Tag Archive for Art and Art History Department

Art by Graphic Design Class on Display in Usdan

Now on view at Usdan: A is for Ampersand, the final project of Professor of Art David Schorr’s Advanced Graphic Design Tutorial. Students in the class conceived and realized the project with inspiration from a non-curricular project on which some of the students had worked as members of The Type Club. All decisions regarding font, format and other particulars were made as a group, with most of the letters developing or being entirely redone over a four-week period.

Now on view at Usdan: A is for Ampersand, the final project of Professor of Art David Schorr’s Advanced Graphic Design Tutorial. Students in the class conceived and realized the project with inspiration from a non-curricular project on which some of the students had worked as members of The Type Club. All decisions regarding font, format and other particulars were made as a group, with most of the letters developing or being entirely redone over a four-week period. (Photo by Laurie Kenney)

Art on Display at Senior Thesis Exhibition

View the talents of senior art studio majors during the 2015 Senior Thesis Exhibition at the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery through April 19. The gallery is open noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and is free of charge.

In the final year of study, each student develops a focused body of work, and mounts a solo exhibition in the Zilkha Gallery. This exhibition is the culmination of a two-semester thesis tutorial, and is developed in close critical dialogue with a faculty advisor. The exhibition is critiqued by the faculty advisor and a second critic, and must be passed by a vote of the faculty of the art studio program. The senior thesis exhibition provides a rare opportunity for the student to engage in a rigorous, self-directed creative investigation and in a public dialogue about his/her work.

Photos of Week 1 and Week 2 of the Senior Thesis Exhibit are below:

RETURN TO: Paradise by Gabe Gordon ’15.

“RETURN TO: Paradise” by Gabe Gordon ’15.

Shinohara’s Solo Exhibitions to be Displayed in Japan

keijiMaster printmaker Keiji Shinohara, artist in residence, will have three solo exhibitions in 2015.” The title is “Keiji Shinohara: Woodcut.”

The first will be at the Odakyu Shinjuku Art Salon in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan March 11-17. For more information call 03-3342-1111 (Japan).

The second show will be at Art Zone-Kaguraoka in Kyoto, Japan May 9-May 25. For more information call o75-754-0155 (Japan).

The exhibition will return to the United States and be on display at the Visual Arts Gallery at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I. throughout the month of October.

In addition, Shinohara will be demonstrating Japanese Ukiyo-e printmaking and techniques at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston from noon to 3 p.m. April 6 and April 19. He’ll also lead a workshop at the Penland School of Crafts in Penland, N.C. Aug. 9-21.

Shinohara teaches in the Art and Art History Department and the College of East Asian Studies. While living in Kyoto, he trained for 10 years in the traditional Japanese woodblock printing style known as Ukiyo-e.  The technical foundation for his artwork is rooted in that training, accompanied by techniques of contemporary western printmaking, yet the imagery itself is very different from historical Ukiyo-e.

According to Shinohara’s artist statement, “the story behind the work is very important; there is a sense of narrative that is very private. The feelings and emotions that I convey through these abstract landscapes matter most to me. Almost always my images are of nature, but it is the essence of the landscape that I want to express, not realistic accuracy.”

Rudensky’s Photos Featured in Times Story on Russian TV

Early this year, Gary Shteyngart embarked on an experiment for The New York Times: For a week straight, he would “subsist almost entirely on a diet of state-controlled Russian television, piped in from three Apple laptops onto three 55-inch Samsung monitors in a room at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan.”

Assistant Professor of Art Sasha Rudensky documented this experiment in a series of photographs that accompany the story. Here is Shteyngart lying in bed, feet encased in hotel slippers, while Russian President Vladamir Putin’s stern face fills three towering television screens. Here Shteyngart is dining on Wagyu beef slices and sipping pinot noir while staring vacantly at the screens. And here, lying in bed gesticulating while a visiting psychiatrist listens to him talk. Russian TV, explains one photo caption, “dulls the senses and raises your ire.”

“Here is the question I’m trying to answer,” Shteyngart explains. “What will happen to me — an Americanized Russian-speaking novelist who emigrated from the Soviet Union as a child — if I let myself float into the television-filtered head space of my former countrymen? Will I learn to love Putin as 85 percent of Russians profess to do? Will I dash to the Russian consulate on East 91st Street and ask for my citizenship back? Will I leave New York behind and move to Crimea, which, as of this year, Putin’s troops have reoccupied, claiming it has belonged to Russia practically since the days of the Old Testament? Or will I simply go insane?”

 

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.