This Tuesday, April 22nd at 6:30 pm, The Visual & Critical Studies Department will present “Leslie Hewitt: On Beauty, Objects, and Dissonance: Propositions in Still Photography and Film Vignettes,” our final entry in this semester’s Art in the First Person lecture series.
Leslie Hewitt’s photographs rest in sturdy wooden frames that lean against the wall and invite viewers to experience a unique space between photography and sculpture. Her work combines still life compositions comprised of political, social, and personal materials, which result in multiple histories embedded in sculptural, architectural, and abstract forms. Mundane objects and structures open into complex systems of knowledge. This perceptual slippage is what attracts Hewitt to both the illusions of film (still and moving photography) and the undeniable presence of physical objects (sculpture). Exploring this as an artist and not as a historiographer, Hewitt draws parallels between the formal appearance of things and their significance to collective history and political consciousness in contemporary art. In her lecture, Hewitt will discuss the development of her practice and recent collaborations.
Hewitt studied at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, the Yale University School of Art, and at New York University, where she was a Clark Fellow in the Africana and Visual Culture Studies programs. She was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial and the recipient of the 2008 Art Matters research grant to the Netherlands. A selection of recent and forthcoming exhibitions include the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Studio Museum in Harlem; Artists Space in New York; Project Row Houses in Houston; and LA><ART in Los Angeles.
The Critic’s Pick section of this month’s issue of ARTnews features a full-page profile of VCS alumna Elektra KB by associate editor Emily Nathan. The profile discusses Elektra’s most recent works, her Theocratic Republic of Gaia mythos, and some of the ideas, experiences, and research that underlie her artistic practice. You can check it out in the magazine’s April 2014 print edition, or the scan below.
For more of Elektra in ARTnews, check out this page on her piece Status Quo (2013), which was shown by BravinLee programs at UNTITLED during last December’s Miami art fairs (see the screenshot below).
This Saturday, April 12th from 6 pm to midnight, Youme Haus in Brooklyn will present Double Take, a new exhibition curated by VCS alumnae Brooke Tomiello, Amy Kolenut and Sofia Klapischak. Here’s more information from the show’s press release (which you can also download via this link), along with images of works by a few of the artists.
Youme Haus is pleased to present “Double Take”. The show isn’t just ocular; it involves the whole body, the whole physicality, of stopping the forward movement and returning in realization or surprise of something that puts the viewer out of normalcy. Comical contemporary artist, David Shrigley offers that he doesn’t want to “permanently change the world” with his work. The works included in this show take on this philosophy by seemingly not asking you to stay and ponder, but just to notice. One example of this is in David Jacob’s painting Shark Attack, one has to search for the ‘attack’, or may not even see it unless they read the title and have to go back and look for it. Similarly Caroline Larsen’s work, MSC Carla and Rena, the viewing process is reversed where one initially is drawn into the materiality of the pieces therefore placing the depicted image subsequently.
Double Take deals with the notion of play and humor. Play could be considered accepting that there is an unknown, and allowing the present moment to become undefined and malleable. This could lead to the viewer feeling a sliver of freedom. As in Esther Ruiz’s work, the preconceived notion of a depicted “landscape” is reconfigured – from something naturally sublime into something surrealistically sublime. Janna Dyk’s Failed Drawings (Submission, Cityscape) delude the conditioned mind to see the desired image clearly – for example a cityscape.
John Baldessari once said with a laugh, “You know, when you’re sitting in a dentist office or doctor’s office and you look in a magazine and you go ‘What was that?’ I would like people to have that feeling, you know, that ‘Wait, what did I just see?’”
Double Take will feature works by the following artists:
Betty Hart Jude Broughan Caroline Larsen Robert Costello David Jacobs Janna Dyk Nicholas Bakita Gerry Weber Esther Ruiz Anna Sorensen
In addition, there will be a screening at 10 pm featuring works by:
Andrea McGinty Kacie Lees Max Basch
Double Take is this Saturday, April 12th, from 6pm to midnight; there will light refreshments and candy. Youme Haus is located at 99 Meserole Street, #4 in Brooklyn. For more information, check out the show’s Facebook event and the Youme Haus Instagram. You can also read about the last Youme Haus show here.
This Tuesday at 6 pm, The Visual & Critical Studies Department will present “Tatiana Flores: Theorizing Latin American Avant-Gardism,” our latest entry in SVA’s Art in the First Person lecture series for Spring 2014.
Drawing on research from a forthcoming book chapter on Latin American avant-garde movements of the 1920s, this presentation delves into the distinctive features that differentiate Latin American modernism from its European and U.S. American counterparts. Rather than allowing Europe to set the standard, Latin American artists took an active role in framing their own avant-gardes agendas, focusing on such issues as conceptualizing modernity, achieving artistic autonomy, and promoting social justice. To appreciate the complexity of their practice, it is crucial to recognize Latin American modern art as intensely networked and developing through dialogues between visual artists, writers, and other intellectuals.
Tatiana Flores is Associate Professor of Art History at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, with a joint appointment in the Department of Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies. She is the author of Mexico’s Revolutionary Avant-Gardes: From Estridentismo to ¡30-30! (Yale University Press, 2013). A specialist in modern and contemporary Latin American art, she is also active as an independent curator.
VCS faculty member Kara Rooney has work in the upcoming exhibition The Heroic Object at Parallel Art Space, which opens this Saturday, April 5th. Here’s some information about the show and a description of Kara’s work from the gallery’s press release (you can find the full text of the press release on the gallery’s Facebook event page for The Heroic Object; it contains more information about the exhibition and the other artists who will have works on display):
The Heroic Object
Parallel Art Space proudly presents The Heroic Object, a collection of works from Vincent Como, Joshua Johnson, Peter Lapsley, Raymond E. Mingst, Russell Perkins, Kara L. Rooney, Magdalen Wong, and Frank Zadlo that hone in on the art object, traversing realms from the mythic to the prosaic, deploying, by turns, allegory, commodity, manifesto, buried gold.
April 5 – May 11, 2014 Opening Reception: Saturday, April 5, 6 pm – 9 pm Hours: Sat/Sun 1-6pm and by appointment Location: 17-17 Troutman Street #220, Ridgewood, NY 11385 (map) Direction: L Train to Jefferson St. / B57 (Flushing Ave) to Cypress Ave.
The classic stories of the ages tend to have, at their heart, heroes engaged in some form of movement. Whether it’s Ulysses’ ten year struggle to return home from the Trojan War, or Frodo’s mission to destroy an evil ring, or Jane Eyre’s striving to remain true to her interior convictions despite the push and pull of her exterior circumstances, the destiny of our heroes on the page is fulfilled via their movements within the story. Through the processes they undergo along their way, both Herculean and small, the development of our protagonist can be considered heroic in proportion to how much it teaches us about ourselves, warns us against our baser natures, and reflects our collective non quantitative ‘truths”.
Likewise it is an interest in the journey of the art object through creative action, the adventure of material across the influences of intention, environment, and time that is at the core of the grouping of artworks in The Heroic Object. Though necessarily divergent in their individual artistic aims, the artists assembled here have some specific item playing a central or supporting role in these artwork’s development and impression. In materials as disparate as petrified wood, tetragonal crystalline prisms, creased paper, and 24k Gold, these works and the objects within them have much to tell. Whether pointing toward the projected grandeur and myth of Modernist Form, or reframing our ideas on politics and historicity, or revealing the implications hidden within consumer goods and marketing, each work has a pivotal part to play in a myriad of aesthetic plotlines including those of the committed artist, the intrepid viewer, and the larger, unfolding narrative of art itself.
The art practice of Kara L. Rooney spans disciplines including sculpture, performance, drawing and painting, and accommodates interests such as communication, lexical systems, the socio-political, and art-history. In The Heroic Object Rooney offers a photo-collage that pairs references to two different paintings, one a more traditional landscape and the other a Frank Stella “Black Painting”, which were, for their time, a sort of manifesto of “painting as object unto itself”. The implied Heroic forms in this work conflate notions of high and low art, while it’s scale presences issues of monumentality, expression and communion. Also on view, a cast-resin sculpture whose convoluted form and presentation alludes to both formal aesthetics and the preoccupations of the corporeal.
Kara Rooney is a New York-based artist, curator and critic working in performance, sculpture and new media installation. She is the Managing Art Editor for The Brooklyn Rail, and faculty member at School of Visual Arts where she teaches art history and aesthetics. Her visual work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums including the Queens College Art Center, NY; A.I.R. Gallery, NY; Shoshana Wayne Gallery, CA; Gallery Aferro, NJ; the Chelsea Art Museum, NY; the International Women’s Museum, CA; the Jersey City Museum, NJ; the Montclair Art Museum, NJ; and the Pera Museum, Istanbul. Her critical writings have been published in Art in America, The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic and Performa Live as well as in conjunction with the collaborative writing group, Open Dialogues. Kara earned her M.F.A in Art Criticism and Writing from the School of Visual Arts in 2009.
Kara has also written the catalog essay for “Magnificent Obsession,” an ongoing exhibition of early paintings by Joann Gedney that’s up at Rox Gallery through April 7th. Here’s a little more about that show:
IFAC and Rox Gallery Present: Magnificent Obsession | Joann Gedney | The Early Paintings 1948 – 1963
March 7– April 7, 2014 | Opening Reception, March 7, 6-9 pm
Curated by Gregory de la Haba
Essay by Kara L. Rooney and film by Charlotte Ghiorse
IFAC and Rox Gallery are proud to present a selection of over 60 paintings and works on paper by the abstract expressionist Joann Gedney. This is the first time these works have been on public display since the 1950’s. The 1950′s ushered in an unprecedented wave of artistic convergence in New York City. Lured by the vibrancy of the East Village, the late painter and founding member of March Gallery, Joann Gedney (1925-2013), arrived in 1947 after graduation from Wheaton College and ultimately befriended many of the great artists who defined the Abstract Expressionist generation, particularly Milton Resnick who lived above her 8th street studio and Franz Kline, her first love, who lived down the block. A retrospective exhibition of this integral New York artist’s early work, 1948-1963, will be on view from March 7 – April 7 at Rox Gallery. Join us as we celebrate Joann Gedney’s “magnificent obsession”, and Abstract-Expressionist lyricism.