Monday, May 28, 2012

UW MFA 2012

Hannah O'Gorman
The UW's 2012 MFA show opened up last Friday and I think it's a really solid show with some real standouts! My only critique is in the presentation; I wish they'd keep the design and the art exhibitions separate. I want to see them both, but I think each would be stronger on their own.

Shaun Roberts
I always love the ambitiousness of the MFA shows. Every year the front gallery is full of monumental paintings like Shaun Roberts' trio of large oil paintings which are nearly 8' tall. I also liked Hannah O'Gorman abstract paintings, especially Limb. 

Adam Lee Matthews
The rest of the front gallery is devoted to Adam Matthew's cool ceramic dinosaurs and Hilary Gray's interesting photography. I'm bummed that I didn't really get to chat with anyone from this room to get to know more about the work. 

Hilary Gray
I was completely charmed by Stephen Sewell's two works. One is a sculpture (which wasn't on when I visited) of a thin piece of mylar which stretches from floor to ceiling. When operating, the mylar twists via motor, almost to the point of breaking and then it unwinds itself. It reminded me of Charles Ray's Ink Line, which I think was intentional on Steve's part. 

Stephen Sewell
His other piece in the show is a 16 minute video called Taking myself out of the picture. The works feels like the cheeky offspring of Baldessari's Six Colorful Inside Jobs (1971) and Bruce Nauman's Art Make-Up (1967). And since Sewell's video is exactly one half as long as Baldessari's, I'm pretty sure this homage is intentional, especially when considering his previous "collaborations" with Baldessari, Nauman, and Ruscha. 

Caitlin Berndt
Painter Caitlin Berndt has a large series of paintings in the back which flirt with the etherealness of Lisa Yuskavage. Across from her are Tamblyn Gawley's delicate renderings of root structures.

Tamblyn Gawley

And I just loved Tony Sonnenberg's scultpural works. One is a blobby mountain called Sybaris, an ancient Greek city 'synonymous with pleasure and luxury'. Its indiscernible material (looks like molten metal but is actually ceramic, porcelain, and glaze) pulls you right in.

Anthony Sonnenberg
Its companion piece is an achingly beautiful bouquet of hand-cut brass flowers called Difficult and Without Forgiveness. The flowers' movement is caused by dildo motors. 

Rodrigo Valenzua
Rodrigo Valenzuela included three gorgeous landscape photographs, along with Diamond box, a powerful ten minute video about undocumented migrant workers.

Lyndsey Colburn
Lyndsey Coluburn's inclusions deal with the cartography of decay. One piece is a wall-drawing which took over 110 hours to complete. The other is a Picton-esque map of a crumbling wall. It's pretty stunning. Lyndsey said some of the densest parts are 50-60 layers of mylar. 

Find out more about both the MFA/MDE students here.

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