The New Social Environment#580

The Shape of Ideas: Sean Scully

Featuring Phong H. Bui, David Carrier, Robert C. Morgan, Raphy Sarkissian, Amanda Sroka, and David Rhodes


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Phong H. Bui, David Carrier, Robert C. Morgan, Raphy Sarkissian, and Amanda Sroka join Rail Editor-at-Large David Rhodes for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading by Graham Foust.

In this talk

Visit The Shape of Ideas: Sean Scully, on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art through July 31, 2022 →

Phong H. Bui

Photo of Phong Bui taken by Nicola Delorme
Photo by Nicola Delorme
Artist, writer, and independent curator Phong H. Bui is Publisher and Artistic Director of the Brooklyn Rail, the River Rail, Rail Editions, and Rail Curatorial Projects. Among many other awards, Bui received The Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Prize for Arts Writers in 2017, was the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from University of the Arts in 2020, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts in 2021.

David Carrier

Picture of David Carrier
David Carrier taught philosophy in Pittsburgh and art history in Cleveland. He writes art criticism. His In Caravaggio’s Shadow: Naples as a Work of Art (London, 2025) is forthcoming.

Robert C. Morgan

A portrait of Robert C. Morgan
Photo by Sebastian Piras
Writer, artist, critic, art historian, curator, and educator Robert C. Morgan PhD is knowledgeable in the history and aesthetics of both Western and Asian art, Morgan has lectured widely, written hundreds of critical essays (translated into twenty languages), published monographs and books, and curated numerous exhibitions. His writing has been published in Art in America, Arts, Art News, Art Press (Paris), Sculpture Magazine, and Hyperallergic. He is Professor Emeritus in Art History at the Rochester Institute of Technology and author of several books, published in the United States and in Europe and Asia. He writes about art for the Brooklyn Rail and is regarded by some as a hard-edge painter.

Raphy Sarkissian

A photo of [Raphy Sarkissian].
Independent scholar and art advisor Raphy Sarkissian’s connoisseurship and democratic interest in “prominent” and “marginal” contemporary art span beyond two decades. After experimenting with photography in Milan and matriculating at the International Center of Photography in New York, Sarkissian pursued fine arts at New York University. He further advanced his studies of art history at Columbia University and CUNY Graduate Center. He has taught at New Paltz State University of New York and Pace University and is currently affiliated with the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Amanda Sroka

A Photo of Amanda Sroka
Photo by Derrick Dean Photography
Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Amanda Sroka joined the museum in 2014 following the completion of her MA in Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London where her research focused on global conceptual art practices. Previously, she served as a curatorial assistant at the New Museum, New York. Recent projects at the Philadelphia Museum of Art include Martine Syms: Neural Swamp (2022); Senga Nengudi: Topologies (2021), Sean Scully: The Shape of Ideas (2021); Fault Lines: Contemporary Abstraction by Artists from South Asia (2020), Marisa Merz (2019), Yael Bartana: And Europe Will Be Stunned (2018), among others. Forthcoming projects include solo projects with Zoe Leonard and Lawrence Abu Hamdan.

David Rhodes

A portrait of David Rhodes
New York-based artist and writer David Rhodes is originally from Manchester, UK. He is an Editor-at-Large at the Brooklyn Rail and has published reviews in Artforum, artcritical, among other publications. He has paintings in the permanent collections of The Museum of Fine Arts Houston and The Huntington Museum, Los Angeles. He is the author of the monograph Bernard Frize (Lund Humphries, 2019) and has an essay included in the forthcoming book on the paintings of Peter Bradley to be published by Karma, New York, later this year.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poetry reading, and we’re fortunate to have Graham Foust reading.

Graham Foust

A black and white photo of [Graham Foust].
Poet Graham Foust’s most recent book is Embarrassments (Flood Editions, 2021). He lives in Colorado and teaches at the University of Denver.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.