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Saturday, June 6th, 2015

A Prize Interview


Mary Claire Ramirez, Stereotype (Stage Left and Stage Right), 2015. Archival inkjet prints, each 40 x 32 inches. Courtesy of the Artist

Mary Claire Ramirez, Stereotype (Stage Left and Stage Right), 2015. Archival inkjet prints, each 40 x 32 inches. Courtesy of the Artist

We like to think that all the dialogues, roundtables and exchanges that we publish at artcritical are special in their own way: a scoop, some unique insights, an inspired gathering of wits.  But the latest entry in the “Studio Visit” category is quite literally a prize feature. The conversation between Philadelphia-based artists Michael Gallagher and Mary Claire Ramirez is the first artcritical prize offered at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.  Amongst the travel grants and other awards dispensed by faculty at the final MFA reviews that precede the Annual Student Exhibition at the Philadelphia institution (the nation’s oldest art academy) is a new prize that consists of editorial exposure in these pages.  Mary Claire Ramirez and her interviewer,  painter and Assistant Professor at PAFA Michael Gallagher, explore the hybrid nature of her work, the implications of the 2D-3D distinction, and the active role the viewer must play in making sense of her production.

artcritical is delighted and honored to extend its collaboration with the Pennsylvania Academy in this way.  David Cohen, our publisher and editor, is a Senior Visiting Critic in their MFA program, and the institution has for three years hosted The Review Panel Philadelphia  in which, coincidentally, Gallagher has participated.  The Review Panel has been described by theartblog.org as “the highlight of formal art criticism in Philadelphia.”

Frank Bramblett, Dive In, 2001. Acrylic paints, marble dust, charcoal, and photographs on canvas on panel, 90 x 72 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Frank Bramblett, Dive In, 2001. Acrylic paints, marble dust, charcoal, and photographs on canvas on panel, 90 x 72 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Our readers in Philadelphia have this weekend to catch the 114th Annual Student Exhibition at PAFA, which also includes graduating students from the BFA and Certificate programs there.  Ramirez is also participating in a group exhibition in New York City, “And Many More,” of nine graduating MFA students selected by the recently appointed Curator of Contemporary Art at PAFA, Jodi Throckmorton, at 33 Orchard on the Lower East Side, opening June 17.

Philadelphia coverage also extends to Edward Epstein’s review of the Frank Bramblett exhibition at the Woodmere Art Museum, on view through June 21. Dialogue, meanwhile, abounds at artcritical in multiple forms.  Associate Editor Noah Dillon continues his series of exchanges with artists and art world personnel focused on single, and singular, works in New York museums, Tell Me.  In the latest, painter Daniel Herr joins him to look at Willem de Kooning’s Easter Monday (1955 – 56) in the Met.

And check back soon for our next Studio Visit when Elena Sisto interviews Lisa Hoke on the occasion of her first solo show with Pavel Zoubok currently on view in Chelsea.


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