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Notes and observations by karley klopfenstein

Spring Season of MFA Exhibitions

Spring is in the air, and in New York that means MFA exhibitions. Institutions like Columbia University, the New York Studio School, SVA (School of the Visual Arts,) The New York Academy, Queens College, Brooklyn College, Rutgers, The New School, SUNY Purchase, Pratt, and NYU all present shows of eager new talents.  Hunter College is an exception as they held their exhibition in December and January.

Dale Klein, who is receiving her MFA in painting from Rutgers in New Jersey, is not the traditional eager young beaver: she decided to pursue her BFA and MFA after a career in social work.  “Following a life-long passion for One class just led to another, and then I thought I might want to teach,” she said. Klein plans to continue her studio practice in Boston while her husband gets his graduate degree, but then hopes to move back to New York..  In addition to the thesis show for its graduating class at the campus gallery at the Mason Gross School of the ArtsRutger’s partnered with White Box Gallery on the Lower East Side of New Yok for a show called “Off the Map.” Klein is thrilled about the opportunity for New York exposure in a well-respected venue.  A non-traditional student,

Here is a list of MFA shows this season.

March 24 – April 4
Queens College Department of Art MFA Exhibition at Dorsky Gallery
11-03 45th Ave, Long Island City, 718 937 6317.
April 1 – May 2
Off the Map: Rutgers MFA Graduates
White Box Gallery
329 Broome Street. 212 714 2347.

April 5 – April 30
MFA Graduation Exhibition Series
SUNY Purchase College School of the Arts
Richard & Dolly Maass Gallery in the Visual Arts Building
735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase NY, 914 251 6753.

April 6 - May 17
MFA Thesis Exhibition 2010
New York University Steinhardt School Department of Art and Art Professions
80 Washington Square East, 212 998 5747.

April 29 – May 2
MFA Design + Technology
Parsons The New School for Design
Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery
66 Fifth Avenue at 13th Street.

April 30 – May 15
Selections from Thesis Projects in the MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Department
School of the Visual Arts
601 West 26 Street, 15th Floor. 212 592 2145.

May 2 – May 23
Columbia University School of the Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition at the Fisher Landau Center
38-37 30th Street. 718 937 0727.

May 11 – May 23
2010 MFA Diploma Exhibition
New York Academy of Art
111 Franklin Street. 212 966 0300.

May 12 – May 26
MFA Thesis Exhibition
New York Studio School
8 West 8th Street. 212 673 6466.

May 14 – 24
MFA Fine Arts at The Kitchen
Parsons The New School for Design
512 West 19th Street. 212 255 5793.

May 14 – June 5
Pratt M.F.A. 2010
Pratt Manhattan Gallery
144 West 14th Street, 2nd floor. 212 647 7778

May 7 – June 7
Brooklyn College MFA Thesis Exhibition at Williamsburg Art and Historical Center
135 Broadway at Bedford. 718 486 7372.

August 21 – September 11
MFA Photography
Parsons The New School for Design
Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries
66 Fifth Avenue at 13th Street.

New Curators at P.S. 1 and The Drawing Center

Two major New York institutions have announced changes in their chief curators: P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center and The Drawing Center.

P.S. 1 Director Klaus Biesenbach announced that Peter Eleey will assume the role of Curator, effective July 1.  Eleey is currently the Visual Arts Curator at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, a position he has held since 2007.  Prior to joining the Walker, he was the Curator and Producer at Creative Time, New York from 2002-2007.

As Curator, Eleey will organize exhibition and public programs and will oversee the curatorial staff.  Additionally, he will work with the Director, staff and Board Members on the development of the long-range plan for the Long Island City institution.

At the Walker, Eleey organized exhibitions such as “The Talent Show” which is open now through August 15.  This exhibition examines a range of complicated relationships that have emerged between artists, audiences and participants in light of the competing desires for notoriety and privacy that mark our present cultural moment.  This is an especially relevant area of artistic exploration being discussed now as Marina Abramovic’s exhibition at MoMA titled The Artist is Present crosses boundaries with the audience…and they cross back.  MoMA recently reported that several guests were asked to leave the exhibition after touching the nude performers.

During his tenure at Creative Time, Eleey was responsible for organizing several stellar multidisciplinary projects and events, notably Cai Guo-Qiang’s pyrotechnic event Light Cycle (2003) in Central Park and Doug Aitken’s Sleepwalkers (2007) which consisted of large projections onto the MoMA’s façade told the stories of ordinary New Yorkers (played by hip celebrities and musician like Tilda Swinton and Chan Marchall).  This project was commissioned jointly with MoMA and co-curated by P.S. 1 Director Klaus Biesenbach.

At the Drawing Center, Dr. Claire Gilman has been appointed to the post of Curator, announced Executive Director Brett Littman.  Gilman joins The Drawing Center with a PhD in Art History from Columbia University, and replace Joao Ribas who is now curator at the MIT List Visual Arts Center.

Gilman served as a curatorial fellow at the Museum of Modern Art from 2002-2006, where she worked on scholarly exhibitions such as Edvard Munch: The Modern Life of the Soul, Greater New York, and Atre Povera: Selections from the Sonnabend Collection.

Shehas taught art history and critical theory at Columbia, the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard, and has written for the Art Journal, Freize, October and elsewhere.

The Drawing Center is the only non-profit institution in the country that focuses solely on the exhibition of historical and contemporary drawing, as Gilman acknowledges, and“combines a breadth of scope with a specificity of vision that is unparalleled.  I am thrilled to be joining this unique institution with its history of innovative, investigative programming and its commitment to interrogating the role of drawing throughout history and today.”

Gallery nights: Concurrent Openings of Adjacent Galleries

Last October, 64 Galleries around the 57th Street Art District stayed open late on the same night, offering a staggering array of painting, sculpture, video, photography and elbow rubbing and hobnobbing. In May, seven Madison Avenue Galleries are having a private, invitation-only viewing night of their exhibitions titled “Masterworks of Six Centuries.”

It seems curious that this doesn’t happen more often.  Many cities have a single “gallery night” of the month and organize their exhibitions to open and close around these highly attended events.  While New York City is too big for such a feat of organization, it would seem advantageous for gallery-intensive neighborhoods to do this.

Dumbo is doing a good job with their “First Thursday” opening schedule.  Participating galleries include Smack Mellon, the Dumbo Art Center, the Galleries at 111 Front Street (like the A.I.R. Gallery, Amos Eno, Central Booking) and more.  Williamsburg is trying as well--many galleries are having their openings on Fridays, but not all and not the same Friday.

Pace Splits with Wildenstein

After 17 years, the gallery we have known as PaceWildenstein will be no more.  In April 2010, Pace and Wildenstein announced that the partnership has been amicably dissolved. The Pace Gallery, regaining its independence, The contemporary is also celebrating its 50th year. The two companies jointly stated that they would continue to pursue business opportunities together.

Pace will continue its powerhouse programs at its three locations in New York (545 West 22nd Street and 534 West 25th Street in Chelsea as well as 32 East 57th Street) and, most recently, Pace Beijing, a spacious 22,000 square foot venue in the center of Beijing’s Art Disctict.

The gallery was founded by Arne Glimcher in 1960 in Boston, relocating to New York three years later.  The founder’s son, Marc Glimcher joined the gallery as Associate Director in 1985 and took over as President in 1993.  That same year, Pace partnered with Wildenstein & Co., an Old Master dealer.  The partnership offered the organization the potential to show works from the Renaissance to the present.

The Pace Gallery represents some of the most important modern and contemporary artists and their estates: Chuck Close, Jim Dine, Barbara Hepworth, David Hockney, Robert Irwin, Donald Judd, Maya Lin, Agnes Martin, Elizabeth Murray, James Turrell, Fred Wilson.
Current exhibitions include solo shows from Antoni Tapies at 57th Street; Kiki Smith at the West 22nd Street location in Chelsea, and  Joel Shapiro at the 25th Street venue in Chelsea. 04/11/10

The Painting Center Moves to Chelsea

After 16 years in SoHo, the Painting Center opens its doors in Chelsea at a new location at 547 West 27th Street on the 5th Floor.  Their inaugural show opens on April 13 with a group invitational show titled Continuing Color Abstraction, curated by Rella Stuart-Hunt the main gallery and Phillis Ideal: Recent Paintings in the Project Room.

The move was precipitated by in increase in rent at the old location, which members and the Board of Advisors decided to turn into an opportunity to seek a more advantageous location.  They share the 547 West 27th Street building with many other prestigious galleries including Cheim & Read, Aperture, Ceres Gallery, Dinter Fine Art, Hendershot, Flomenhaft, Foley, M.Y. Art Prospects, Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, Sputnik Gallery, Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Soho 20 and more.

The Painting Center members and Advisory Board are excited and energized by the move and hope the new, more accessible location will allow them to broaden the audience and develop new outreach and education initiatives.  The Painting Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to the exploration of painting in all its forms.  Founded in 1993 by 12 painters, the Center hosts approximately 20 exhibitions per year and plans to continue its commitment to support the work of emerging, mid-career and under-represented artists; and continue its legacy as a vital and dynamic place for painters and those who love painting.  04/11/10

American Academy of Arts and Letters Announces New Members and Award Recipients

Each year, the American Academy of Arts and Letters honors of 50 composers, artists, architects and writers with cash awards ranging from $5000 to $75,000.  This year’s winners are to be announced in a private ceremony that takes place on May 16, 2010.  In addition, four Honorary Members will be inducted into the Academy: the actress Meryl Streep, conductor and pianist James Levine, and architects Fumihiko Maki (Japan) and Alvaro Siza (Portugal).  New members of the Academy are Tania Leon, composer and conductor; Fred Lerdahl, composer; Thom Mayne, architect; authors Thomas McGuane, Richard Powers, Francine Prose and Marilynne Robinson; visual artists Thomas Nozkowski, and Peter Saul.

The Academy is a honor society of 250 members whose purpose is to foster and sustain an interest in Literature, Music, and the Fine Arts by identifying and encouraging individual artists by administering awards and prizes, exhibiting art, funding stage projects, and purchasing works to be donated to museums.  It was modeled after the Académie française, and met for the first time in 1899.  Its initial seven members included Mark Twain, John Hay and Edward McDowell.

Visual artists receiving awards this year are Gabrielle Bakker, William Christenberry, Aaron Gilbert, John Grade, Lothar Osterburg, Julianne Swartz, Tom Uttech, and Stanley Whitney.  In addition, 16 works were chosen for purchase, to be donated to American museums. Committees, whose members are drawn from the Academy’s roster, chose the award recipients.  Candidates for awards are nominated by an Academician (with the exception of the Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater).

The Academy of Arts and Letters is located at 633 West 155 Street in buildings designed by .  The Galleries, which exhibit works by members, are located on Audubon Terrace and may be accessed through the gates between 155 and 156 Streets on the west side of Broadway.

Kenneth Noland Estate is now represented by Mitchell-Innes & Nash

New York gallery Mitchell-Innes & Nash announced that it now exclusively represents the estate of American Color Field painter Kenneth Noland.

Noland, who died in January 2010 of kidney cancer in his home in Port Clyde, Maine, was one of the best-known Color Field painters to emerge in the 1960s. Art critic Clement Greenberg championed Noland’s signature stripes and chevrons on unprimed canvas for their clarity and the energy of color.

Noland studied under Joseph Albers at Black Mountain College in North Carolina and was part of the generation of American artists that succeeded the Abstract Expressionists, which included Helen Frankenthaler and Morris Louis.  Later in life, he developed great friendships with Anthony Caro, Paul Freeley and Jules Olitski, all of whom taught at Bennington College, VT.

The artist was honored in 1977 by a major retrospective which was shown first at the Guggenheim museum in New York and then traveled to the Hirshorn Museum in Washington DC, the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio.
Mitchell-Innes & Nash plan to mount its first solo exhibition of the artists work in 2011.  The gallery is located at 1018 Madison Avenue between East 78th and 79th Street and 534 West 26th Street in Chelsea.

Memorial Celebrates Life and Work of Nancy Spero (1926-2009)

Cooper Union hosted a public commemoration of the life and work of Nancy Spero, pioneering feminist artist, on April 18, at 3pm. Speakers were slated to include friends, artists, arts professionals and writers: Benjamin Buchloh, Donna De Salvo, writer Christopher Lyon, Bartomeu Marí, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Kiki Smith, Robert Storr, and Nora York, among others, although the volcano dust crisis curtailed the visits of several of the Europeans.

Nancy Spero was born in Cleveland and lived in Paris before settling in Manhattan, where she died in October at the age of 83. Her figurative work since the 1960’s unapologetically addressed the pervasive abuse of power, Western entitlement, male dominance, and the realities of political violence, especially against women.  She is regarded as an iconic figure and a leading feminist artist.  She was featured in the award winning series “Art 21."

In partnership with husband Leon Golub, her politically committed work he was incredibly influential to several generations of artists, including Kiki Smith.

Joan Mitchell Remembered in a Three-Day Symposium

A three-day symposium in New Orleans celebrates the life and work of Joan Mitchell April 9-11, 2010.  Co-organized by Tulane University’s Newcomb Art Gallery and the Joan Mitchell Foundation, this gathering will feature art historians, friends of Mitchell and film screenings.  Additionally, three exhibitions bring together the three major bodies of her work: paintings at the New Orleans Museum of Art; works on paper at the Newcomb Art Gallery; and Prints at the Contemporary Arts Center.

Born in Chicago in 1925, Joan Mitchell moved to New York in 1950 where she lived and worked among artists and poets of the New York School.  Already well recognized as an important abstract expressionist painter, she left New York in the late 1950’s and moved to a Parisian suburb of Vetheuil, where she worked prolifically until her death in 1992. Her expressive works exude the visual sentiments of nature-devoid of anecdote or theater and in her own words "to convey the feeling of the dying sunflower." Mitchell composes with long curvilinear strokes or broad stains of color, contrasting warm and cool, often on unprimed, large-scale or multi-panel canvases.

Guest speakers included Ann Gibson, Ph.D. and Professor in the Department of Art History at the University of Delaware; Irving Sandler, Ph.D., art critic, historian and professor Emeritus of Art History at the State University of New York; Robert Storr, artist, art critic and Professor of Painting/Printmaking at Yale University; and Mâkhi Xenakis, artist and author.



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