This Thursday, September 25th: the opening reception for The Dark Flowers by Savanna Barrett

Savanna Barrett The Dark Flowers

This Thursday evening from 6 to 8 pm, VCS alumna Savanna Barrett will unveil The Dark Flowers, a solo exhibition of new works at The Highline Loft in the West Chelsea Arts Building that will be on display until September 30th. I’ve presented the text of the show’s press release below; it describes Savanna’s work in detail and provides RSVP information for the reception.

Savanna Barrett: The Dark Flowers
OPENING RECEPTION
September 25, 2014, 6pm–8pm
The Highline Loft
508 W. 26th Street, Fifth Floor, New York City

rsvp@oscillation.com

Savanna Barrett: The Dark Flowers, an exhibition of new paintings, opens at The Highline Loft, West Chelsea Arts Building this Thursday, September 25, 2014 from 6pm–8pm.

Informed by Barrett’s studies and reflections over a six year period in Europe, Asia, and the United States, the exhibition includes twenty new medium and large-format paintings often depicting abstract landscapes formed by intricately layered oil paint treated like clay. “The history of figure painting has generally been a story of the body, the nude, the portrait. The history of landscape painting has been one of the disappearance of the figure and erasing the presence of indigenous dwelling. In my work, I attempt to bring the trace of the figure into landscape, yet in a striking and visceral way,” said Barrett.

Barrett’s technique is an experimental process. “Oil paint has the characteristics of human skin, lending itself to be layered, scratched, and peeled. The wet undermost layer, the more viscous layer in the middle that’s semi-dry, and the outermost layer, which is dry to the touch but malleable. It can be wrinkled, crumpled, scraped into shapes that are three dimensional, ripped to reveal the colors underneath, and even massaged into a texture that looks like elephant hide. These attributes lend themselves to create new meaning during the process.”

In less than two years, Barrett has completed over twenty canvases including Mentor, Mentor II and Mentor III, Mothers’ Toll, and Those Who Roamed the Earth. In 2013, Mentor was selected from over 700 entries by the University of St. Gallen (HSG) in Switzerland, and exhibited as part of their contemporary art collection.

Mentor, a large scale 8’ x 10’ painting, represents not only a reflection of classical oil painting lighting technique, but also combines elements of abstraction into transcendent humanistic themes. “The painting is of a Cairn, a man-made stack of stones, reflecting on the human desire to leave evidence in their environment, just as my work documents the traces of its own evolution.”

From Bozeman, Montana and part of a family of artists, Barrett went on to study at Seattle Pacific University where she trained as a concert violinist, Palazzo Rucellai in Florence, Italy, and the Visual & Critical Studies Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. While studying in Italy, as a way to finance her art, she began modeling and worked with Valentino, Gucci, and Giambattista Valli, among other fashion companies.

The exhibition is presented at The Highline Loft, courtesy of Gloria Naftali, who remarked, “Savanna’s work has developed to the stage where it clearly needs more visibility and careful placement.”

The exhibition is organized by Christopher Romero, a noted Creative Director and Filmmaker. “Savanna’s work reinterprets what was once lost into newly found objects and representation. It immediately touches people with its combined subtlety and urgency.”

The exhibition will be open to the public from September 26-30 from 10am–4pm.

Press Inquiries, Lyn Winter, lyn@lynwinter.com or 213-446-0788

For more about the aforementioned painting Mentor, which is in the permanent collection of the University of St. Gallen (HSG) in Switzerland, visit this post from late last year.

This Monday evening, September 22: Pablo León de la Barra in Conversation with Carla Stellweg

de la barra

This Monday evening, the Visual & Critical Studies program will present “Pablo León de la Barra in Conversation with Carla Stellweg,” our second entry in this semester’s Art in the First Person lecture series.

Last June, after an intense traveling schedule visiting over 16 countries in Latin America, Pablo León de la Barra inaugurated Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today, an exhibition of over 50 works that closes on October 1, 2014 at the Guggenheim Museum, New York.

This conversation will cover the making of the exhibition, as well as Mr. León de la Barra’s idiosyncratic and peripatetic career that paved the way to the Guggenheim Museum’s initiative to include the art from Latin America in their permanent collection. Among the topics under consideration is Mr. León de la Barra’s unique combination of his architectural background with art making, and how this opens up surprising new exhibition models in spaces that are beyond convention.

“Pablo León de la Barra in Conversation with Carla Stellweg” will take place at SVA this Monday, September 22nd at 6:30 pm in Room 101C at 133 West 21 Street. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Recently, I wrote about a review of Under the Same Sun by VCS alumna Lucia Hinojosa that was published in the latest issue of The Brooklyn Rail. If you haven’t already seen it, you can find it here.

This Friday and Saturday: “Questioning Aesthetics” at Pratt Institute, presented by the Visual & Critical Studies program

QA

This Friday and Saturday (September 19-20), Pratt Institute will host the two-day symposium “Questioning Aesthetics” in partnership with SVA’s Art History and Visual & Critical Studies programs. The SVA events calendar contains the following information about the event:

A two-day symposium exploring new transdisciplinary research in aesthetics and celebrating the launch of the six-volume Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, second edition (Oxford University Press). Presented by SVA Art History and BFA Visual and Critical Studies in partnership with the Office of the Provost, the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Department of Social Science and Cultural Studies at Pratt Institute; The Center for Jazz Studies and The Edwin H. Case Chair in American Music at Columbia University; and Oxford University Press.

During the symposium, VCS department chair Tom Huhn will participate in the panel discussion “Participatory Aesthetics, Art, and Social Practice” on Saturday the 20th from 9:30 to 11:30 am, along with chair Catherine Soussloff (University of British Columbia) and panelists Michael Kelly (UNC Charlotte) and Mel Chin (North Carolina).

You can find a complete schedule of the symposium’s events at the Pratt Institute website.

“Questioning Aesthetics” takes place this Friday, September 19th and Saturday, September 20th in Room 307 of the Engineering Building at Pratt institute, located at 200 Willoughby Avenue in Brooklyn, New York (click here for a map and directions)

Lucia Hinojosa’s Brooklyn Rail review of “Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today”

The September 2014 issue of The Brooklyn Rail includes a review by VCS alumna Lucia Hinojosa of Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today, currently on display at the Guggenheim.

Here is a quote from the opening paragraphs of Lucia’s review:

Traditional notions of cultural identity—once determined by territorial borders and isolated means of communication—have been replaced by a global commonality, affecting the development of creative strategies and disparate cultural languages. This phenomenon has reached a distinct crescendo in Latin America, unfolding parallel to intellectual and artistic discourse. Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today, now on view at the Guggenheim, is a significant exhibition composed of many ideological hues, presented through a perceptive and highly curated lens. The impact of the socio-economic configuration on the creative development of the region is revealed through the artworks, and should be taken into consideration when experiencing the exhibition. Placing these myriad works in dialogue serves to intensify the distinctive social and political power dynamics that are at play, which are also compromised by the massive political import an institution such as the Guggenheim imposes on the works displayed.

BR914Mexican curator Pablo León de la Barra travelled for over a year around Latin America, visiting artists in their studios and collectives. Selecting artworks for the show could not have been an easy task, especially given the curator’s objective of presenting unique conceptual content and creative strategies within a region composed of over 15 countries. The exhibition presents works spanning many generations, from the 1960s to the present. Established artists such as Juan Downey, Alfredo Jaar, and Gabriel Orozco share the space with emerging artists like Amalia Pica and Adriano Acosta.

Lucia then moves on to consider the challenges inherent in a curating a broad, region-spanning show of this type, and discusses and analyzes several of the artworks included. You can read the rest of the review at The Brooklyn Rail.

I’ve written about Lucia before on the VCS blog, most recently for her involvement with the arts and literature magazine diSONARE, which she co-founded earlier this year.

One last note: this month’s Brooklyn Rail also includes an essay by VCS faculty member Kara Rooney, who served as guest art editor. I’ll return in a couple days with a post about Kara’s editorial and some of other writings that she brought together for the issue.

VCS and this semester’s Art in the First Person lecture series

aifp

Today’s post presents a calendar of the remaining VCS-sponsored events in the Fall 2014 Art in the First Person lecture series at SVA. This semester, the Visual & Critical Studies program will present a total of five lectures and panel discussions as part of the series (including last Monday’s talk on Isamu Noguchi). Here’s a description of the events still to come; all will be free and open to the public:

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Monday, September 22, 2014, 6:30pm
Pablo León de la Barra in Conversation with Carla Stellweg
133 West 21st Street, Room 101C

Last June, 2014 after an intense traveling schedule visiting over 16 countries in Latin America, Pablo León de la Barra inaugurated UNDER THE SAME SUN: ART FROM LATIN AMERICA TODAY, an exhibition of over 50 works that closes on October 1, 2014 at the Guggenheim Museum, New York.

This conversation will cover the making of the exhibition as well as Mr. León de la Barra’s idiosyncratic and peripatetic career that paved the way to the Guggenheim Museum’s initiative to include the art from Latin America in their permanent collection. Among the topics under consideration is Mr. León de la Barra’s unique combination of his architectural background with art making, and how this opens up surprising new exhibition models in spaces that are beyond convention.

 —

Monday, October 13, 2014, 6:30pm
Galia Solomonoff
133 West 21st Street, Room 101C

A talk by Galia Solomonoff, founder and creative director of the Solomonoff Architecture Studio. (Further details TBA)

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Monday, November 17, 2014, 6:30pm
No Fixed Address: Art as an Advocacy Tool for the Homeless
133 West 21st Street, Room 101C

Panelists:
Susan Craine, Director, Community and Corporate Programs, New York Cares
Moon, aka Alex Lowery, joined Theatre of the Oppressed as homeless actor 4 years ago
Katy Rubin, Founding Director, Theatre of the Oppressed NYC
Heidi Schmidt, Public Affairs Manager, Office of External Affairs, New York City Department of Homeless Services
Representative of Picture the Homeless

Moderator: William McAllister, Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Mellon Interdisciplinary Fellows Program/INCITE, Columbia University

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014, 7:00pm
“Zombie Formalism” and Other Recent Speculations in Abstraction
SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street

Panelists: Ryan Steadman; Walter Robinson; Stefan Simchowitz
Moderator: Amy Wilson

Abstraction has gone through numerous styles and changes since Kandinsky first practiced it over a century ago. Today, abstract art is hotter than it has been in years, capturing not only the attention of young artists but of the marketplace as well. In this panel, we will discuss the newest iterations of non-objective art and the trends that have emerged in that field. Why is there a resurgence of interest in abstraction, and why are collectors so captivated by it?

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I will post more details here about each of these events as it approaches.

In addition to the VCS-sponsored talks listed above, this semester’s lecture series will include 22 other lectures and panels sponsored by the MFA Art Practice, MPS Digital Photography, BFA Fine Arts, MFA Fine Arts, and BFA Photography Departments. To keep up on of all of the entries in the Fall 2014 Art in the First Person lecture series, visit this page on the SVA website.