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Ten recent graduates of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) MFA Painting Program are debuting their work at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts in Chelsea. The thesis exhibition reveals, through a few pieces, each of the emerging artists’ perspectives.
The online exhibition text, which is a bit heavy on artspeak, cites a few themes as “attempts to reverse-mirror the everyday, the felt contradiction that often what’s perceived as more personal is more easily and collectively valued when shared; a sense of social responsibility,” adding that they “seem to be trying to make sense of the world around them via art’s capacity to contest the very privilege of a worldview.” It’s a roundabout way of saying that their work is perhaps very aware of a viewer’s perception, and its place in the art world. And there does seem to be an affirmation of a lot of the dominant trends currently in contemporary art, with heavy abstraction, intensely layered and gravity-defying paint, and a playfulness with unorthodox materials while still creating within the boundaries of the right-angled traditional canvas.
Viewing the exhibition, there may not be many moments of surprise or extreme experimentation, but there are several standouts. Whitney Oldenburg’s two pieces — “Unpeeled” (2015) and “Hurt” (2014) — mix everything from acrylic to rocks and car polish in huge textural assemblages that have a tactile messiness giving them a visual edge, and Irmak Canevi’s “Burkhard Heim Suspects That One Shouldn’t Fly But Fall, He May Prove Right” (2015) is a grid of found materials, some arranged in configurations like small machines, suggesting (through its name and design) the deciphering of some theoretical physics puzzle.
In the back room, Anthony Bragg’s “New Fire (shelves)” (2014-15) is an illuminated tower of yule logs that contrasts its fake fires against his small, studied “Rope” (2014) of two climbers in the snowy outdoors, and just across Jon Merritt’s “Arboreal Model” series of acrylic on panel works deftly take an 8-bit style to tree totem shapes.
Below are more photographs of the work on view from the recent RISD MFA painting graduates.
Rhode Island School of Design MFA Painting Program Thesis Exhibition continues at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts (529 West 20th Street, Suite 6W, Chelsea, Manhattan) through August 15.
“Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants—11.3 per 1,000 black babies, compared with 4.9 per 1,000 white babies, according to the most recent government data—a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were…
he ownership of images has a long and nuanced legal history, which has evolved dramatically in recent years as cultural standards and photographic technologies have rapidly advanced
The show, which honors the 50th anniversary of an exhibition history once ignored, continues a series of projects documenting Wilmington’s contemporary art scene.
Renty and his daughter Delia. Renty was an enslaved African, kidnapped from the Congo, sold and forced into slave labor on the South Carolina plantation of B.F. Taylor
What is the relation between possessing a person, possessing their image, and dispossessing their progeny
As a scholar of African American history and photography whose work has focused on the status of violent images in museums and archives, I fully support the validity of Ms. Tamara Lanier’s claim and the amicus brief.
Two K-12 art teachers will each receive a $1,000 cash gift and an additional $500 to put toward classroom art supplies. Nominations are due October 31.
The daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor, Delia, Drana, Alfred, Jack, George Fassena, and Jem remained in an unused storage cabinet until 1975, when it was discovered by an employee of the Peabody Museum.
I am writing in support of the amicus curiae brief submitted by Professor Ariella Aïsha Azoulay of Brown University for the full restitution of the daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor and his daughter Delia, currently held by Harvard University, to their familial descendant, Tamara Lanier.
We cannot be indifferent to the long-lasting effects of photography. The photographs at the center of Lanier v. Harvard are relentless in making Renty and Delia Taylor work and perform as slaves. The pain inflicted on them has not ceased. Photography has the capacity to propagate harm, and we have the moral obligation to interrupt…