Opening October 10: Feels Like Telepathy by Jennifer Paige Cohen at Nicelle Beauchene Gallery


Tomorrow evening (October 10) from 6 to 8 pm, Nicelle Beauchene Gallery will host the opening reception for the exhibition Feels Like Telepathy by VCS faculty member Jennifer Paige Cohen. The show’s press release [PDF] presents the following overview:

Deftly playing between the territories of the figurative and the abstract, Cohen’s sculptures draw attention to the constructions and productions of gesture. The artist casts plaster and found clothing over isolated parts of her own body and those of close friends. The impression of a single shoulder, a knee, or an elbow – enlivened by the colors, textures and patterns of oddball sweaters, trousers, and blouses – materializes both the presence and absence of an otherwise unidentified sitter. These unexpectedly heartbreaking works – strong, sensual – unhinge the distinctions between interior and exterior, and point to the complex dynamics that always entwine physical and psychological states.

Cohen’s sculptures also reflect her ongoing interrogations regarding the body’s shared systems of intuition, understanding and the power of the hand to heal and transform matter. What are the physical means of empathic transference? How does the haptic energetically connect bodies to one another, as well as to sculpture? Recurring allusions to armor and clothing suggest the barriers placed between a body and the world, whether for protection or seduction – yet these barriers are far from impenetrable.

You can see some of Cohen’s recent works at this page on the Nicelle Beauchene Gallery site.

Feels Like Telepathy will run from October 10 through November 9, 2014. Nicelle Beauchene Gallery is located at 327 Broome Street between Bowery & Chrystie in New York City. The gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday from 1 am to 6 pm or by appointment, and can be reached by e-mail at, or by phone at 212-375-8043.

Presenting the VCS Chair Reading for October 2014

The New Yorker, September 15, 2014Adorno and Benjamin, debating art in the technological age, sustained one of the twentieth century’s richest intellectual conversations. Credit: Illustration by Patrick Bremer / Left: Ullstein Bild / AKG; Right: Imagno / AKG

Here’s a message from VCS Department Chair Tom Huhn about this month’s VCS Chair Reading:

I’m very happy to recommend this Alex Ross New Yorker piece on Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno.  It’s informative and I think mostly fair.  For those of you who are more or less new to these two thinkers, I recommend this article as a good introduction to the two of them by way of a consideration regarding their views on the nature of popular culture.  I look forward to learning what you think of the article.

Announcing “Heroes” by Peter Hristoff at C.A.M Gallery in Istanbul, opening October 23rd

Work by Peter Hristoff from "Heroes (courtesy Peter Hristoff and C.A.M. Gallery)
Work by Peter Hristoff from “Heroes (courtesy Peter Hristoff and C.A.M. Gallery)

Starting on October 23rd, VCS faculty member Peter Hristoff will have a set of new artworks on display in the exhibition “Heroes” at C.A.M. Gallery in Istanbul, Turkey. The following description is quoted from the gallery’s press release (you can read the rest here).

C.A.M. Gallery is pleased to present “Heroes”, an exhibition of recent work by Istanbul born fine artist Peter Hristoff. Opening October 23, 2014, the exhibition is loosely inspired by the themes found in Homer’s “Odyssey” –homecoming, identity, exile and disguise. Combing references from Classical antiquity, current events, popular and military culture, the artist asks the question: “Who are our heroes?”. Hristoff will be showing recent paintings, works on paper and rugs. The artist has prepared the following statement about his work:

“My recent works are constructed similarly to a theatrical set. The narrative I am implying is the play, the picture plane is the stage. It is a surface on which various characters interact – appear, disappear and reappear – to reveal the subjects and ideas I am interested in: identity, ego, power, archetypes, religion, violence. The techniques I use to construct these images are methodical and time consuming. References are from live models, museum and art historical studies and popular culture. The phallo-centricity of the work both celebrates and ridicules the male ego. Images of classical Greco-Roman sculptures symbolize veterans of battles; silhouetted Porn stars with missing limbs replicate the statues of ancient heroes. I am interested in (and disheartened by) current events that repeat frightening historic scenarios. I will often pose live models and have them act-out the themes I am investigating. Photographs and drawings from these sessions are then translated into the stencils I carefully layer. Like the artistic predecessors I admire most, I am trying to make sense of this mortal coil, this slippery voyage we are on, together and alone.”

“Heroes” will open on October 23rd at C.A.M. Gallery in Istanbul, and will run through November 23rd. For more information, visit the C.A.M. Gallery website.

hristoff_peter_heroes-mixed media on acrilico paper-2014
Work by Peter Hristoff from “Heroes” (courtesy Peter Hristoff and C.A.M. Gallery)


peter_hristoff_mixed media on Acrilico Paper, 51.11 x 35.87cm,2014
Work by Peter Hristoff from “Heroes” (courtesy Peter Hristoff and C.A.M. Gallery)

Mossless magazine and Connor Calhoun at this weekend’s NY Art Book Fair

The title page for Mossless Issue Three: The United States (2003-2013)
The title page for Mossless Issue Three: The United States (2003-2013)

This weekend, VCS alumnus Romke Hoogwaerts and his publishing partner Grace Leigh will have a table at the ninth annual NY Art Book Fair, presented by Printed Matter. Here’s the announcement that Romke and Grace sent out earlier this week:

If you’re in New York tonight or this weekend, head to Queens to the New York Art Book Fair at PS1, come say hello and check out our new book. We’ll have that, The United States (2003-2013), as well as our older titles and editions. We’re inside this year on the second floor of the main building. It is one of the best and most fun events of the year, you shouldn’t miss this one. So grab a guide and come find us at table w04, we’ll be there all weekend.

I’ve also heard from VCS Department Chair Tom Huhn that works by student Connor Calhoun be on display at The School of Visual Arts table during the fair.

The United States (2003-2013)
Pages from The United States (2003-2013)

You can read a little more about Romke and Grace’s magazine Mossless and Issue Three: The United States (2003-2013) at the following links:

The NY Art Book Fair will run through this Sunday, September 28th at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, Queens. For a schedule, directions, and information on participating exhibitors, visit the NY Art Book Fair website.


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
September 25, 2014, 6pm–8pm
The Highline Loft
508 W. 26th Street, Fifth Floor, New York City

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, 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.