Newsletter Spring 2017

Director’s Message

By Dr. Simonetta Moro

It’s the end of the spring semester at IDSVA, and as we prepare for the summer, we are taking the opportunity to look back at these last few months and sum up the many exciting things we’ve experienced together.

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They Call Us to More: Pipilotti Rist at The New Museum NYC

By Jacqueline Moulton, Cohort ’15

Traveling does more than transport the body into different places; it jettisons the mind into a chaotic relationship with time with the body scurrying behind. Traveling drops us into a whirlwind where the past bruises the ethereal present which passes into the future the moment you notice it. Few things invite us into the whirlwind as much as the work of Pipilotti Rist—an invitation which is as harsh as jet lag and as kind as drifting off to sleep.

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Round Heads and Square Boxes: Francis Picabia at MoMA

By Neely Patton, Cohort ’16

Francis Picabia: playboy prankster, art loser, chameleonic modernist, monster, trouble maker—these are the labels found in prominent reviews of MoMA’s exhibition, Our Heads Are So Round So Our Thoughts Can Change. The title of the show originates in Picabia’s letterpress cover La Pomme de pins (The Pinecone) from 1922 and leaves little to the imagination with regard to how curator Anne Umland positions Picabia within the greater scheme of Modernism. Reframe. Rediscover.

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Empathetic To Truths: Resolving Interpersonal Conflict Through the Work of Hank Willis Thomas

By Eric Bess, Cohort ’16

It was a pleasure to listen to Hank Willis Thomas present his artworks and philosophy. As a young African American artist, it was the first time I had seen and heard a successful African American artist in person. I was infected by the obvious energy and passion he had about his work and ideas. I was struck by the experience and questioned my own approach to my practice.

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Professional News

Find out what's going on with our students and faculty, if they've changed positions or if someone has qualified for a scholarship.

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In Search of Beauty: An Interview with Dr. Deborah Willis

By Michelle Perkins, Cohort ’13

In recent years the number of black scholars and artists in the spotlight has continued to surge. There is also a rise in the amount of black women operating within the field as artists, educators, scholars, curators and authors, contributing to conferences and exhibitions from New York to Florence, as well as South Africa. One particular commonality linking a majority of these women: Dr. Deborah Willis.

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Agnes Martin: The Quiet Mysticism

By George Orwel, Cohort ’15

In the spring of 1956, a duck-walking Chuck Berry sang “Roll over Beethoven and dig these rhythm and blues” in an act of rebellion against musical conventions much in the same way that Agnes Martin did for art. Berry hated classical music while Martin adored it in a way that reflects her “resistance to change” and her love for “repetition.”

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Reality is Irrelevant: Dreamlands at the Whitney Museum

By Laila Kouri, Cohort ’16

There is something to be said for growing up surrounded by Art; it is both a privilege and a curse. The negative side is there is the potential to become jaded. The magical allure of the art world loses its mystery, and I find myself thinking, have I really seen it all? But there is hope. Every now and then, I will stumble across a show that challenges me to my core.

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The Art of Maintenance

By Brooke Bryan, Cohort ’16

When I first encountered Mierle Laderman Ukeles’ manifesto on maintenance art I was a new student at IDSVA working my way through Art In Theory 1900-2000, or ‘The White Book’ as we affectionately call it, for the first time. I was drowning in a sea of twentieth century art theory, wrestling with the difference between determinative and reflective judgements, mapping Kantian concepts, and pondering the function of art.

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From Kant to Steampunk: A Recent Graduate Reflects upon Her IDSVA Journey

By Dr. Kathe Hicks Albrecht, Cohort ’11

We gathered together in New York City on January 14, 2017, a vibrant assortment of individuals, a mix of intellectually curious artists and philosophers. With graduates and faculty in academic robes and guests in celebratory finery, the JP Morgan Library’s Gilder Lehrman Hall served as an impressive backdrop. I had been to that jewel-box of an auditorium just a few times before, as a new and uncertain IDSVA student attending earlier graduation ceremonies.

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