Painting after Paik: The Influence of Nam June Paik on the Art of Russell Connor

A fateful 1968 meeting at WGBH in Boston with video artist Nam June Paik led to a major upheaval in the art of Russell Connor.  In his talk, the artist tells how it helped transform an abstract painter, ex-student of Josef Albers, into an artist who “plays seriously” with art history, in work he calls Masters in Pieces. At the time of their meeting, Connor was writer/host of the WGBH series, Museum Open House, from the Museum of fine Arts in Boston, and interested in the TV medium  itself as an art form. The encounter with Paik’s “dazzling inventiveness” led Connor to organize the world’s first museum show of video art at Brandeis  University in 1970, and to collaborate with Nam June in many of his productions through the seventies.  Paik’s free-wheeling humor inspired Connor to look again at his own immersion in art history and make it his painting subject, joining figures from famous paintings to make new compositions and new narratives. In addition to Connor’s “before and after Paik” painting, the artist will show excerpts from Paik’s work in which he participated.