Tag Archive for Art and Art History Department

Rudensky Finalist for Photography Award

© Sasha Rudensky, from Tinsel and Blue

© Sasha Rudensky, from Tinsel and Blue

Sasha Rudensky ’01, assistant professor of art, assistant professor of Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies, is a finalist for the New East Photo Prize. Her photos, Tinsel and Blue, explore the relationship between illusion and truth and the young people of the post-Soviet generation. Rudensky shot the photo series between 2009 and 2015 in Russia and Ukraine.

An alumna of Wesleyan, Rudensky graduated with a degree in studio arts. Rudensky, who was born in Russia and moved to the United States when she was 10, feels this competition keeps her in touch with her heritage. “I am happy to be included on a list of Eastern European artists in general because I strongly identify as one,” she said. “A majority of my artistic work has been done on the former Soviet Union and it continues to pull me back to my roots.”

The inaugural New East Photo Prize is sponsored by the Calvert 22 Foundation supported by The Calvert Journal. According to the Calvert 22 Foundation, “the Prize champions contemporary perspectives on the people and countries of the New East (Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Russia and Central Asia).” The initiative received a total of 1,030 entries form 25 countries.

Rudensky’s photo will be included in an exhibition at Calvert 22 Foundation in London from Nov. 4 to Dec. 18. The winner of the prize, which will be announced on Dec. 1, will have his or her work published as a photo book.

Siry Details the History of Center for the Arts in Architectural History Journal

Joe Siry

Joe Siry

The Wesleyan Center for the Arts was featured in The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (JSAH), the main U.S. peer-reviewed scholarly journal for architectural history, in an article written by Joseph Siry, the Kenan Professor of the Humanities, professor of art history. The article, titled “Roche and Dinkeloo’s Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University: Classical, Vernacular, and Modernist Architecture in the 1960s,” detailed the extensive history and creative motives behind the impressive 11-building complex.

From 1962, under the presidency of Victor Butterfield (in office 1943–67), Wesleyan’s trustees committed the college to develop into a small university, and in 1964 they commissioned a master plan that identified the eventual site of the Center for the Arts as an integral part of the expansion. The overall goal, in the words of the trustees, was to “reaffirm the relevance of liberal arts in a world of
increased specialization.”

The $11.8 million Center for the Arts was designed in the fall of 1965, at a time when Wesleyan had an endowment of $151 million for a student body of about 1,240.

Officially opening in the fall of 1973, the Wesleyan CFA’s “minimal aesthetic has invoked a sense of timelessness.” From the faculty committee tasked with choosing an architectural firm that met specific guidelines outlined by President Butterfield, to the subsequent hiring of Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo, and then the eventual construction of the CFA, the buildings were created as a “clear and impressive formal statement of what they would be used for, but at the same time, expresses what they stand for and represent,” Siry writes. “As modernist architecture, what these buildings lack in handcrafted ornament they compensate for in material and spatial effects.”

This bird’s-eye view photograph shows the of the 1966 Center for the Arts model.

This bird’s-eye view photograph shows the of the 1966 Center for the Arts model.

 

Telfair’s “Invented Landscapes” Featured in Monograph, Public Discussion, Exhibition

Professor of Art Tula Telfair stands in her painting studio, located in Lyme, Conn. 

Professor of Art Tula Telfair stands in her painting studio located in Lyme, Conn. Her work will be celebrated with a book release on Oct. 18, a public discussion on Oct. 19, and solo show in New York CIty, opening Nov. 10.

Although Professor of Art Tula Telfair’s hyper-realistic landscape paintings are vividly detailed, the scenes she depicts are not found in nature; they are conjured from memory and imagination. Informed by her experiences growing up on four continents, Telfair produces fantastical visions with delicate brushstrokes and a mastery of color and light. Suggestive of waterfalls in Africa, deserts of the American Southwest, and ice floes in Antarctica, Telfair’s art draws attention to the power and fragility of nature.

telfairbookcoverTelfair’s art, which has been featured in public collections around the world, will be showcased in a new book, Invented Landscapes, released on Oct. 18 by Abrams Books. The book can be pre-ordered online.

Included in the book are more than 120 images of her paintings, works in progress and personal photos. The images are accompanied by essays written by Michael Roth ’78, president of Wesleyan University; J. Michael Fay, biologist, ecologist, conservationist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence; and Henry Adams, the Menakka and Essel Bailey ’66 Distinguished Visiting Scholar in the College of the Environment and a professor of art history at Case Western Reserve University. Read more about the essay authors online.

“In the art of Tula Telfair we find … ourselves at once entranced by the beauty of the painted canvas and invited to examine the mystery of the world within it,” Roth says in his essay. “As we probe deeper, we find ourselves returning to the surface as if out of breath. The mysteriousness of the inner world, rendered with such precision, remains intact.”

Telfair was raised in Gabon, located on the west coast of Africa, surrounded by Fang, Pygmy and Bakuta tribes. Her father, Peter Telfair, worked as a geological mining engineer for Bethlehem Steel, the Gabonese government and a French mining company.

“We lived in the jungle and raised orphaned baby lowland gorillas,” she recalls. “Nature was the most powerful force there. I always felt small in the face of such a constant and unpredictable presence.”

Although Telfair’s work looks realistic, she works intuitively and only plans the size and format of each canvas.

Rudensky’s (’01) Photographs Exhibited in New York City Gallery

Sasha RudenskyPhotography by Sasha Rudensky ’01, assistant professor of art, is featured in an exhibition titled “Tinsel and Blue” from June 8 to July 16 at the Sasha Wolf Gallery, 70 Orchard Street, New York, N.Y.

Rudensky is a Russian-born artist whose work has been exhibited widely including at the Musee de l’Elysee in Lausanne, Switzerland; Fries Museum in Leewarden, Netherlands; Macro Testaccio Museum in Rome, Italy; ArtScience Museum in Singapore; and Danziger Projects in New York. In 2010, Rudensky’s work was included in “reGeneration 2: Photographers of Tomorrow Today,” an international survey of emerging photographers. Her work is held in a number of public collections including Musee de l’Elysee, Yale Art Gallery, and Center of Creative Photography in Tuscon, among others.

Rudensky received her MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2008 and BA from Wesleyan in 2001. She was the recipient of the Ward Cheney Memorial Award from Yale University, Mortimer-Hays Brandeis Traveling Fellowship, Leica/Jim Marshall Award, and Jessup Prize from Wesleyan. In 2013, Rudensky was awarded the Aaron Siskind Individual Fellowship grant. Her work has appeared in New York Times Magazine, Der Spiegel, Cicero Magazine, American Photo, PDN and others. She is currently head of the photography program at Wesleyan.

Sasha Rudensky

Sasha Rudensky at “Tinsel and Blue,” June 8. (Photo by Cynthia Rockwell)

Siry Speaks on Energy and Modern Architecture

As part of Wesleyan’s Earth Month celebration, the College of the Environment presented a talk on “Energy and Modern Architecture 1935-2015” April 7. Joe Siry, the Kenan Professor of the Humanities and processor of art and art history, led the discussion.

As part of Wesleyan’s Earth Month celebration, the College of the Environment presented a talk on “Energy and Modern Architecture 1935-2015” April 7. Joe Siry, the Kenan Professor of the Humanities and processor of art and art history, led the discussion.

Siry teaches the history of modern architecture and urbanism at Wesleyan. His current book in progress is titled “Before Sustainability: Air Conditioning and Modern Architecture 1890-1970.”Siry teaches the history of modern architecture and urbanism at Wesleyan. His current book in progress is titled “Before Sustainability: Air Conditioning and Modern Architecture 1890-1970.”

Siry teaches the history of modern architecture and urbanism at Wesleyan. His current book in progress is titled “Before Sustainability: Air Conditioning and Modern Architecture 1890-1970.”

Siry traced the history of ideas about energy usage in architecture, especially those related to air condition from the era of the Great Depression, to the first efforts of energy conservation after World War II, the redirection of architecture following the energy crises of the 1970s and the contemporary idea of zero-energy buildings.

Siry traced the history of ideas about energy usage in architecture, especially those related to air condition from the era of the Great Depression, to the first efforts of energy conservation after World War II, the redirection of architecture following the energy crises of the 1970s and the contemporary idea of zero-energy buildings.

Art Studio Seniors Exhibit Theses at Zilkha

On April 6, artists and visitors gathered at the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery for a reception for week three of the Senior Thesis Exhibition. This week’s exhibition features work by seniors Sophie Becker, Casey Herrick, Samantha Ho, Gla, and Zach Scheinfeld from the Department of Art and Art History’s art studio program. The exhibition will be on display through April 10. (Photos by Hannah Norman ’16)

art_thesis_2016-0406152110

Casey Herrick’s senior thesis, “Safe Conduct.”

art_thesis_2016-0406153452

“Wednesday,” by Gla.

Rudensky’s Photos Featured in The New York Times

Ricky Preslar, who has undergone growth-attenuation therapy, in his bedroom. (Photo by Sasha Rudensky/For the New York Times.)

Ricky Preslar, who has undergone growth-attenuation therapy, in his bedroom. (Photo by Sasha Rudensky/For The New York Times)

Photographs by Sasha Rudensky ’01, assistant professor of art, are featured in the March 22 online edition of The New York Times. The images accompany an article “Should Parents of Children With Severe Disabilities Be Allowed to Stop Their Growth?

Rudensky’s images are of 9-year-old Ricky Preslar, who who underwent a controversial medical intervention known as growth-attenuation therapy. When children with intellectual and developmental disabilities enter adolescence and adulthood, the simple tasks of caring for them — dressing, toileting, bathing, holding and carrying — can become prohibitively difficult for parents. Arresting a child’s growth could benefit both child and parent. Ricky currently weighs 43 pounds and is 43 inches high.

From the time he was 4 until just shy of his 7th birthday, he received doses of estrogen high enough to stimulate the premature closing of the epiphyseal or “growth” plates, the thin wedges of cartilage found at the end of the long bones in children and adolescents.

Rudensky studied studio art and Russian literature at Wesleyan where she received a BA in 2001. She received her MFA in photography from Yale University in 2008. Her other photographs can be found online at http://www.sasharudensky.com.

The Preslar family at home. (Photo by Sasha Rudensky/For The New York Times).

The Preslar family at home. (Photo by Sasha Rudensky/For The New York Times).

Painting I Students Display Artwork in Usdan

Artwork by Painting I students is on display in Usdan University Center’s gallery this month.

Artwork by ARST 439 Painting I students is on display in Usdan University Center’s gallery this month. ARST 439, taught by Tula Telfair, professor of art, is an introductory oil painting class that stresses the fundamentals of formal structure: color, paint manipulation, composition and scale.

Artwork by Painting I students is on display in Usdan University Center’s gallery this month. Painting I was taught by Tula Telfair, professor of art.   Students include Ashlyn Drake ’18, Molly Fisher ’16, Sara Wallace-Lee ’18, Anna Sanford ’18, Ray Miao ’18, Phuong Le ’18, Celina Bernstein ’18, Tara Stone ’18, Arianna Tamaddon ’18, Ariel Ciccone ’16, Lizzie Zelter ’18.

The student artists include Ashlyn Drake ’18, Molly Fisher ’16, Sara Wallace-Lee ’18, Anna Sanford ’18, Ray Miao ’18, Phuong Le ’18, Celina Bernstein ’18, Tara Stone ’18, Arianna Tamaddon ’18, Ariel Ciccone ’16 and Lizzie Zelter ’18.

Sculpture, Digital Fabrication Students Display Art on Campus

cls_art_2015-1214142138

Several students are displaying their artwork around – and on – Wesleyan’s public spaces this month.

Students enrolled in Sculpture I and Studies in Computer-Based Modeling and Digital Fabrication displayed their art around the Center for the Art’s public spaces Dec. 12-16.

Sculpture I, taught by Professor of Art Jeffrey Schiff, is an introduction to seeing, thinking and working in three dimensions. Throughout the semester, the class examined three-dimensional space, form, materials and the associations they elicit. Through the sculptural processes of casting, carving and construction in a variety of media, students developed and communicated a personal vision in response to class assignments. Projects included janitorial supplies hanging in suspension, plastic color shapes making a stain-glass window, electronic components and wires in a complex network, hanging funereal urns with flowers, large sewn mice, mirrored boxes covered with artificial turf, lint filling the air holes in the cement, and more.

Siry Honored by Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy

Siry accepted the award from Scott Perkins, a conservancy board member, who nominated him. (Photo by Mark Hertzberg.)

Joe Siry, at left, accepted the Wright Spirit Award from Scott Perkins, a conservancy board member. Perkins nominated Siry for the award. (Photo by Mark Hertzberg.)

On Oct. 3, Joseph Siry, the Kenan Professor of the Humanities, professor of art history, received the Wright Spirit Award in the Professional category from the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy at its annual conference this year in Milwaukee, Wis. A prolific scholar of the venerable architect, Siry has written several books and scholarly articles about Wright. He also has contributed to the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy in many ways over the years, as a lecturer, panelist and contributor to the group’s magazine.

A citation read at the ceremony by Scott Perkins, a conservancy board member and director of preservation for Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, began: “If one were to believe that Frank Lloyd Wright is the subject of more books and articles than any other figure in the visual arts, then among those responsible for that statistic would be Joseph M. Siry … I would also venture a guess that one could formulate a entire graduate seminar syllabus solely around Professor Siry’s contributions to the scholarship on Wright and his circle, and throw in a second one dedicated just to the information found in his footnotes, as it is clear he delights in primary research.”

Shinohara’s Woodcuts on Display at Roger Williams University

keiji

Artwork by Keiji Shinohara, artist in residence, is on display at Roger Williams University through Oct. 28. After two separate showings at Odakyu Shinjuku Art Salon in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan and Art Zone-Kaguraoka in Kyoto, Japan, Shinohara’s “Color Harmony/ Color Woodcut” exhibit comes to a close at Roger Williams’ SAAHP Exhibition Gallery.

Shinohara describes his work as “employing ancient methods, while diverging from tradition by experimenting with ink application and different materials to add texture,” thus creating what he calls “a fusion of Japanese aesthetic and Western modernism.”

“Color Harmony / Color Woodcut” focuses on his perception of different landscapes. The aim, he says, is not to portray “realistic accuracy,” but to concentrate on the “feelings and emotions behind these abstract landscapes.”

Shinohara is on the faculty in the Art and Art History Department and Department of East Asian Studies.

Wagoner Honored by American Historical Association for South Asian History Scholarship

Phillip Wagoner

Phillip Wagoner

On Oct. 5, Phillip Wagoner, professor of art history, professor of archaeology, was named a co-recipient of the American Historical Association’s John F. Richards Prize in South Asian History. The John F. Richards Prize recognizes the most distinguished work of scholarship on South Asian history published in English. Eligibility includes books on any period or field of South Asian historical studies and works which integrate South Asian history with broader global issues and movements.

Wagoner shares the prize with Richard Eaton of the University of Arizona. Together, they co-authored the book, Power, Memory, Architecture: Contested Sites on India’s Deccan Plateau, 1300–1600, published by Oxford University Press in March 2014.

In this book, Wagoner and Eaton examine the political histories and material culture of smaller, fortified strongholds both on the plains and atop hills, the control of which was repeatedly contested by rival primary centers on the Deccan Plateau. Exceptionally high levels of conflict over such secondary centers occurred between 1300 and 1600, and especially during the turbulent 16th century when gunpowder technology had become widespread in the region.