CURATED BY DAVID GIBSON and KEREN MOSCOVITCH
Christie Blizard and Steven Page, Stephanie Halmos, Cate Holt, Mary Murphy,Max Razdow, Adrianne Rubenstein, Hagar Sadan, Pam Saturday, Jennifer Shepard, Gabriel Shuldiner, Meg Thompson, Miryana Todorova and Ashley Omahne, Tyler Vipond, Sarah Vollman, Cay Yoon
School of Visual Arts (SVA) presents “Abstract Intentions,” an exhibition of work by former participants in the Summer Residency Programs in the Division of Continuing Education. Curated by David Gibson, faculty member, and Keren Moscovitch, coordinator of the Summer Residency Programs.
“Abstraction is a verb, an activity, an action,” says Moscovitch in elaborating on the exhibition’s title. “These artists all use their materials in new and unexpected ways and create tools out of substance. The camera no longer captures what exists in the world, but takes advantage of optic and chemical processes to fool the eye into seeing pattern where none previously existed. Paint jumps off the canvas and contorts itself into sculpture. Object becomes line. Form opens up into meaning that is understood on a deep visceral level.”
Co-curator Gibson explains: “This is an exhibition about the idiosyncrasies of studio practice, about going into an empty room and gestating a work of art?something that did not exist before, something inspired, possibly elegant and unintended, before the moment that a space for creativity was available. The studio acts like a blank page in a typewriter, creating a void into which ideas can flow. The fact that it is both spatial and tactile creates a psychological directness which encourages innovation. This occurred to me in considering how so many people could enter the same space and see completely different things. Everywhere else in the city we are at the mercy of our senses, overwhelmed by noise, people moving about, sounds, smells. But the artist has a special way of looking at the world, an indirect and ambiguous way, devoid of sensibleness, looking into dark corners. The studio makes this possible.”
The exhibition includes a collaborative acrylic-on-wood work by Christie Blizzard and Steven Page that is the result of a long-distance correspondence between the two artists which began in 2007. Also on view is Stephanie Halmos’ photographic series Color Studies, in which the artist, inspired by the minimalist painters of the 1960s and 1970s, explores the basic elements of traditional photography: time and light. Cate Holt’s oil-and-charcoal painting Snogged is composed of layers of paint meant to give the viewer a sense of flesh and the body. Madison Omahne and Miryana Todorova’s video Cake Delivery chronicles a 2009 performance by the artists that engages the constant movement of New York City’s streets. Cay Yoon’s archival ink jet print Maladaptive examines identity in contemporary culture.
Among the other participating artists, Max Razdow makes paintings to explore psychic states, mining imagery from comic books, myth, dreams and fantasies. Hagar Sadan’s work takes the detritus of everyday life - such as garbage, shopping bags and receipts - and transforms it into a gestural and idiomatic language of form. Gabriel Shuldiner uses oil paint as his primary medium, either slathered over objects or applied to surfaces, with the intention of giving an earthy flesh to all manner of found objects, so that they can be viewed as fine art or trash. Meg Thompson mines the material folklore of so-called “Big Sky” country, a region in the Western U.S. characterized by the seasonal activities of animal husbandry and harvesting of crops, to build scenarios inside Mason jars that ask what it means to be American. Tyler Vipond makes collages that combine the abstract and decorative elements found in comic books and skateboards with taped lines that call attention to the negative space surrounding randomly selected and generally anonymous images of friends at parties.
The exhibition also includes work by Orla Campbell, Bill Durgin, Emily Henretta, Daniel Kayne, Mary Murphy, Cadine Navarro, Adrianne Rubenstein, Pam Saturday, Jennifer Shepard, and Sarah Vollman.
Now in its third decade, SVA’s Summer Residency Programs offer emerging and mid-career artists time, space and a supportive community in which to develop ideas and focus on their artistic direction. This internationally recognized program’s unique combination of creative and professional resources provides a rich environment for growth and opportunity in the current vibrant art scene.