Art & Culture Lecture: Mark Mennin

Tuesday, November 30, 7:30 pm

FXM, The Ill-Humored Man, 1771-83

Mark Mennin, adjunct faculty at the Academy, will speak about his writings on "Messerschmidt: An Accidental Visionary," an article recently written for the Huffington Post. (Read more about it.) 

Mennin is a sculptor who is known mostly for his monumental granite carvings in landscape and architecture. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, ArtNews, The Boston Globe, Departures and on the cover of Sculpture Magazine. On the graduate faculty at the New York Academy of Art, Mark has also written on sculpture for Arts Magazine and ArtNews. 

All lectures are free and open to the public!
Next up: David Salle, Tuesday, December 7, 7:30pm
The NYAA Library suggests the following resources to prepare for the lecture.

Getting Started with the Biggest Brush Possible

Dear Friends,

Drawing can be a lovely activity, but the transition from planning a bacchanal on paper to painting in the fun bits on canvas can include arduous tasks. One could hand off these duties to an assistant, but doing them myself charges my subconscious for the last-minute flourishes that can make a painting come alive.

I am happy to answer questions!
Very truly yours,
Hilary Harkness

Art & Culture Lecture: Merrill Falkenberg

Tuesday, November 23, 7:30 pm

installation view for "All the More Real" at the Parrish Art Museum
Don’t miss tomorrow night’s lecture by Merrill Falkenberg, independent curator, writer and art advisor. With artist Eric Fischl of All the More Real, she co-curated a group exhibition on realism and hyperrealism at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, NY.
Ms. Falkenberg's lecture will focus on intimacy, empathy and the different strategies figurative artists use to draw or deflect the viewer's attention to the work.
Recently, she has been the curator of art at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT and prior to that held the same position at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, NY. She earned her Ph.D. in Art History from Stanford University where her disseration was one of the first written on video art.

All lectures are free and open to the public, see you there!
Next up: Alison Elizabeth Taylor , Tuesday, November 30, 7:30pm
The NYAA Library suggests the following resources to prepare for the lecture.

My ideas have changed, changed, and changed again...

by Aliene de Souza Howell (MFA 2011)
My ideas have changed, changed, and changed again. I have had much trouble trying to transfer the efficaciousness of my Germany mixed media works on paper into oil paintings or 3-dimensional pieces. After making a successful mock diorama I attempted to make a much larger 3-dimensional one that was an almost unqualified disaster. I also was working on a large oil painting of the same subject which has been slow and very naughty. It is currently in a time-out in my studio, facing the corner.

HOWEVER, I began working on a new totally unrelated painting of my cousin and had a fantastic and invigorating critique from my painting teacher, Margaret Bowland. Margaret was immediately disposed towards the portrait of my cousin I had been working on. She called me out on being a tormented artist and said how often when you have a natural aptitude for something you can take it for granted. And she was right, the supermarket painting felt forced. I was able to transfer the knowledge I gained from experimenting in Germany with different levels of transparency and opacity in my painting. Some areas are exposed underpainting and some are built up with wax medium.

Trial and error. Being a complete genius and nincompoop. A day (an hour?) in the studio. To quote e.e. cummings, "An artist, a man, a failure, must proceed."

The class I'm taking, Narrative Printmaking, is excellent. We did 20-minute presentations about what narrative printmaking means to us which were both informative and enlightening. I focused on Max Klinger (a Leipziger!) and Leonard Baskin mostly, and ended up with a lot of fresh inspiration. Although I went from Animal Farm to a Chinatown Umbrella story to my imagination and finally landed on a book of poetry, Thomas and Beulah, by Rita Dove, I picked up something with each incarnation. I had not done any printmaking in years and I have fallen in love with it all over again.

And I am outrageously excited about my Master Class with Jenny Saville this coming weekend!! The opportunity to take this class with her is one of the many reasons I came to the Academy and it is here!

Fellows: Austin Park

Austin Park grew up in Ft. Pierce, Florida and received his BFA from the University of Florida in 2003. He has always been interested in how we adapt to society over time and the modern rituals we create for ourselves His recent work is influenced from his time spent living and working in the Miami area, enamored by the collision of nature and the modern artificial world using environment and figure as symbols in dialogue with each other. He prefers the use of acrylics and mediums for the sense of immediacy and constructs images in plastic that reflect this dual reality.

Looking forward to the year, what do you think will be a challenge for you?

The challenge this year will be finding a balance between pushing my strengths and letting go of some of the conceptual baggage.  I think the year will be good for learning how to focus my ideas without going overboard and making the best use of my time in the studio.

What part of the art-making process do you find most satisfying?

What I have found to be the most satisfying thing about making art is solving certain problems you encounter while forming an image and discovering there are different ways to approach it. Something really happens between working from source material, life, and imagination together that you can't describe but transforms an idea into something more than you expected. Vincent Desiderio described it as finding 'the ineffable' in the studio.

Picnic c.1999-2009, 2010, Acrylic on Canvas, 48"x46"

Studio of Exhaustion from Diligent Service

The New York Academy of Art is pleased to share a new note by Hilary Harkness! Regularly posting her "Notes from Studio Lockdown," Hilary blogs with us as she prepares for her upcoming exhibition at Mary Boone Gallery in New York City. Follow her on this blog for sneak peeks into her studio!

Dear Friends,
One of the most important things an artist can have is a studio organizational structure that supports your creativity. One of the things that I like best and is important to me is my flat file, and that's because it keeps my color palette, plus all kinds of past reference material and things I can use to spark creativity and provide inspiration when I need it.

Let's look inside my flat file so you can see some of the things I keep here.

Yours very truly,

Art & Culture Lecture: Mia Brownell

Tuesday, November 16, 7:30 pm

Mia Brownell recently exhibited in a solo show with Alix Sloan: "Stomach Acid Dreams." A graduate of Carnegie Mellon and State University of New York, Buffalo, Mia has been teaching painting and drawing since 1993. She has held a tenured faculty position at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven since 2003. She was recently awarded the Southern Connecticut State University's Faculty Scholar Award and promoted to Full Professor.
Still Life with Cell Signal, 2010, Oil on canvas, 16x20 inches

"Brownell describes visiting a supermarket and being
'transported to a unique place without seasons' - I think 'transported' has to be understood in both senses of the term - when she views the Eden of organic life on the fruit counters. On the other hand, she acknowledges a debt to Dutch Old Master still lives of fruit. Thus she stands between the supermarket and the museum - in the commercial cornucopia of modern America and in the grand tradition of Old Master still life."
       - Donald Kuspit

All lectures are free and open to the public, bring a friend!
Next up: Merrill Falkenberg, Tuesday, November 23, 7:30pm
Click here for a complete schedule of 2010 Fall Art & Culture Lectures

The NYAA Library suggests these resources to prepare for the Lecture:

Art & Culture Lecture: Pablo Helguera

November 9, 7:30 pm

Pablo Helguera, "The Estheticist," is a free ongoing service of art consultation around practical, philosophical and ethical issues around the visual arts profession.

  1. Check out the latest issue of "The Estheticist."
  2. Think of a question and post it as a comment to this blog post. (Mr. Helguera would like to have these questions in advance, comment now!)
  3. Mr. Helguera's presentation will be about your questions, so ask away!

Helguera’s work focuses in a variety of topics ranging from history, pedagogy, sociolinguistics, ethnography, memory and the absurd, in formats that are widely varied including the lecture, museum display strategies, musical performances and written fiction.He is the author of eight books including: Endingness (2005), an essay on the art of memory; The Pablo Helguera Manual of Contemporary Art Style (2005; Spanish edition; 2007, English edition), a social etiquette manual for the art world.

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

Helguera (Mexico City, 1971) is a visual artist living and working in New York.

His work generally acquires unusual formats, ranging from experimental symposiums, the creation of fictional artists, phonograph recordings, exhibition audio-guides, publications or nomadic museums, and touches on topics of pedagogy, cognition, politics, history, fiction, and memory. His project The School of Panamerican Unrest (2003-08) consisted in driving the entire length of the Panamerican highway with a portable schoolhouse, conducting workshops and performances along the way, and is considered the most extensive public art project ever realized. A traveling monographic exhibition of this project will be presented in 2008 at the Stanley Picker Gallery, London, Museo del Barrio, New York, and Casa del Lago, Mexico City, amongst others.

He has presented his work individually at MoMA (performance Parallel Lives, 2003), RCA in London, and at the Hirshhorn museum in Washinton DC. He has participated in many international biennials, including the 8th Havana Biennial, the Liverpool Biennial, and PERFORMA.

He is the author of four books, including The Pablo Helguera Manual of Contemporary Art Style (2007), a social etiquette manual for the art world, and the novel The Boy Inside the Letter (2008), and of the musical works The Foreign Legion (2005) and The Witches of Tepoztlan (2007).

He currently is the Director of Adult and Academic Programs of the Education Department of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

"XXX"... the first-ever Alumni Reunion Exhibition

Please join us for the Opening Reception:
Friday, November 5th, 6-8 pm

The New York Academy of Art and the Alumni Association are pleased to present
an unprecedented exhibition of works from three classes of the Academy. Selected from the early, the middle and the most recent graduates, “X X X” is the first-ever alumni Reunion exhibition, a display of the Academy's legacy and the rich promise of the Academy's future. Over 60 paintings, drawings and sculptures trace not only the Academy's evolution but also each artist's personal journey.

The exhibition will remain on view through November 20. This exhibition is free and open to the public 2 - 8 pm or by appointment. Closed Tuesdays and Holidays. For more information, please email Charis at

Click for more information about recent Exhibitions and Alumni at the Academy.

Hilary Harkness: Notes from Studio Lockdown

The New York Academy of Art is pleased to introduce a new and ongoing bi-monthly series on this blog. Artist Hilary Harkness will be regularly posting "Notes from Studio Lockdown" as she prepares for her upcoming exhibition at Mary Boone Gallery in New York City. See below for her first "Note" and follow her on this blog as she pulls it all together!

detail from Iowa Class
I am going into exile to prepare for my show on May 5th, 2011 at Mary Boone Gallery, NYC. I have two paintings to complete, and time is running short! My posts on the Academy's blog will exist within the confines of this academic year only (2010-2011). Included in this series will be the following:
  • photo documentation from start to finish of each painting
  • technical information
  • links to videos interviews by an "innocent eye" - someone without an arts background - who asks me questions I might not think to answer otherwise
  • a tell-all account about painting on deadline - is survival possible?
  • time management tips for artists, or conversely, how to make painting as difficult as possible!
NYAA students, as you battle with your coursework and deadlines, you are not alone. I am with you in a parallel universe, coping with many of the same issues and willing to lend an ear. Because most professional artists guard their "secrets" and protect their privacy, I offer this documentation as something I had personally wished for while in school: a candid look over the shoulder of a practicing professional artist.

Yours very truly,
Hilary Harkness

Art & Culture Lecture: Ken Currie

November 2, time change: 7:00 pm

The first light of day (triptych), oil on canvas
Ken Currie is a Scottish painter, born in North Shields, England. He is one of the most influential living artists in Scotland. His paintings are displayed in public and museum collections worldwide. Currie's paintings are concerned with how the human body is affected by illness, aging and physical injury, social and political issues or philosophical questions.

All lectures are free and open to the public, see you there!
Next up: Pablo Helguera, Tuesday, November 9, 7:30pm
Click here for a complete schedule of 2010 Fall Art & Culture Lectures

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

  • Related titles on Scottish art in history and contemporary Scottish painting.
  • Access to articles and reviews through our electronic database subscriptionsl.
  • Images in ArtStor, collected in the Ken Currie image group for easy retrieval.