Another week into the semester, ideas are action.

by Aliene de Souza Howell (MFA 2011)
I re-incarnated a piece from Leipzig about a business man walking past a flooded city street into a mock-up diorama. I also did a drawing for the next in my series of catastrophe meets quotidian, incorporating the Guatemalan sinkhole into a supermarket scene. For my Thesis, I am launching into a new endeavor, testing out an idea that has been formulating for years in the back of head and has finally sprung out like Athena from Zeus.

diorama for business/flood

Combining my love of theatre/opera/film with my passion for painting, I aim to turn my paintings into a life size diorama. A walk-in art world somewhere between Red Grooms and William Kentridge. After speaking with my advisor, I was opened up to even more possibilities in terms of scale and materials. Transparency verse opacity--plexiglass or wood. Intimacy verse Impact.

I am anticipating updating my website with images from my Thesis and other Academy work! Academy alum Nic Rad is giving a series of lunchtime lectures about getting your work online and accessible to all. My previous computer was stolen along with all the software I had to update my website and Nic is going to show us how to use cloud computing and keep all files online. I am very excited about this.

sketch for supermarket/sinkhole
Hilary Harkness recently gave a stimulating lecture about her work as part of the ongoing Art & Culture Lecture series. I was impressed with the world she had created for herself within her paintings. When she spoke colloquially regarding the history, location, and narrative of the figures and spaces in each piece it seemed more like she was speaking as a novelist or documentarian. Every aspect of the Bosch-like energy in her paintings was considered and related to each other.
The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life. Since man is mortal, the only immortality possible for him is to leave something behind him that is immortal since it will always move. This is the artist's way of scribbling "Kilroy was here" on the wall of the final and irrevocable oblivion through which he must someday pass

Donald Kuspit: The Real in Caravaggio's Realism

Join us for a special lecture, "The Real in Caravaggio's Realism," by Art Historian and Critic Donald Kuspit, Wednesday, September 29, 6 pm.

Donald Kuspit critiques 2007-2008 Fellow Ali Banisadr's painting.

One of the contemporary art world's most important voices, Donald Kuspit joins Vincent Desiderio, Eric Fischl, Jenny Saville, Will Cotton and Steven Assael as the Academy's newest Senior Critic. Also a renowned writer and teacher, an essay by Mr. Kuspit accompanied the 2010 Thesis Exhibition as a compelling declaration of the importance of the New York Academy of Art's mission.

All lectures are free and open to the public, so join us!
Next up: Alexi Worth, Tuesday, October 5
Click here for a complete schedule of 2010 Fall Art & Culture Lectures

The NYAA Library has these resources available exclusively for NYAA students.

Art & Culture Lecture: Wei Dong

Tuesday, September 28, 7:30 pm

Two Girls, 48 in. x 36 in., oil/acrylic/canvas,
2006 (Nicholas Robinson Gallery)

Artist "Wei Dong explores through painting the space where heritage and modernity coexist. His works set up a dialogue, present a confrontation and explode a good number of conventions. In a disruption of tradition Wei Dong has taken this male dominated domain and subjected it to domination by women."

All lectures are free and open to the public, so don't miss it!

Next up: Donald Kuspit, Wednesday, September 29

Click here for a complete schedule
of 2010 Fall Art & Culture Lectures

The NYAA Library has these resources available exclusively for NYAA students.

Different Gardens

by Emily Adams (MFA 2011)
The Terra Foundation residency has come to a close. On the flight back I watched from the plane window as Paris morphed from a city to a Mondrian painting, and then to some kind of off-kilter fractal in shades of green as we moved over the countryside, over Giverny.

West Texas crop circles

This is the superman garden, I thought; the garden whose boundaries are dictated in offices and whose water is pumped through miles of pipeline and complex irrigation projects. This is, at least, what accounts for the appearance of around 40% of American landscape. (

It seemed that the French aerial agricultural view was a bit more organic in form than its American counterpart (fewer grids, fewer perfect geometrical forms). Perhaps the French 18th and 19th century love of the garden has somehow translated into contemporary farming practices. Empress Josephine, originally called Rose, once hired an artist, Pierre-Joseph Redouté, to live in her palace and make a drawing of every rose in her collection of over 250 varieties collected form around the world.
I wonder if we could ever have a love affair with the agricultural landscape seen from above the way we do with the rose. I imagine standing in line at the Louvre behind a woman wearing earthy green and ochre-gridded leggings, or seeing a Pieta take place above the desolate scene of Iowa cornfields.

People in line - entrance of the Louvre
Wall paper at an abandoned house in Giverny

Will there ever be a time when wall paper design takes the form of West Texas irrigation-circles (the new Hortus Conclusus)? It’s highly doubtful, we tend to love inoffensive beauty and beauty that can be immediately processed by all sense-faculties.

So the rose is still in, agricultural fields out.

A painting I started in Giverny, not yet titled
But the paintings I started at the Terra Foundation are an attempt to explore the relationship between these two loaded images. I painted on photographs in part because the degree of separation of the material from the artist seemed the most appropriate technical approach for the subject matter.

In the last few days in Giverny, most of us forsook time in Monet’s gardens and the French countryside for the interior of our studios. Two weeks proved to be a surprisingly fertile amount of time for the development of our work— I have expanded my associations with ‘the garden’ to include the creative workspace.
Final Critiques
The final critiques, which lasted a full work-day on Sunday, were rich with discussion. We were joined by artist Kate Javens and Art Historian Veerle Thielemans (director of the Terra Foundation residency). It was clear by the end of the day that everyone had planted a good seed out there, to be watered and pruned upon our return to the Academy.

Snapshots in Giverny: Cows, Caves, St. Barnabas

Faculty guide Wade Schuman fiinishes his photographic tour through the Giverny countryside.

In Veerle's cave, which dates to the 1400s
"Classic French Cows"
Detail of Veronese's St. Barnabé in Rouen

Inaugural Exhibitions at the End of the Recession

A Review by Maria Kozak (MFA 2011)
The New York Times has officially declared The Recession over. This is great news for the art world. Let's celebrate with an impressive new location for old staple Sperone Westwater and the opening of new contender RH Gallery.

(concept for Sperone Westwater)

On Wednesday, Sperone Westwater opens doors at its new spot on the Bowery. The building, down the street from the New Museum, is new museumish and nearly its size. Designed by renowned British architects Foster + Partners, the building is eight stories with a movable viewing space that hopes to pioneer new ideas in exhibiting art with a novel approach to vertical movement. The first show will be a series of new paintings from Argentinian artist Guillermo Kuitca. 
Deborah Kass,
Forget Your Troubles, 2010
oil,acrylic/canvas, 72 x 60 in.

Thursday night, go to the opening of NYAA visiting artist Deborah Kass's show at Paul Kasmin in Chelsea. The show, MORE feel good paintings for feel bad times, is aptly titled. Kass's work incorporates words, colors, and appropriation to comment on current affairs and pop culture. The opening is from 6-8 pm.
Micah Ganske, Tommorow Land: Greenpoint, NY, 2010
acrylic on muslin, 120 x 168 in

On Saturday night RH Gallery opens in Tribeca. Founded by director Rebecca Heidenberg and Adam Taki, the inaugural exhibition boasts the stable of cutting edge artists from all over the world they represent including Iranian artist Parastou Forouhar, NYAA visiting artist Micah Ganske (USA), and Brazillian artist Dante Horoiwa. The first show is entitled The Third Meaning for the deeper order of the work, beyond the obvious and the symbolic. It asks viewer to bridge the object of art with its sublime qualities: an experience moving us, however uniquely. The opening is from 6-9 pm.

Carolina Nitsch,
Do Not Abandon Me 2009-2010
Archival dyes printed on cloth,
24 x 30 in

Also if you haven't had a chance, go see the Louise Bourgeois + Tracey Emin show at Carolina Nitsch. The collaboration originated with Bourgeois’ 16 gouache drawings on paper of male and female torsos in profile. Emin ‘responded’ by adding handwritten text, line drawings and gouache. It is one of the final projects of Louise Bourgois, a prolific artist with a profound impact on the nature of art and the first female artist to have a retrospective show at MOMA. In Do Not Abandon Me, both confessional artists explore sexuality, identity, birth, gender and ultimately the need to feel attached to the “Other.”

The Year Begins... from Deutschland to my Studio

by Aliene de Souza Howell (MFA 2011)
Back for my second and final year at the Academy, I am greeted by Will Kurtz's newspaper motorcycle woman, Neoplatonism and a fourth floor window studio. I returned from the Leipzig residency and subsequent backpacking trip in the German Alps feeling refreshed for the first day of school and with ideas buzzing rooted in the work I created there.

The year has ignited with an opening for the stirring work of the third year fellows, Panni Malek, Will Kurtz, and Peter Mühlhäußer. And my classes began with John Jacobsmeyer's Narrative Printmaking Seminar (being offered for the first time this year!) and Vincent Desiderio's painting elective. Jacobsmeyer pushed our creative canons with selected woodcuts from his book, More Than Human, and his personal print collection as I began to formulate ideas for my own series. Desiderio inaugurated class with a philosophical lecture about artist as intellectuals with its origins in Neoplatonism. From there he came to each student's studio and gave individual homework assignments based his or her Thesis ideas; he was enthusiastic regarding my concepts and work, instructing me to keep experimenting.

On the heels of his advice, I delved into dioramas and sketches in preparation for my large scale Thesis works to come! I am continuing the series I started this summer about the disconnect between daily life and the string of global natural disasters that have happened recently. I can't wait to manifest the sketches and brainstorming of this week into action! As Delacroix said in regards to creating, " If I am not quivering like a snake in the hands of Pythoness, I am cold..."

Art & Culture Lecture: Hilary Harkness

Tuesday, September 21, 7:30 pm

Artist Hilary Harkness lives in New York City and is represented by Mary Boone Gallery. Jerry Saltz, critic for The Village Voice, wrote about her figures: "Whatever they're involved in, they ooze a bitchy demonic kinkiness, which makes looking at these paintings slippery fun." 

Iowa Class, 14" by 22" oil/linen, 2003

All lectures are free and open to the public. See you there!

Next up: Wei Dong, Tuesday September 28
Click here for a complete schedule of 2010 Fall Art & Culture Lectures

The NYAA Library has the following resources available exclusively for NYAA students.

Oooh La LA!

by Jessie Brugger (MFA 2010)
The hills are alive with the sound of music! Okay, wrong country, but it was a true story here in Giverny, too. The Musicians for the Chamber Music Festival moved into their residency a few days before we left... and we woke up to nature humming and classical musicians playing away. Don’t get me wrong, its no Tupac Shakur or Biggie Smalls, but it's very awesome and not a bad way to start the day in the morning!

The other day I went to Rouen, the city where Van Gogh spent the last years of his life. Seeing it explains a lot of how his paintings look. Van Gogh was not exaggerating when he painted the buildings looking like they were caving in on one another (okay, maybe a little) but the imperfection on the lines on the buildings and the wood makes it such an intriguing visual puzzle. It is also the home of the famous Cathedral paintings by Monet. The Cathedral stands in the city like a huge beautiful beast alive with stained glass windows and fantastic gothic architecture. Ah, the power of architecture!
Everyone at dinner

On the last night, we were treated to a fantastic dinner in the French countryside from Veerle Thieleman, Wade Schuman's good friend. Wade, his wife Kate Javens, the whole host crew from Terra Foundation and the neighbors showed us New Yorkers how the French do dinner and it was extremely impressive! There was so much to take in - a beautiful country view, a lily pond with frogs and flowers, horses in the yard, and Amber even caught a hedgehog. Wade played his harmonica for us in a cave outside of Veerle's house that dates back to the 1400s. The sound of the harmonica and the candle light in the cave was surreal and yet So Real.

Amber Hany

Recently, we had our last critique of the two week residency in Giverny. Ah, time flies! It went well. Lots of interesting feedback, discussions and critique. Everyone has been working really hard here, and presented beautiful interesting work to show for it.

Ian Healy

We all came with different styles and ideas and we are leaving with an amazing experience and the influence of the French countryside, the art we have taken in at all the amazing museums, delicious Cheese, Bread and Wine, and of course friendships with each other and our hedgehog-finding, nature-loving, music-playing art leader Wade Schuman. I must admit, I'm going to miss opening the freezer door in search of things to draw like a pig's head, a duck, a chicken, or some sort of rodent roadkill; but I guess New York City "kitties," a.k.a. rats will have to do! See you back in New York City!!! Bon Soir!

Lightning Rod - Saya Woolfalk

Saya Woolfalk is a New York artist who re-imagines the world in multiple dimensions (sculpture, installation, painting, performance and video). She has exhibited at PS1/MoMA; Deitch Projects; Contemporary Art Museum, Houston; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Studio Museum in Harlem; Momenta Art; Performa09; and has been written about on Art21's blog. With funding from the NEA, her solo exhibition The Institute of Empathy, will open at Real Art Ways in the fall of 2010.

What can we achieve by representing the body in art today?

Art & Culture Lecture: Isabelle Bonzom

Tuesday, September 14, 7:30 pm

Artist and art historian Isabelle Bonzom is a painter of the flesh. She will discuss her research, both as a painter and a scholar, on the representation of the flesh based on two iconographic characters: Judith and Salomé. Through dramatic images showing women with male heads, Bonzom will talk about the cutting of body, image and composition. She will examine how Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Gentileschi and Klimt treat those subjects and how Brancusi, Matisse and Fischl evoke the question.

Born in France, Isabelle Bonzom views painting as a living body. She is primarily concerned with revealing relations between the matter and the image. Bonzom is also one of the rare contemporary artists to master buon fresco. She has authored a reference book on the art and technique of fresco, and since 1989 she has been a lecturer at the Pompidou Center in Paris.

All lectures are free and open to the public, so bring a friend!
Next up: Hilary Harkness, Tuesday September 21
Click here for a complete schedule of 2010 Fall Art & Culture Lectures

The NYAA Library has the following resources available exclusively for NYAA students.

Snapshots in Giverny: Rheas, Toads, Studios

Wade Schuman, faculty instructor and guide on the Giverny residency at Terra Foundation, always finds interesting things!

A "nice French toad."

Rheas, flightless birds similar to the ostrich, lounging by a stream.

Artists in the Studio. 

Mark your calendars...

2010 Art & Culture Lecture Series

This fall, the Art & Culture Department brings another great lecture series to Wilkinson Hall.

Join us Tuesdays at 7:30pm* as we bring inspiring historians, authors, artists and critics to our community. Here's a first look at the exciting speakers on the roster so far: Isabelle Bonzom, Hilary Harkness, Wei Dong, Alexi Worth, Odd Nerdrum, Ross Bleckner, Kenneth Currie, David Salle, Eric White... and more to come!

Academy Librarian and Archivist Holly Frisbee will be posting suggested references/articles for each speaker a few days before the lecture, so follow our blog and be fully informed!

Click here for a complete schedule of 2010 Fall Art & Culture Lectures
All lectures are free and open to the public, bring a friend!

So it begins...

A Review by Maria Kozak (MFA 2011)
It’s the first week of school as well as the start of high season in NYC.
Welcome to fall.
Jean-Pierre Roy, A Wind Toward Off Dreams

On Thursday night, Sept 9th, A Rational Spectacle opens at Rare Gallery in Chelsea featuring the work of NYAA's adjunct faculty member Jean Pierre Roy. Roy's luminescent dystopian landscapes explore the nature of light and new meanings of truth and beauty. Concurrent with his solo show, Roy's monumental painting Landscape or Questioning...(2009), will be on view as part of a group exhibition that opens the following night at Allen Nederpelt in Brooklyn.

Jennifer Steinkamp, Premature 9

Also in Chelsea Jennifer Steinkamp opens at Lehmann Maupin. The LA based artist is known for her projected installations that create kinetic, illusionistic environments. This time she turns her attention to systems of the human body.
Santiago Sierra, image still from "Los Penetrados"

In Soho, Team Gallery presents Los Penetrados, the first solo exhibition of Spanish artist Santiago Sierra. The show features controversial stills from his film, "Los Penetrados" (The Penetrated), an examination of cultural psychologies of domination and submission as they relate to labor, race, gender, and class.
Henry Darger, untitled (verso)
Saturday night Sept 11th, Andrew Edlin gallery in Chelsea will have it’s third solo show of Henry Darger’s work. The show will consist of early collages and works never before seen in The Realms of the Unreal. The opening will include a performance by the band The Vivian Girls at 8pm.
Lisa Lebofsky, Sandy Pond Lores

Also if you haven't had a chance, you can see NYAA Alumna Lisa Lebofsky's haunting landscapes painted on aluminum in a group show at Volume Black running through Sept 30.

Don't miss it! - "None Taken" Fellows Exhibition

The New York Academy of Art is pleased to present "None Taken" an exhibition of new work by the 2010 Fellows of the New York Academy of Art.

The exhibition will remain on view through Sunday, October 3. This exhibition is free and open to the public 2 - 8 pm or by appointment. Closed Tuesdays and holidays.

"None Taken" reveals the extraordinary impact and infinite creative possibilities that emerge when you juxtapose time-honored techniques with a contemporary artist’s vision. A Fellowship at the New York Academy of Art provides an unparalleled opportunity for an artist to pursue an independent body of work while immersed in a creatively challenging and supportive environment. The only program of its kind, this exceptional residency – and the resulting exhibition – continues to present a powerful case for deeply informed, rigorously trained conceptual figurative art.

Will Kurtz’s smoking, drinking, sitting-on-the-front-porch people are not figures, not sculptures, but a nation we know from the check-out line and bus stop. By making his family and friends out of landfill he suggests that what we view as disposable is anything but.

Panni Malekzadeh’s work keeps the dreams of "Once upon a time…" and "… happily ever after," provisionally alive with beautifully rendered, poetically conceived fantasies sprinkled with unicorns, fairy dust and sexual politics.

Peter Mühlhäußer's steely, pre-pubescent boys are acting out culturally specific global narratives. Vulnerable and aggressive, toy-like and precisely observed, these polymorphic seedlings are the past, present and the future simultaneously.

Previous Fellows of the Academy include Ali Banisadr (Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects), Amy Bennett (Richard Heller Gallery) and Helen Verhoeven (Wallspace). New York Academy of Art Fellows are now represented by galleries in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and abroad and have been featured in art fairs around the globe, including Art Basel, Art Basel Miami and Scope.