Tuesday Night MFA Lecture Series

Hosted by the graduate programs in Painting and Sculpture at Boston University, the Tuesday Night MFA Lecture series brings practicing artists to campus to present their work. All lectures are free and open to the public.

Spring 2018 Lectures

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Keltie Ferris
Tuesday, February 6, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Keltie Ferris is known for her large-scale canvases covered with layers of spray paint and hand-painted geometric fields. Ferris’s pixilated backgrounds and atmospheric foregrounds create perceptual depth that allows for multidimensional readings of her work.  In her ongoing series of body prints, Ferris uses her own body like a brush, covering it with natural oils and pigments and pressing it against a canvas, to literalize the relationship of the artists’ identity to the work that she produces. Keltie Ferris currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated with a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and an MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2006. Her work has been presented in exhibitions at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, the Brooklyn Museum, the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, the Kitchen in New York, Saatchi Gallery in London, and the Academy of Arts and Letters in New York, to name a few. She was recently awarded the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award in Painting by the Academy of Arts and Letters.

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George Nick
Rescheduled: Tuesday, March 20, 7:30 pm
Room 411, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
George Nick is a nationally recognized realist painter based in Boston. Blurring the line between realism and expressionism, Nick has described his painting style as intuitive and inventive. What we see between the frames is not a moment frozen in time, but a collection of moments that unify in our mind’s eye. Nicks paintings are complicated, he is constantly running in circles, following ideas that lead to moments of clarification which, in turn, give birth to a new set of problems and intangible thoughts waiting to be chased down and painted. Nick taught painting at Massachusetts College of Art and Design for twenty-five years. His work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; the Hirschhorn Museum; and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., as well as many others.

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Caitlin Keogh
Tuesday, March 27, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Caitlin Keogh’s work explores questions of gender and representation, articulations of personal style, and the construction of artistic identity. Her vivid, seductive paintings combine the graphic lines of hand-drawn commercial illustration with the bold matte colors of the applied arts to reimagine fragments of female bodies, natural motifs, pattern, and ornamentation. Drawing from clothing design, illustration, and interior decoration as much as art history, Keogh’s large-scale canvases dissect elements of representations of femininity with considerable wit, pointing to the underlying conditions of the production of images of women. Keogh is a graduate of the Milton Avery Graduate School of The Arts at Bard and the Cooper Unioni School of Art in New York. Her work has been exhibited at Mary Boone Gallery, MoMA PS1, the Whitney Museum of America Art, the Queens Museum, and the Renwick Gallery, among others. Her work will be on view in a solo exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston this spring.

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Lisa Yuskavage
Thursday, May 3, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Since the early 1990s, Lisa Yuskavage’s paintings have interrogated the potential of the female nude, in part sparking the recent re-engagement with the figure in contemporary painting. Her canvases cast painstakingly rendered yet exaggerated female figures—and more recently, men—within atmospheric landscapes charged with color. Her work mines the contradictions that historically define representations of women in painting, producing a complex play between alienation and affection, vulgarity and earnestness, visual pleasure and psychological revulsion. Her work has been the subject of exhibitions at the Rose Art Museum, the Royal Academy of Arts, the Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, the Museum of Modern Art, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, among many others.

Fall 2017 Lectures

Ryan Johnson sculpture
Ryan Johnson
Tuesday, September 19, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Ryan Johnson is a visual artist based in Brooklyn, New York. His sculptures, made from a variety of materials, among them wood, medical casting tape and sheet metal, have been described as having “strange spatial compressions, surreal displacements and quasi-Futurist illusions of movement.” Johnson grew up in Jakarta, Indonesia and holds a BFA from Pratt Institute and an MFA from Columbia University. His work has been featured in exhibitions at MoMA PS1 in New York, The Sculpture Center, Sikkema Jenkins, White Flag Projects, and the Saatchi Gallery in London, among others. He is represented by The Suzanne Geiss Company in SoHo, New York.James Siena Painting
James Siena
Tuesday, September 26, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Based in New York, James Siena creates rule-based linear abstractions. His artwork is driven by self-imposed predetermined sets of rules, or “visual algorithms,” which find their end-result in intensely concentrated, vibrantly-colored, freehand geometric patterns. Siena works across a diverse range of media, including lithography, etching, woodcut, engraving, drawing and painting. He has been featured in more than one hundred solo and group exhibitions since 1981, including the 2004 Whitney Biennial. His work is included in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art, among others. Siena was inducted to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2000 and was elected an Academician at The National Academy in 2011.  He is represented by Pace Gallery.

Caitlin Cherry Painting
Caitlin Cherry
Tuesday, October 3, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Caitlin Cherry was born in Chicago and lives and works in Brooklyn. In a hybrid practice that combines installation and painting, Cherry weaves together references to art history and present day politics, expanding the formal and discursive spaces of painting. Her installations often involve the institutions in which they are shown, such as museums and galleries, to playfully suggest the ability to inflict damage on what could be regarded as bastions of cultural authority. Cherry received her MFA from Columbia University and her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Cherry’s work has been exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Brooklyn Museum, the University Museum for Contemporary Art at UMass Amherst, and the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, among others. She is a recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Fellowship Residency.

Corin Hewitt installation
Corin Hewitt
Tuesday, October 24, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Corin Hewitt is an artist working primarily in sculpture, photography and installation. Hewitt’s process-driven work is defined by a constant and open-ended manipulation of materials, spaces and images. His methods include cooking, sculpting, heating and cooling, casting, canning, eating, and photographing both organic and inorganic materials. The result is an intimate examination of the cycles of transformation and transience. Hewitt received a BA from Oberlin College and an MFA from Milton Avery School of Art at Bard College. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, and the Seattle Art Museum, among others. He has been awarded a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Rome Prize.

Tomashi Jackson painting
Tomashi Jackson
Tuesday, October 31, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Tomashi Jackson’s practice combines painting, textile, sculpture, video, and collage. Her works draw disparate connections between formal concerns such as Albers’ color theory and social realities such as police brutality and racism in America. Her visually and mimetically layered works explore the entwined relationships between the aesthetic and the political within society. Her work has been exhibited at MASS MoCA, the New Museum in New York, the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard, the Walker Art Center, and MoMA PS1, among others. Jackson earned a BFA from The Cooper Union, an MS from the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, and an MFA from Yale School of Art.

Mark Thomas Gibson print
Mark Thomas Gibson
Tuesday, November 7, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Mark Thomas Gibson is a Brooklyn-based painter. Gibson works with the visual language of comics and cartoons to wrestle with difficult historical and social issues. Working in open-ended series, his paintings feature recurring characters and settings that serve as allegories for the history of colonialism and its impact on the American cultural fabric. Gibson received a BFA from Cooper Union and an MFA from Yale in 2013. His work has been exhibited at Matthew Mark Gallery, Fredericks & Freiser, and Salon 94, and he was recently featured in the group exhibition Black Pulp! at Yale University Art Gallery.

Peter Saul painting
Peter Saul
Tuesday, November 28, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Long before Bad Painting became a central concern of contemporary art, San Francisco-born painter Peter Saul deliberately offended good taste. Employing a crossover of Pop Art, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, San Francisco funk and cartoon culture of the 1960s, Saul’s work addresses the pressing political and social issues that underlie American culture. Vietnam, Reagan, protests, sex, drugs, and the American dream clash in paintings rendered in screaming Day-Glo colors. Throughout his over fifty-year career, he has explored difficult subjects with transgressive yet engaging humor, influencing generations of young artists in the process. His work can be found in the collections of major museums across the world, including the Art institute of Chicago, Centre Georges Pompidou, Moderna Museet, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, The Museum of Modern Art, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, to name just a few.

Ulrike Muller artwork
Ulrike Müller
Tuesday, December 5, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Avenue
Born in Austria and based in New York, Ulrike Müller works primarily in painting, pushing the tradition of hardedge abstraction beyond formal concerns to explore issues of identity and representation. Combining her painting practice with performance, sculpture, publishing, and textiles among numerous other media and approaches, oftentimes working collaboratively, Müller’s work explores questions of the body and identity politics from a queer perspective. She has been a coeditor of the queer feminist journal LTTR and organized Herstory Inventory. 100 Feminist Drawings by 100 Artists. Recent exhibitions include a solo show at mumok in Vienna, as well as inclusion in the 2017 Whitney Biennial and in Painting 2.0: Expression in the Information Age at Museum Brandhorst in Munich. Her work has also been exhibited at MoMA PS1, the Hessel Museum of Art, Dia Art Foundation and the ICA Boston. Most recently her work is included in the exhibition Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon at the New Museum in New York. Müller teaches painting at Bard College and Yale University.

2016-2017 Lectures

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Dru Donovan
Tuesday, September 20, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Dru Donovan received a BFA from California College of the Arts in 2004 and an MFA from Yale School of Art in 2009. Donovan’s work has shown nationally and internationally and was included in reGeneration2: Tomorrow’s Photographers Today at the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland, and in the 2010 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art. She has been included in group shows at Fraenkel Gallery, Yancey Richardson Gallery, Brancolini Grimaldiand, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center and a solo show at Hap Gallery. Donovan’s photographs have been published in Aperture Magazine, Blind Spot, Picture Magazine, Matte Magazine, The New York Times Magazine and Vice. Her work is in the collections of Deutsche Bank and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  In 2011 TBW Books published her first book, Lifting Water. In 2011-2012 she participated in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace studio residency. Awards Donovan has received are the John Gutmann Photography Fellowship in 2015 and is a 2016-2017 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow.
She has taught at many institutions including Parsons School for Design, Pratt Institute, Lewis & Clark College, University of Hartford and Yale University and will be a Visiting Lecturer at Harvard in the fall of 2016.

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Jordan Casteel
Tuesday, September 27, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Jordan Casteel (b. 1989 in Denver, CO) received her B.A. from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA for Studio Art (2011) and her M.F.A. in Painting and Printmaking from Yale School of Art in New Haven, CT (2014). She has been an artist-in-residence at Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY, (2015) Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Process Space, Governors Island, NY, (2015), The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY (2015), and is currently an awardee for The Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, DUMBO, NY (2016). She has had two solo exhibitions in New York with Sargent’s Daughters in August 2014 and October 2015 and was featured in Artforum, The New York Times, Flash Art, New York Magazine, FADER, Time Out New York, The New York Observer and Interview Magazine. Casteel is an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University-Newark.

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Lucy Kim
Tuesday, October 4, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Lucy Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised between South Korea, Myanmar, and the United States. She received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2001 and her MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2007. She attended the Yale Summer School of Art and Music, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the MacDowell Colony, and is the recipient of the Carol Schlosberg Memorial Prize and the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship from Yale, as well as the Boston Artadia Award. She is a founding member of the collaborative kijidome, and is currently Lecturer in Fine Arts at Brandeis University. Kim lives and works in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her work is included in the collection of the Kadist Foundation in Paris, amongst others. She is a recipient of the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston’s Foster Prize, and will have an exhibition at the ICA in 2017.

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Allison Katz
Tuesday, October 18, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Allison Katz is a painter who investigates and pushes the conventions and history of Western painting. Her work rejects formal or thematic coherence—within the picture plane or throughout the artist’s oeuvre—and therefore resists the labeling of a style. Avoiding narrative or continuity, the artist instead chooses to approach each canvas anew, taking on different personas, and sometimes forcing opposing tastes to coexist uncomfortably within a single tableau. Motifs do reappear—black pears, strawberries, monkeys, noses, silhouettes, roosters, clocks—but less as representations or signatures, and more as a visual lexicon which allows her to expand and distort their meanings in an ongoing meditation on the nature of representation and the elasticity of symbols.
Katz’s work has been shown in solo exhibitions at Johan Berggren Gallery in Malmö, Sweden, Battat Contemporary in Montreal, and BFA Boatos in Sao Paulo. She has also been included in group exhibitions at Scupture Center in New York, and Tate Britain in London. She is the recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant.

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Lydia Dona
Tuesday, October 25, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Lydia Dona was born in Bucharest, Romania. She received her BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Art in Jerusalem and the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1982 and her MFA from Hunter College in New York in 1984. Her work is held in significant public and private collections including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Canada, the S.M.A.K. Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgium, and the Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich. In addition, she has lectured extensively on contemporary painting. Her work focuses on the exploration of the urban environment and the encroachment of technology on the human body. Her approach to abstraction often emphasizes a collision of natural form and machinery parts.

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Meriem Bennani
Tuesday, November 1, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
New Yorked-based artist Meriem Bennani grew up in Morocco, earned an MFA from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and a BFA from Cooper Union in New York. Bennani and artist Hayden Dunham are the co-founders of Other Travel, a collaborative curatorial project involving the creation and delivery of extra-terrestrial gifts to seven artists in the New York area. She is also one half of Some Silly Stories, a series of hand-animated perversions based on her own crude drawings and a constant dialog with musician Flavien Berger.
Meriem is currently working on videos and photographs documenting the life of Fardaous Funjab, the avant-garde Moroccan Hijab designer. The project explores the encounter of fashion and religion with a focus on the aesthetics of sexuality in a contemporary Muslim context. Bennani is interested in dissolving tropes and questioning systems of representation through a strategy of magical realism and humor as an unreliable pacifier.

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Mike Rader
Tuesday, November 8, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Mike Rader’s images grow and evolve with his surroundings and are influenced not only by his physicality in the world, but in the work as well. His fascinating approach to painting creates a multiplicity of theme and images as the canvases unfold and unfold again, while opening the images from the inside out like the gutting of a large animal. This dynamic struggle to literally cut open the canvas to expose the art within breaks the boundaries of a conventionally flat surface to create a new dimension of artistic form. Mike has created a malleable two dimensional surface without relying on a dense or mountainous layer of paint to achieve a new space in works of canvas. Mike lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

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Didier William
Tuesday, November 15, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Didier William is originally from Port-au-prince, Haiti. He received his BFA in painting from The Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA in painting and printmaking from Yale University School of Art. His work has been exhibited at the Bronx Museum of Art, The Fraenkel Gallery, Frederick and Freiser Gallery, and Gallery Schuster in Berlin. He was an artist in residence at the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation in Brooklyn, NY and has taught at Yale School of Art, Vassar College, Columbia University, and SUNY Purchase. Forthcoming he will serve as the Chair of the MFA Program at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, beginning in the fall of 2016.

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Paula Wilson
Monday, November 21, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Artist Paula Wilson’s work has been featured in group and solo exhibitions in the United States and Europe, including the Studio Museum in Harlem, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., Bellwether Gallery, Fredric Snitzer Gallery, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Johan Berggren Gallery in Sweden, and Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw. She is a recipient of numerous grants and awards including a Joan Mitchell Artist Grant, Art Production Fund’s P3Studio Artist-in-Residency at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas, and the Happy and Bob Doran Artist-in-Residence Fellowship at Yale University Art Gallery.
Wilson earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Washington University in 1998 and a Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University in 2005. She lives and works in Carrizozo, New Mexico.

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Jennifer Bornstein
Tuesday, January 24, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Working in film, photography, and intaglio printing, Jennifer Bornstein creates representations of ordinary people engaged in the quotidian. Bornstein’s works often layer varying mediums and periods of artmaking—typically representing both slow processes with more fast-paced processes—such as her etchings based on photographs of figures posed in the same manner as the subjects of 19th-century archival photographs.
Bornstein received an M.F.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and participated in the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program. She has received numerous awards and grants, including a DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm fellowship, a Sharpe Foundation grant, and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant. Her work has been widely exhibited in the United States and Europe, including solo shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and group exhibitions at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Serpentine Gallery, London, and Menil Collection, Houston, among others. She has contributed essays to Frieze Magazine, the Getty Research Journal, Mousse Magazine, and other publications. Bornstein was a Radcliffe Institute and Film Study Center Fellow at Harvard University in 2014-15. She was recently announced as one of the winners of the 2017 James and Audrey Foster Prize at the ICA Boston, and will have an exhibition at the museum this spring.

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Caroline Woolard
Tuesday, January 31, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Caroline Woolard works collaboratively to make art and infrastructure for the solidarity economy. After co-founding and co-directing resource sharing networks OurGoods.org and TradeSchool.coop from 2008-2014, Woolard’s organizing work is now focused on BFAMFAPhD.com to raise awareness about the impact of rent, debt, and precarity on culture and on the NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative to create and support truly affordable commercial space for cultural resilience and economic justice in New York City. While making infrastructure, Woolard furnishes gathering spaces with objects that are as imaginative as the conversations that occur in those spaces.
Caroline Woolard’s work has been supported by residencies and fellowships at MoMA, the Queens Museum, the Judson Church, the Rockefeller Cultural Innovation Fund, Eyebeam, the MacDowell Colony, and by unemployment benefits, the curiosity of strangers, her partner, and many collaborators. Recent group exhibitions include: Crossing Brooklyn, The Brooklyn Museum, New York, NY; Maker Biennial, The Museum of Art and Design, New York, NY; and Artist as Social Agent, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH. Woolard’s work will be featured in Art21’s New York Close Up documentary series over the next three years. Woolard is a lecturer at the School of Visual Arts and the New School, a project manager at the worker-owned design firm CoLab.coop, and is a member of the Community Economies Research Network and the board of the Schumacher Center for a New Economics.

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Mira Dancy
Tuesday, February 21, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Taking a feminist approach, Mira Dancy makes powerful, expressive works centered on the female nude. She works primarily on canvas, but has also branched out into wall painting, neon light pieces, projected images, and sculptural painted combines. Dancy often works on a large-scale, filling her canvases with expansive nudes rendered in a vibrant array of colors and with calligraphic, sweeping lines. Unlike the women who appear in paintings throughout art history, her nudes are imbued with a sense of strength and self-possession, in addition to a knowingly exaggerated sex appeal.
Dancy received her MFA from Columbia University in 2009, and her BA from Bard College in 2001. She has had solo exhibitions at Night Gallery in Los Angeles; Chapter NY in New York; and Galerie Hussenot in Paris. In 2015 she was included in Greater New York at MoMA PS1. Dancy’s work has been covered in The New York Times, Art in America, Artforum, Kaleidoscope, and ArtNews, among other publications.

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Sheila Pepe
Tuesday, February 28, 6:30 pm
Jacob Sleeper Auditorium, 871 Commonwealth Ave.
Sheila Pepe is best known for her large-scale, ephemeral installations and sculpture made from domestic and industrial materials. Since the mid-1990s, Pepe has used feminist and craft traditions to investigate received notions concerning the production of canonical artwork as well as the artist’s relationship to museum display and the art institution itself.
Pepe’s work has been exhibited widely, in group exhibitions such as the first Greater New York at PS1/MoMA; Hand + Made: The Performative Impulse in Art & Craft, Contemporary Art Museum Houston, Texas; Queer Threads at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Lesbian and Gay Art in New York; and the ICA/Boston’s traveling exhibition Fiber: Sculpture 1960-present. She received her BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She is a Core Critic in the Painting + Printmaking Department at Yale University.

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Steffani Jemison
Tuesday, March 21, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Steffani Jemison is an interdisciplinary artist whose work considers issues that arise when conceptual practices are inflected by black history and vernacular culture. Jemison uses rigorous formal methods to explore her interests in the politics of serial form, the limits of narrative description, and the tension between improvisation, repetition, and fugitivity. Her time-based, photographic, and discursive projects question notions of “progress” and its alternatives.
Jemison’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, at the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, The Drawing Center, LAXART, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art, Team Gallery, and others. Jemison holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA in Comparative Literature from Columbia University. She has taught fine art at Columbia University, Parsons The New School for Design, Wellesley College, Trinity College, Rice University, the Cooper Union, and other institutions. She is the 2016-2017 Arthur J. Levitt ’52 Artist-in-Residence at Williams College.

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Mary Reid Kelley & Patrick Kelley
Monday, March 27, 6:30 pm
Jacob Sleeper Auditorium, 871 Commonwealth Ave.
Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley are a husband-and-wife collaborative duo whose work collides video, performance, painting and writing. Their highly theatrical vignettes explore gender, class, and social norms within history, art, and literature. The artists’ use wordplay, punning and rhyme humorously and incisively deconstruct how history is written and represented.
Mary Reid Kelley earned a BA from St. Olaf College and an MFA from Yale University. She is the recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Grant. Major exhibitions include Salt Lake Art Center, SITE Santa Fe, Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Patrick Kelley earned a BFA from St. Olaf College and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He has taught Photography, Video and New Media courses at the University of Minnesota, St. Olaf College, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and Skidmore College in New York.

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Vishal Jugdeo
Tuesday, April 4, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Vishal Jugdeo is a Canadian artist who lives and works in Los Angeles. Jugdeo works primarily in video and sculptural installations, which sometimes include moving elements that enhance the works’ narrative and conceptual dimensions. His videos include biographical elements, retelling stories about Jugdeo and his boyfriend, his friends, and his family. Although his videos are carefully scripted, the ambiguity of his characters’ interactions and the permeability of their modes of display disrupt passive spectatorship, encouraging his audience’s full immersion in the work.
Jugdeo completed an MFA at University of California Los Angeles, a BFA at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, Maine. He has exhibited widely, including solo shows at LAXART, Los Angeles, and The Western Front and Helen Pitt Artist Run Center in Vancouver, BC. He is currently developing a performative work for live broadcast, which will air on public access television in conjunction with an exhibition at Queens Nails Projects, San Francisco. Jugdeo is represented by Thomas Solomon Gallery in Los Angeles.

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Sam Messer
Tuesday, April 11, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Sam Messer’s portraits of writers and still-lifes of typewriters reveal a deep commitment to the connections between visual art and language. Messer regularly collaborates directly with writers on his paintings, as well as on hand-made animations created from thousands of individual etchings and drawings.
Messer received a B.F.A. from Cooper Union in 1976 and an M.F.A. from Yale University in 1982. His work may be found in public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Art Institute of Chicago, and Yale University Art Gallery. He has received numerous awards including a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation grant, the Engelhard Award, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is Associate Dean and professor at the Yale School of Art. He is represented by Nielsen Gallery, Boston, and Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Los Angeles.

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Dana Frankfort
Tuesday, April 18, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Merging graffiti and high art abstraction, Dana Frankfort’s paintings occupy a hazy space between verbal and visual communication. Using text as a platform for expressive embellishment, each canvas reveals a word or phrase within its sumptuous, intensely colored surface; simple statements such as ‘Believe’, ‘Beyond’, or ‘Paint’ become esoteric starting points for the physical negotiation of painting. Repeatedly scrawled, painted over, scribbled out, and intensified, each slogan becomes abstracted as a series of intersecting lines, curves and angles, their meanings amplified and distorted through the gesture and surface quality of their manifestation.
Frankfort received an MFA from Yale in 1997 and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. One-person exhibitions include The Space Between Paintings, Carillon Gallery, Fort Worth, TX; HIT OR MISS, James Harris Gallery, Seattle, WA; Sorry We’re Closed, Brussels; Bellwether Gallery, New York, NY; Inman Gallery; and Kantor/Feuer Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. Her paintings were included in the group exhibition Abstract America: New Painting from the U.S., Saatchi Gallery, London; and in Learning by Doing: 25 Years of the Core Program, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX. Frankfort received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 2006. Her paintings are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, Rice University, Houston, TX, and The Jewish Museum, New York, NY.

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Aliza Nisenbaum
Tuesday, April 25, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
Born in Mexico City and currently based in New York, Aliza Nisenbaum’s paintings are intimate exchanges between herself and her subjects. The artist makes portraits of undocumented Latin American immigrants, hand-written letters, books, and other personal objects. Often lushly decorated with patterened textiles, her canvases demand close looking in keeping with her personal connections to her subjects.
Nisenbaum has presented her work internationally, at Mary Mary, Glasgow; White Columns, New York; Lulu, Mexico City; and Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago. National and International group exhibitions have included the Biennial of the Americas, MCA, Denver; the Rufino Tamayo Painting Biennial, Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City; 68 Projects, Berlin; Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice; Princeton University School of Architecture; The Renaissance Society, Chicago; Green Gallery, Yale School of Art, among others. She received her BFA and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has been a resident at The Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program and Artist-in-Residence at the University of Tennessee. Fellowships and grants include the Rema Hort Mann NYC award, and the Fellowship for Immigrant Women Leaders from NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA). She has also been a participating artist at Immigrant Movement International, Corona Park, Queens. Her work will be featured in the upcoming 2017 Whitney Biennial.

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Harold Mendez
Tuesday, May 2, 7:30 pm
Room 303, 808 Commonwealth Ave.
A first-generation American artist born in Chicago to Colombian and Mexican parents, Harold Mendez works with installation, photography, sculpture and text to reference reconstructions of place and identity. His work addresses the relationships between transnational citizenship, memory and possibility, considering how history is not only an affirmed past, but a potential future. His recent work examines how reclaimed objects, makeshift monuments and images reveal a life parallel to conflict, demonstrating both factual evidence and where traces of fiction emerge.
Selected exhibitions include the 2017 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Renaissance Society; Museum of Modern Art / PS1, New York; Studio Museum, Harlem; Drawing Center, New York; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Project Row Houses, Houston; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia. His work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Studio Museum, Harlem; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Mendez has held residencies at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. He is a recipient of the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship; 3Arts Award; Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship; and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant. Mendez studied at Columbia College Chicago; University of Science and Technology, School of Art, Ghana, West Africa; and the University of Illinois at Chicago.