Art Department

GRADUATE

MFA Exhibition

MFA Exhibition

The Art Department and the College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to present:

"As if the Force Could Extract Something Special"

Work by our most recent MFA graduates: Katey Austin, Jennifer Bonner, Christian Brahe, Nam Le, Stacy Rexrode, Amanda Wagstaff

August 3 - August 29, 2014

Southfirst Gallery
60 N6th Street 
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Summer gallery hours: Wed., Thurs., Fri. 1-6 and by appointment

Opening BBQ Sunday, August 3 - 5-8pm

SOUTHFIRST is proud to present “…As if the Force Could Extract Something Special,” an exhibition featuring works by recent graduates of the MFA program in Studio Art at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. The exhibition is curated by Southfirst. The show is on view from August 3 - August 29, 2014, and an illustrated catalog with an essay by Harry Turfle accompanies the exhibition. There will be an opening reception and BBQ for the artists on Sunday, August 3, from 3-6 PM.

Katey Austin makes intricate collage compositions of lush domestic interiors from painted and cut paper; their colors and subjects evoke the work of Pierre Bonnard. Yet Austin’s sense of space and color emerge from dream-experiences stemming from the unconscious mind. Having suffered from sleep walking since she was a child, the artist’s Nabis-like interiors are eerie, half-remembered dream topographies from somnambulistic journeys. Jennifer Bonner’s images combine painting, sculpture and photography to construct fantastical narratives in which animals, seemingly having hailed from her native Orlando, Florida’s Universal Studios, make epic trips through enchanted snowscapes. These scenes are captured in photographic stills that, repurposed as viewfinder disks, make glowing narratives of the imagined stories. The work brings the magic of Disney to a long tradition of painting and the American landscape. Christian Brahe’s pen-and-ink drawings register mark-making over the extended time span of a single film or television show. They are almost illegibly dark, but some small figurative and narrative hints emerging from each sheet signaling that the work is a collision between traditional fine art practices and new media viewing experiences. Nam Le’s works, hanging steel sculptures, evoke the early experiments of the Russian avant-garde: like Aleksandr Rodchenko’s constructions, in rotating they conjure dynamic spatial possibilities. Stacy Bloom Rexrode recycles consumer products to create elaborate decorative works. Her Quasi-Delft Bequest (2013-14) uses the aesthetic of Dutch pottery to incorporate corporate logos onto blue-and-white plates; twist-ties turn into an 8-foot snowflake in a display of craft that subtly critiques consumer culture. Amanda Wagstaffcombines the practices of printmaking with an interest in the poetry of everyday objects; her pressed-flower monotypes extract the faintly colored liquid aura of wild plants, while collographs explore the form of flattened boxes. During the opening of the exhibition Wagstaff will exhibit a performance work in which local flowers, frozen into three blocks of ice, will melt over the course of several hours.

SOUTHFIRST, founded in 2000, is located at 60 N6th Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn between Wythe and Kent Avenues. Summer gallery hours are Wednesday and Friday from 1 - 6 PM and by appointment. Subway: L train to Bedford Avenue.  For more information, please contact Camille Freeman at 718 599 4884 or info@southfirst.org.

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