MEET OUR SPRING 2021 INTERN: CLARA APOSTOLATOS

How did you first become interested in Art History?

I became interested in art history during my first semester at Columbia University when I enrolled in a ‘Masterpieces of Western Art’ course that surveyed the canon of western art—from the architecture of the Ancient Greek Parthenon to the gestural paintings by Michel Basquiat. I found fascinating the intersection of art and social history—in particular, how art has been used to express political opinions and communicate social issues. I spent the next four years enrolling in as many art history courses as I could fit into my schedule, packed my weekends with museum visits, and making the most of all the amazing art events New York City had to offer. 

Do you have a specialization or specific interest in Art History?

I am generally interested in conceptualist and participatory art practices that engage with social activism and political engagement. In particular I am interested in art as a political witness, providing testimony for incomplete or inverted accounts of authoritarian pasts in Latin America. For my senior honors thesis, I analyzed how Mexican artist Teresa Margolles navigates the tension between the aesthetics and ethics of commemorative art, offering new insights into the debate surrounding representations of historical trauma.

 Best 3 museums or art sites worldwide according to your tastes?

I am a big fan of Austrian expressionists and in particular Egon Schiele. The Leopold Museum in Vienna has a fantastic collection of Schiele’s eccentric self-portraits and watercolor landscapes.
Having spent a summer participating in an art history study abroad in Venice, I spent many afternoons visiting national pavilions in the Giardini during the Venice Biennale. I fell in love with the diverse pavilion architecture and the overall environment of transcultural exchange.
The New York MoMA is a favorite of mine and at some point during every visit, I find myself revisiting the rooms housing artworks of the neo-concrete and kinetic movements.

What do you hope to gain from this experience at CIMA?

I’m very excited to be working with CIMA this spring and look forward to learning about the many operations and workings of an art non-profit. I became interested in CIMA because of its mission to promote research, scholarship, and public engagement with modern Italian art. I hope to gain exposure to how CIMA advances these projects and, in particular, learn more about CIMA’s marketing and community outreach.

If you could purchase one work of art, what would it be and why? Where would you put it?

 I am a huge fan of Frida Kahlo’s 1939 The Two Fridas because of its surreal portrayal of Kahlo’s two lineages and her struggle to define her own identity. I would place it in my living room.

What do you like to do when you are not working?

 I love to express myself creatively, whether by painting watercolors, sketching, or playing guitar. During quarantine, I find myself with more time to read and have developed a strong interest in surreal fiction.

 

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