American Philosophical Society
Member History

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Residency
International (2)
Resident (2)
Class
5. The Arts, Professions, and Leaders in Public & Private Affairs[X]
Subdivision
501. Creative Artists[X]
1Name:  Mr. William Kentridge
 Year Elected:  2012
 Class:  5. The Arts, Professions, and Leaders in Public & Private Affairs
 Subdivision:  501. Creative Artists
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1955
   
 
William Kentridge was born in Johannesburg in 1955 into a Jewish family of political activists, lawyers who took on civil-rights cases against apartheid. He earned a B.A. in politics and African studies and a diploma in fine arts from Johannesburg Art Foundation. Between 1975 and 1991 he was acting and directing in Johannesburg’s Junction Avenue Theatre Company. His early work focused on narrative graphics, sometimes in series reminiscent of comic strips and more recently has developed into a radical fusion of the nature of drawing, print-making, and cinematography in which he photographs a graphic work, alters it, and films it again, creating animate images out of still ones. Traces of what had been erased remain visible, giving a sense of fading memory and the passing of time. His oeuvre addresses political and social themes from a personal viewpoint, often including self-portraits. In a series of nine short films, he introduces characters who reveal the emotional and political struggles affecting the lives of South Africans in the years before and after the abolition of Apartheid. He has directed films, plays and operas; his recent production of Mozart’s Magic Flute was warmly received in New York City. His filmic work, Five Themes, filling the four walls of five large galleries exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco and New York was included in the annual Time 100 list of the top people and events of 2009, and was selected as the best museum exhibit of the year by the International Association of Art Critics. Kentridge has been given major exhibitions in the Louvre, the Jeu de Paume and the Albertina museums, and in nine other countries. In 2012 he was awarded with the Centennial Medal of the American Academy in Rome.
 
2Name:  Mr. Cormac McCarthy
 Institution:  Santa Fe Institute
 Year Elected:  2012
 Class:  5. The Arts, Professions, and Leaders in Public & Private Affairs
 Subdivision:  501. Creative Artists
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1933
   
 
Cormac McCarthy is often cited as one of America’s foremost writers of fiction. His beautiful, spare prose has won him widespread praise from scholars and critics. In 2010, the London Times ranked McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Road, #1 on its list of the 100 best fiction and non-fiction books of the past 10 years. McCarthy’s work has ranged from American Southern Gothic, to westerns, to post-apocalyptic allegory, with themes of obsession, impending doom, and the dark nature of humankind that sometimes echo his favorite book, Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. He is the author of The Orchard Keeper, 1965; Outer Dark, 1968; Child of God, 1974; Suttree, 1979; Blood Meridian, Or the Evening Redness in the West, 1985; All the Pretty Horses, 1992; The Crossing, 1994; The Stonemason: A Play in Five Acts, 1994; The Gardener’s Son: A Screenplay, 1996; Cities of the Plain, 1998; No Country for Old Men, 2005; The Road, 2006; and The Sunset Limited: A Novel in Dramatic Form, 2006. His awards include the Ingram-Merrill Award, 1959, 1960; Faulkner Prize, 1965; Guggenheim Fellowship, 1969; MacArthur Fellowship 1981; National Book Award, National Book Foundation, 1992; National Book Critics Circle Award, 1992; James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, 2006; Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 2007; and the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, PEN American Center, 2008. Cormac McCarthy is a Senior Fellow and a member of the Board of Trustees at the Santa Fe Institute. He was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2012.
 
3Name:  Mr. Gerhard Richter
 Year Elected:  2012
 Class:  5. The Arts, Professions, and Leaders in Public & Private Affairs
 Subdivision:  501. Creative Artists
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1932
   
 
A towering figure in the history of German art, Gerhard Richter is widely regarded as one of the greatest living painters. His retrospectives at MOMA, SFMOMA, and the Hirschhorn (2002) established him as a pivotal figure in modern art. Richter’s immense oeuvre, which includes the great stained glass window in Cologne Cathedral (2007), is characterized by a plurality of means, most notably both photorealist compositions that are blurred in a signature way, and abstract paintings that, in the layered application of their paint surfaces, create spaces different from but analogous to those evoked by his photorealist images. The dialogue between these modes and others (color chart paintings, glass and mirror works, portraits), and the fact of a painter not maintaining a cohesive style, has altered the approach of artists in fashioning an oeuvre. Richter engaged in pivotal reflections on the nature of history, especially German history. His work represented in the exhibition Baader-Meinhof was a milestone in Germany’s "coming to terms with its past." Richter has encouraged artists of several generations likewise to think of painting as a vital art form that not only reflects on the human condition but that can change history. Richter’s work is instantly recognizable: the haunting blurred landscapes, evocations of a latter-day Romanticism, are unique in the history of art, and yet, within the context of the artist’s oeuvre, and through the detachment that the blurring effects and that the photo source implies, these images transcend personal expression. Art historically, Richter represents a profound local (i.e., German or European) response to Abstract Expressionism. Rooted in his biography (WWII experience, formation in the former GDR, emigration to West Germany, engagement in late 1960s agitations, etc.), his works profoundly revise the central directions that painting has taken since the 1960s. Richter’s oeuvre motivates a set of pivotal narratives about the history of modern and contemporary art.
 
4Name:  Mr. Richard Serra
 Year Elected:  2012
 Class:  5. The Arts, Professions, and Leaders in Public & Private Affairs
 Subdivision:  501. Creative Artists
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1938
   
 
Richard Serra was born November 2, 1938, in San Francisco. Serra attended the University of California at Berkeley and Santa Barbara from 1957 to 1961, receiving a B.A. in English literature. He then studied at Yale University, New Haven, from 1961 to 1964, completing his B.F.A. and M.F.A. Serra was honored with solo exhibitions at the Kunsthalle Tübingen, Germany, in 1978; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, in 1984; the Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld, Germany, in 1985; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1986. Serra participated in Documenta V (1972), Documenta VI (1977) and Documenta VII (1982). The 1990s saw further honors for Serra’s work: a retrospective of his drawings at the Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht; the Wilhelm Lehmbruck prize for sculpture in Duisburg in 1991; and the following year, a retrospective at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid. In 1993. In 1997-98, his Torqued Ellipses (1997) were exhibited at the Dia Center for the Arts, New York. Other recent projects include the eight-part permanent installation The Matter of Time at the Guggenheim Bilbao (2005) and "Richard Serra, Sculpture: Forty Years" at The Museum of Modern Art (2007) and Promenade (2008) conceived for Monumenta exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris. The French Government made Serra Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1985, Officier de L’Ordre des Arts et Lettres in 1991 and Commandeur de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2008. Serra was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1993 and in 1994, he was awarded the Praemium Imperiale by the Japan Art Association. Serra was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2001 Venice Biennale. In 2003 Serra was awarded the Orden Pour Le Merite fűr Wissenschaften und Kűnste and in 2009 he received das Grosse Verdienstkreuz mit Stern des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. In 2008 Serra was awarded La Medalla de la Orden de las Artes y las Letras de Espaňa. He has received Honorary Doctorate degrees from the California College of Arts and Crafts, Nova Scotia College for Art and Design, Williams College, the University of Navarra, Yale University, University of London and Harvard University. In 2010 the Fundación Principe de Asturias in Spain honored Serra the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts and in 2014 he received the President's Medal of the Architectural League of New York.
 
Election Year
2012[X]