Tag Archive for Art and Art History Department

Faculty Curate Picture/Thing Exhibit in Zilkha Gallery

Sasha Rudensky, assistant professor of art, and Jeffrey Schiff, chair and professor of art and art history, curated and introduced the exhibit Picture/Thing Jan. 29 in the  Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. Picture/Thing presents 10 artists who make hybrid objects that challenge the taxonomical limits of photography and sculpture at a time when the definitions of the two media continue to evolve.

Sasha Rudensky, assistant professor of art, and Jeffrey Schiff, chair and professor of art and art history, curated and introduced the exhibit Picture/Thing Jan. 29 in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. Picture/Thing presents 10 artists who make hybrid objects that challenge the taxonomical limits of photography and sculpture at a time when the definitions of the two media continue to evolve.

Telfair’s Solo Oil Painting Exhibition Opens in Louisiana Museum

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Tula Telfair, professor of art, is having a solo exhibition of 21 new monumental oil paintings at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum Jan. 10 through March 15. The opening reception is 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 29.

Tula Telfair works on one of her oil paintings.

Tula Telfair works on one of her oil paintings.

In a “World of Dreams— New Landscape Paintings,” Telfair paints monumental landscapes and epic-scale vistas that act as windows into another world — a dream world — where everything seems familiar yet remains beyond grasp. Drawing upon the long tradition of landscape painting from the backdrops of the Renaissance through the Romanticism of the 19th century, she presents a thoroughly contemporary perspective upon an archaic art form.

Instead of documenting actual sites, Telfair combines invented images with a variety of formal painterly techniques to achieve highly convincing yet fictitious illusions that invite contemplation upon the relationship between humankind and the environment.

This exhibition is made possible in part by a Local Project Assistance Grant from the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, funded by the East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President and Metro Council.

The images, which were on display in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery in 2014, are featured in this past News @ Wesleyan article.

Telfair’s Imaginary Landscapes Garner Attenton from Artists, Scientists Alike

Tula Telfair works on her oil painting.

Tula Telfair works on her oil painting.

#THISISWHY
(by Christine Foster. Originally published in Wesleyan Magazine, Dec. 10, 2014)

Professor of Art Tula Telfair’s epic and massive landscape paintings fill the walls of Wesleyan’s Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. They call forth our memories of the most stunning scenic vistas­—craggy mountains topped by threatening clouds; impossibly moist, green valleys; icebergs jutting hundreds of feet out of the freezing aqua waters below. From a distance, they appear to be photographs, but they aren’t. These views don’t even exist, except in Telfair’s mind and on her canvases.

Still—even knowing they are imagined— the viewer is tempted to look for signs of reality. The glint of shimmering gold on one mountainside catches your eye. You wonder: are those lights of a house perched on the side of that cliff? Or maybe it’s the sun glinting off granite slopes at sunset?

Then you approach the painting—wider than you are tall. As you draw near you see that the tiny gold threads have vanished. In their place are strips of dark paint, ridge-like, and they almost look sticky. The painterly detail becomes obvious and as stunning in its own way as the photo-like perfection was from afar.

So it is with Tula Telfair’s art and maybe even her life: it looks stunning from a distance, but different and still spectacularly beautiful the closer you get…

Read the full story in Wesleyan Magazine here.
Read more about Telfair’s exhibit at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum here.
Read more about Telfair’s exhibit at Wesleyan here.

Watch a new video featuring Telfair below:

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Encoding Will Help Recognition 2014, oil on canvas, 72 x 100 inches

Encoding Will Help Recognition 2014, oil on canvas, 72 x 100 inches

Civilization Could Not Do Without It 2014, Oil on Canvas, 75 x 100 inches

Civilization Could Not Do Without It 2014, Oil on Canvas, 75 x 100 inches

 

Students Showcase Art at Painting Show

Thirteen students enrolled in Professor of Art Tula Telfair’s Painting I course (ARTS 439) displayed their artwork at a Painting Show Dec. 8 at Art Studio South.

This introductory-level course in painting (oils) emphasized work from observation and stressed the fundamentals of formal structure: color, paint manipulation, composition and scale. Students addressed conceptual problems that helped them develop an understanding of the power of visual images to convey ideas and expressions. (Photos by Dat Vu ’15)

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Shinohara’s Monotypes to be Exhibited at Plantsville Gallery

Supp. Image_Opus-12_monotype_12x11_2008The work of Keiji Shinohara, artist-in-residence of art, artist-in-residence of East Asian studies, will be exhibited at a gallery in Plantsville, Conn., Oct. 4-31.

The exhibition at Paris in Plantsville Gallery, titled, “Whispers of the Infinite: The Art of Keiji Shinohara,” represents the first time that Shinohara’s monotypes will have been exhibited in the United States. An opening reception will be held Oct. 4 from 6-9 p.m.

Born and raised in Osaka, Japan, Shinohara trained for 10 years as an apprentice under the renowned artist Keiichiro Uesugi, and became a Master Printmaker. Shinohara then moved to the U.S., and has been teaching at Wesleyan since 1995. He has been a visiting artist at more than 10 venues, and had 40 solo shows, both in the U.S. and Japan.

His nature-based abstractions are printed on handmade kozo paper using water-based pigment onto woodblocks in the ukiyo-e style, the traditional Japanese printmaking method dating to 600 CE. Though Shinohara employs ancient methods in creating his woodblock prints, he also diverges from tradition by experimenting with ink application and different materials to add texture to his prints. He personally executes all the steps involved in the printmaking process, from carving the woodblock to printing by hand. Elegantly understated, these works are a fusion of Japanese aesthetic and Western modernism.

See more images from the exhibition below.

Supp. Image_Opus-14_monotype_12x11_2010Supp. Image_Opus-20_monotype_12x11_2011

Professor of Art John Frazer Remembered for Teaching, Painting, Films

John Frazer, professor of art, emeritus, taught drawing and film classes at Wesleyan from 1959 to 2001. He's pictured here in his Middletown studio with two of his own still life paintings. (Photo by Olivia Bartlett)

John Frazer, professor of art, emeritus, taught drawing and film classes at Wesleyan from 1959 to 2001. He’s pictured here in his Middletown studio with two of his own still life paintings.

John Frazer, professor of art, emeritus, died July 7 at the age of 82.

“Generations of Wesleyan students knew John as a gifted teacher of students at all levels of artistic ability,” said Ruth Striegel Weissman, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Throughout his career on the Wesleyan faculty, from 1959 to 2001, Frazer introduced hundreds of Wesleyan students to the art of drawing, painting and film. He taught the first filmmaking courses at Wesleyan and continued this teaching until the Film Program, which he helped found, became independent of the Art Department. His influence lives on through his endowment of the John Frazer Instructor of Drawing position in the Department of Art and Art History. The John Frazer Visiting Artist Endowment Fund was established in 1999 and endowed in his honor through the generosity of the Andrus family.

Kuenzli to Research European Artist through Learned Societies Fellowship

Katherine Kuenzli, associate professor of art and art history.

Katherine Kuenzli, associate professor of art and art history.

Associate Professor of Art and Art History Katherine Kuenzli has won a prestigious American Council of Learned Societies fellowship for next year. The award will support her work on Henry van de Velde, a European artist whose aesthetic helped shape modernism.

The fellowship – one of 65 awarded this year to scholars in the humanities and humanistic social sciences – provides salary replacement for faculty who are embarking on six to 12 months of full-time research and writing.

“I am thrilled to have the support for and acknowledgement of my work,” Kuenzli said. “I began (the project) in 2009 and will devote next year to completing a full draft of a book manuscript – having the energy and train of thought will be essential.”

She said the project, “Designing Modernsim: Henry van de Velde from Neo-Impressionism to the Bauhaus emerged out of her first book, on “intimate modernism” in Paris in the 1980s. While that book examined paintings and prints artists created for private homes, theater stages, and street corners, Kuenzli’s new work broadens that scope to include not just painting, but also the applied arts and architecture. She’s studying the internationalization of art around 1900 and attempts to broaden the public for art, while maintaining a high level of formal and intellectual sophistication. The book uncovers a forgotten chapter in the emergence of abstraction, which has been understood as painting-specific; she hopes to demonstrate how “abstract aesthetics emerged out of an attempt to coordinate the arts, and to unify art and life.”

Matthew Goldfeder, director of the ACLS fellowship programs, said that this year’s fellows were “chosen for their potential to create new knowledge that will improve our understanding of the world and its diverse cultures and societies.”

The fellows represent more than 50 colleges and universities and an array of disciplines, including music, philosophy, art history and sociology. More than 1,000 applications were received for this year’s fellowship cycle.

Kuenzli’s project on van de Velde will explore how the painter, designer and architect – who worked in Belgium, France and Germany in the decades before WWI – developed an abstract formal vocabulary that proved seminal to both painterly modernism and an activist, engaged avant-garde.

Wagoner’s Book Explores Built Landscape of India’s Deccan Plateau

Book co-authored by Professor Phillip Wagoner

Book co-authored by Phillip Wagoner.

Professor Phillip Wagoner is the co-author of Power, Memory, Architecture: Contested Sites on India’s Deccan Plateau, 1300-1600, published by Oxford University Press in March 2014. Wagoner is chair and professor of archaeology, professor of art history.

Focusing on India’s Deccan Plateau, this book explores how power and memory combined to produce the region’s built landscape, as seen above all in its monumental architecture. During the turbulent 16th century, fortified frontier strongholds like Kalyana, Warangal, or Raichur were repeatedly contested by primary centers—namely, great capital cities such as Bijapur, Vijayanagara or Golconda. Examining the political histories and material culture of both primary and secondary centers, the book investigates how and why the peoples of the Deccan, in their struggles for dominance over secondary centers, promoted certain elements of their remembered past while forgetting others.

The book also rethinks the usefulness of Hindu-Muslim relations as the master key for interpreting this period of South Asian history, and proposes instead a model based on parallel cultures of rulership grounded in different prestige languages, Sanskrit and Persian. Further, the authors systematically integrate the methodologies of history, art history and archaeology in their attempt to reconstruct the past, as opposed to the standard practice of using one of these methodologies to the exclusion of the others. The book thus describes and explains the interstate politics of the medieval Deccan at a more grass-roots level than hitherto attempted.

Art Studio Seniors Showcase Work at Thesis Exhibitions

The seniors in the Department of Art and Art History’s art studio program are presenting their work in the Senior Thesis Exhibitions through April 13. The art is displayed in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery.

Students presenting work include Carlos Sanchez, Emily Bernstein, Can “Claire” Zhou, Alex Ginsberg, Will Wiebe, Emily Roff, Allison Greenwald, Evita Rodriguez, Rebecca Schisler, Katie Deane, Oliver Citrin, Hannah Knudsen, Pik-Tone Fung, Jessie Loo, Julia Drachman, Nathaniel Elmer and Isaac Madwed.

Each student selects a single work from his or her Senior Thesis Exhibition for the end of the year showcase, which is curated by Tula Telfair, professor of art.

Photos of the exhibit’s first round are below. (Photos by Hannah Norman ’16)

Alex Ely Ginsberg displays his senior art thesis called "@gutenberg."

Alex Ely Ginsberg displays his senior art thesis called “@gutenberg.”

Siry’s Frank Lloyd Wright Book Named Finalist for Visual Arts Award

Book by Joe Siry.

Book by Joe Siry.

A book written by Joe Siry was named a finalist for the 2013 National Jewish Book Award in the visual arts category. Siry is professor of art history, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of the Humanities and chair of the Art and Art History Department.

The Jewish Book Council announced the winners of the 63rd Annual National Jewish Book Awards on Jan. 15.

Beth Sholom Synagogue: Frank Lloyd Wright and Modern Religious Architecture was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2011. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 2007, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Beth Sholom Synagogue was one of Wright’s last completed projects, and for years it has been considered one of his greatest masterpieces.

In Beth Sholom Synagogue, Siry provides the first in-depth look at the synagogue’s conception and realization in relation to Wright’s other religious architecture. Beginning with his early career at Adler and Sullivan’s architectural firm in Chicago and his design for Unity Temple and ending with the larger works completed just before or soon after his death, Siry depicts Wright’s exploration of geometric forms and structural techniques in creating architecture for worshipping communities.  Filled with more than 300 illustrations, this book takes readers deep inside the synagogue’s design, construction, and reception to create a portrait of the crowning achievement of this important aspect of Wright’s career. Read more about the book here.

Read a “5 Questions With … ” story on Joe Siry in this 2012 Wesleyan Connection article.

Schorr’s Artwork to be Exhibited at Addison Gallery

Snakebite Song  20 x 11, silverpoint, tinted gesso, and gouache on linen 1992

David Schorr’s “Snakebite Song” will be on display at the Addison Gallery. (20 x 11, silverpoint, tinted gesso, and gouache on linen, 1992)

David Schorr, professor of art, and director of the Art Studio Program for the Art and Art History Department, will have artwork on exhibition at the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, Mass. The exhibit, Secrets, Loss, Memory and Courage: Works by Male Gay Artists, will be on display April 27-July 31.

The show honors gay rights activist, author and poet Paul Monette (1945-1995), who received an honorary degree from Wesleyan in 1993. Schorr and Monette collaborated on three books.