 30(2012),  Revistas y Guerra 1936-1939 (2007), Other Weapons: Photography and Print Culture during the Spanish Civil War (2007),Margaret Michaelis: Fotografía, Vanguardia y República en la Barcelona de la República (1998). She serves on the advisory committee of the Archivo Español de Arte and Culture & History, is a member of the Editorial Board of Modernism/Modernity, and is currently the Editor of the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies. She directed the IVAM’s International Seminar: Renau in Exile in 2021.  


Be an artist. Julio González Seminar

12 dec. 2023
SeminarsIVAM Centre Julio González

Being an Artist. Julio González

28 oct. 2022 – 12 jan. 2025
CollectionExhibitionIVAM Centre Julio González