Each day throughout August 2020, an invited arts professional selected three graduates to highlight. Browse the archive of viewing recommendations here.
Lately, I’ve been spending more time looking at art on screens, be it moving images for the screen or images of art for posterity. I would imagine the works by Chenyu Lin, Zheng Ang, and Gloria Fan Duan are made especially with the screen in mind, a window to distinct sensory experiences. They are either amusing ways of making and showing art, or inducing anxiety in a riotous space, or being a self-enclosed aesthetic system.
These artists bring fantasy and opulence. Through adornment and felt handling of material, they reimagine how we relate to both our bodies and the bodies around us. In a six-feet-apart moment, their tender decadence offers sensuality, intimacy and escape.
Living in a low-lying, island nation on the front line of climate change, I am drawn to works that mine the relationship of man to the earth, of how we represent it, how we manipulate it, how we live in it. The observation of nature and landscape has a long history as a genre, but seems even more relevant today and these three artists approach it with curiosity, and ingenuity. Honourable mention to Leasho Johnson.
These works jumped out at me for their joy, for the obvious pleasure that the maker takes in the process of making with other persons and other things of the world, for the idea of playful composition and experimentation embodied in them, for the presence of material-based thinking, for the risks and the vulnerability implied, for the ways in which bodies meet the world. In each case there seem to be profound questions being asked about what the limits of the work are and what sorts of categories and ways of looking and being in the world can be transformed through the work of art.
Lately I’ve been into the aesthetics of nature in art and reassigning meaning to natural objects. I was very drawn to works by these three artists for this very reason—I found that they all used nature to bring to light a memory, or to change the way we perceive something.
Each of these artists—Cassidy Early, Dominique Knowles, and Yvonne Martinez—exhibit strong and clearly articulated visions. With each, I feel like I’m seeing work I haven’t seen before, confident voices I’m enjoying experiencing now, virtually, and will look forward to tracking into the future, hopefully in real space.
All three of these graduates present visually striking works that reward viewers upon deeper inquiry. Surana’s ‘Sensing Food’ collection is rooted in the orthodoxy of design but embraces sensation, nostalgia, and sentimentality. Villaseñor-Marchal’s fiber works integrate deeply personal narratives and techniques with fantastical, enigmatic forms. Johnson addresses identity and representation in bold, dynamic paintings that are probing, contemplative, and absolutely electrifying.
These artists move beyond “selfie,” toward personal reflection as proposition. Self as homing device in an uncertain time (even before “these uncertain times”). Narrative and individual vantage operate as centering propositions, not end points. Self as pivot to recognize other and premise to observe, and to contaminate seemingly firm delineations of other.
Subjectivity here is a road toward connection. Self reflection not as narcissus enraptured, but reflection as map-making, one data point toward plurality.
I was really drawn to these works because of the manipulation and distorting of the image, which is displayed differently across these three artists work and the material/medium they work with. I love the photo realism of Weiner’s work replicated on fiber, but especially love the unraveled and unfinished look of the bottom, and dismemberment of the figures. Similarly, I am drawn to the ambiguity of the figures presented in Johnson’s work, the black body, and the combination of different colors, textures and configurations that make up the whole. I am particularly interested in Carter-Rankin’s work and the process of deterioration, and the ties to archival footage and memory, along with the scale and presentation.
Congratulations to all of the artists, designers, and scholars from the SAIC Graduate Class of 2020! What a significant moment for you, and candidly, the world. While reviewing all the impressive work in this virtual showcase, three examples strike me as particularly relevant, thoughtful, and intellectually stimulating. They share a common thread. Perhaps in a virtual world I am drawn to the tactile? Thank you all for sharing your talents.
I was drawn to these 3 artists primarily because of their process and adaptation of materials. Their choice of everyday materials and use of language is transformed poetically into image that evokes new understanding of our everyday surroundings.
In addition to the three artists selected here, Sam Link and Tim Karoleff are collaborators, so please check out both their pages. And honorable mention also goes to John Anderson.
I was drawn to Dabin, Théo, and Ricardo’s work for both the formality and playfulness immediately present when viewing their portfolios. These practices are indicative of the skills, subjects, and quality of vision I gravitate towards in my own collecting and exhibiting practice.
It seems to me that the problem of covid is the ability of verification. Another problem is its hierarchy. I was searching, when studying these graduates’ works, for a sign of a particular critical knowledge of society as part of normal life. because in performance of life, after corona (pac), the question of art is how to create a new practice, for equality to be perceptible any more. to me this is what this group presents.
As a specialist in craft, I am naturally drawn to works involving deep materials-based consideration. At the moment though, I am also fascinated by how artists react when ‘all falls apart.’ The three artists I chose – of the many that impressed me, not least Saffronia’s colleagues in the Ceramics Department – all look underfoot for inspiration, showing how the chaotic fragments of our moment can be assembled into a new, individualistic order.
These artists each lend their own personal experiences to make striking, insightful, and subtly destabilizing works. In their practices, identity is a complex condition of feeling and being in relation to the other that can reorient our assumptions of what the self is, how it finds its social moorings and how its narratives can become splintered and reorganized. These artists question how we come to know ourselves through ongoing negotiations of culture, geography, and society.
“those who ain’t got it can’t show it, those who got it can’t hide it” -Zora Neale Hurston
Qianwen Yu, Luis Lopez, Will North, all share an interest in using algorithms to give form to existentialist phenomenons. They pursue and scrutinize the elements of a geometric existence without pause. Thus constructing infinite plurality.