Faculty Exhibition: Chris Esposito, “Material Elements”

Painting professor Chris Esposito will be showing new works at Amos Eno Gallery May 30-June 23, 2019.

In Material Elements, Esposito continues his exploration of geometric abstraction through familiar materials in wall works and sculpture. The title refers to the raw materials that are permitted to remain identifiable throughout a meticulous construction process. Collecting and preserving found materials aligns the work with Arte Povera and Dada movements, but holds fast to the material life of workaday objects. Elevating humble materials to fine art highlights the latent meaning in the objects around us and proffers a rejection of the shiny and new.

The forms in the exhibition pursue Esposito’s art historical engagement with Kazimir Malevich, reflecting current political and cultural situations only in subtle metaphorical ways. As culture has become increasingly obsessed with the image on social media etc., Esposito has stopped working with images entirely. Instead, handcrafted geometric forms produce meaning more directly, asking viewers to question what is valued and what is wasted. Works in the exhibition present an apotheosis of materials that makes us wonder; where does value originate?

An opening reception will be held on Friday, May 31 from 7-9 PM at the gallery’s location at 56 Bogart Street in Brooklyn, NY.

In the news: Award for professor Diana Schoenbrun

Congratulations to illustration professor Diana Schoenbrun for winning the Gold Medal in the special format category for her comic “Subway Friends” at the 2019 MoCCa Arts Festival!

The MoCCA Arts Festival is a 2-day multimedia event, Manhattan’s largest independent comics, cartoon and animation festival, drawing over 7,000 attendees each year. With 400 exhibiting artists displaying their work, award-winning honorees speaking about their careers and artistic processes and other featured artists conducting workshops, lectures and film screenings, our Festival mission accelerates the advancement of the Society of Illustrator’s broader mission to serve as Manhattan’s singular cultural institution promoting all genres of illustration through exhibitions, programs and art education. The 2019 MoCCA Arts Festival will take place April 6-7th, 2019 at Metropolitan West in New York City with programming mere steps away at Ink48 (653 11th Ave).

To see more of Diana Schoenbrun’s work, visit her website!

In the news: New book by art history professor Lawrence Waldron

Congratulations to Professor Waldron for the publication of his latest book! Pre-Columbian Art of the Caribbean is a comprehensive art historical survey of the main archipelago, from Trinidad to Cuba, over some 2,500 years of ceramics, sculpture and carvings, personal adornment, rock art and ritual spaces, with an epilogue that touches on the unexpected living legacies of pre-Columbian Caribbean architecture and furniture in the region and the world at large.

Abundantly illustrated, this volume is a pioneering survey of the ancient art of the entire Caribbean region. While previous studies have focused on the Greater Antilles—Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica—this is the first book also to include the islands of the eastern Caribbean and their ties to pre-Columbian Venezuela.   
 
Lawrence Waldron examines ceramics, ritual spaces, sculpture, and personal adornment from the ancient Saladoid era to the later, better-known Taíno period. Analyzing the symbolism, aesthetics, and cultural contexts of objects including ceremonial pots, rock art, stone effigy belts, and jewelry, he illuminates continuities and innovations in imagery and ideology across time and space. He draws attention to the legacies of Amerindian visual and material culture in the architecture and furniture of the present-day Caribbean, arguing that the region’s ancient art history is rich and worthy of attention.  

Interested in learning more about Caribbean Art? Professor Waldron will be teaching an art history course focusing on this subject for Fall 2019, in his new course offering for ARTH 200 – STUDIES IN THE HISTORY OF ART. The course will meet Wednesdays 1:40-4:30pm. Seats for this class are limited, so register soon!

New book by Professor Matthew Thurber!

Congratulations to Design professor Matthew Thurber on the publication of his new graphic novel, Art Comic! There will be a book tour in support of publication, including a stop in Brooklyn at Desert Island on Oct. 4th.

Publisher’s Weekly praised Thurber’s book with the following: “Those who inhabit the world of fine art would do well to steer clear of this latest effort by Thurber, as they’ll quickly realize what a magnificent job it does of skewering their milieu. Originally published as a series of comic pamphlets, Art Comic begins with a cast of characters in the final stages of art school. Their teacher alternately encourages and berates them, demanding originality and integrity while questioning how he ended up in his soul-destroying occupation. But Thurber’s criticism extends beyond the classroom, taking aim at art criticism, the realities of the working artist, and the suppression of new talent. Thurber’s colorful, cartoonish creations are pitch perfect for the subject, their exaggerated mannerisms underscoring the frivolous and mercurial field.”

To read more about Art Comic and pick up a copy, visit Drawn & Quarterly!

Faculty Exhibition: Chloe Bass, “Book of Everyday Instruction”

All are invited to attend the opening reception of Chloë Bass’s show The Book of Everyday Instruction on Saturday, April 21st, 6:00-9:00pm. The exhibition will show at The Knockdown Center in Maspeth, Queens from April 21st – June 17th, with special programming and events during the show.

Friday, May 25, 7:00 pm: Couples Counseling for Artists and Institutions Workshop + Book Launch
Sunday, June 3, 5:00pm: A Field Guide to Spatial Intimacy Workshop
Thursday, June 14 , 7:00pm: Protect and Preserve Lecture Performance + Closing Party

Knockdown Center presents Chloë Bass: The Book of Everyday Instruction, an eight-chapter investigation of one-on-one social interaction, exploring an expanded understanding of pairing. On view for the first time in its entirety, the exhibition includes all eight major projects developed by Bass between January 2015 and January 2018 as well as additional interventions created in response to Knockdown Center’s public spaces outside of the gallery. Coinciding with the exhibition, the project will also be released as a book, published by The Operating System, and designed and edited by Lynne Desilva-Johnson.

Bass uses daily life as a site of research to study the modes and scales of intimacy, locating where patterns hold and break as group sizes expand. Her works prioritize the fostering and observing of everyday interpersonal situations, and take a variety of forms across photography, text, video, sculpture, performance, a mobile phone app, poetic modes of documentation, and site-specific interventions. Presented in sequential chapters, each with its own central question and focus, Bass’ inquiries expand in scale and scope; she begins with an investigation of intimacy between herself and a stranger, and expands outward to study the relationships between individuals and their safe spaces, institutions, and finally cities.

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