The Research Seasons
At the heart of the Wattis Institute is a commitment to working with artists slowly, one at a time, and in-depth. While an exhibition program of (mostly) solo shows forms one part of our approach, we invest an equal amount of time and resources to being a research institute, where an entire year is dedicated to reflecting on the questions posed by a single artist’s work.

Instead of an exhibition, this year-long “season” creates a community around a broad set of themes and subjects as they relate to the work of a single artist. This sustained period of attention involves an intimate reading group as well as a year-long series of public events that explore a diverse and varied ecosystem of other artists and related ideas.

For each research season, the Wattis Institute:

- has one artist “on our mind” (not on view but on our mind: there is no exhibition involved)

- asks: how does this single artist’s work speak to broader questions about art, culture, and society today?

- convenes a monthly reading and discussion group with CCA faculty members along with local artists, art historians, and others

- produces a year-long series of public lectures, screenings, performances, field trips, workshops, and other public events with artists and thinkers from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines

- provides an online archive of audio and video recordings of all public events

- commissions and publishes thematic essays

- produces a major publication

Past seasons have been dedicated to Seth Price (2017-2018), David Hammons (2016-2017), Andrea Fraser (2015-2016), and Joan Jonas (2014-2015).

Click on each name for a complete archive of events, essays, and publications or click here for the overall research archive.

The Wattis is also an exhibition venue. Click here to learn more about that side of our activities.



Michelle Kuo lecture
Michelle Kuo lecture

Jacqueline Francis and Charles Burnett
Jacqueline Francis and Charles Burnett

Yuji Agematsu performance
Yuji Agematsu performance

Andrea Fraser performance
Andrea Fraser performance


Karin Schneider performance
Karin Schneider performance