Thursday, July 7, 2011

"Things Fall Apart" opens Thursday July 7 at SVA

"Things Fall Apart"

July 5 - August 13, 2011
Reception: Thursday, July 7, 6 - 8pm


School of Visual Arts (SVA) presents "Things Fall Apart," an exhibition of work by students and recent graduates of the MFA Fine Arts Department and curated by Asya Geisberg.

The exhibition's title reflects the mood of the world at large, as during the past few years economic and political tumult has produced financial 'corrections,' regional upheavals, and overturned assumptions of fealty among allies and enmity among foes. Decades of inertia have abruptly turned into revolutionary fervor in the Middle East, while at home political sureties have crumbled - the words 'gay marriage' have swung the polls in opposite directions. With no culmination in sight, this constant sense of repositioned status quo, of definitions and boundaries blown up, is reflected in art being produced today."

In "Things Fall Apart," artists refuse to take easy categorizations or art-historical imperatives for granted. Andrew Brischler (current student, MFA Fine Arts Department) upends the essence of painting, Betty Hart (MFA 2011 Fine Arts) acts as a modern alchemist with photography, and Jenny Santos (current student, MFA Fine Arts Department) disrupts perceptions of stability and solidity with seemingly simple gestures. Theresa Friess (MFA 2011 Fine Arts) mixes ethereal materiality with functional paradoxes, while Kim Smith's (current student, MFA Fine Arts Department) surfaces spark a confusion of additive and reductive marks.

Sharona Eliassaf's (MFA 2011 Fine Arts) media-influenced conflations and Joey Varas's (MFA 2011 Fine Arts) deconstructed war mementos decontextualize recognizable elements of our current state of "always-plugged-in" and "always-at-war." Katie Cercone (MFA 2011 Fine Arts) takes sensory overstimulation into the performative realm, enveloping her actions and videos in equally cacophonic environments. Julie Schenkelberg's (MFA 2011 Fine Arts) sculpture absorbs knowledge into a symbolic dead-end.

Emily Weiner's (MFA 2011 Fine Arts) symmetrical paintings start with the broken tradition of exalted nature, while mocking the impossibility of reaching the Ideal. Gudmundur Thoroddsen (MFA 2011 Fine Arts) dissolves dichotomies of the sacred and the profane, leaving the Ideal behind altogether. Angela Branco (MFA 2011 Fine Arts) reenacts what some might consider the essence of destructive and ritualistic power. Miyeon Lee (MFA 2011 Fine Arts), seemingly wishing for things to be back together, tries to show us a world of cosmic infinity, pinning the unknowable within the picture plane.

----Asya Geisberg

Visual Arts Gallery: 601 West 26th street, 15th floor

Monday through Saturday, 10am - 5pm


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