RISD 2016 MFA Painting Thesis
Opening Reception: July 7, 2016 6-8 pm
July 7 – July 22, 2016
Rosalind Breen, Danny Ferrell, Syraya Horton, Tristram Lansdowne, Stuart Lantry, Shona McAndrew, Jagdeep Raina, Paul Rouphail, Ziyang Wu, Ping Zheng
20 EYES IN MY HEAD by Dennis Congdon
This show presents the most recent work of ten young artists who have spent their last two years working on Master’s degrees in painting at the Rhode Island School of Design. There is no single organizing theme behind this exhibition, but these ten very different artists form a creative nexus…and they do so in two senses. Certainly their cohort can be described as such, but so can the studio of each. Each brings a fresh sense of possibility and renewal to their work -most often more poetic than polemic. Each is unafraid of a mash-up or synthesis of familiar parts into a new whole never seen before.
Rosalind Breen lifts the world of the fairy tale up to a place neither edenic nor doomed. Employing a touch with the strength of restraint, her large drawings develop the shimmering materiality of the silver screen. These layered works unfurl with a wry sense of humor that masks a sober determination to deliver us from the doldrums.
Danny Ferrell– In his new paintings he looks at flesh, fabric, and frission as Ingres might have had he spent more time on the beach studying tattoos. Unbuttoned, with rolled-up sleeves these figures know it is better to glow than sweat. Ferrell admires Cadmus and Tooker and follows their lead to bring together the epic and banal in his work.
Syraya Horton’s collaged and painted works on paper pose as posters with platitudes urging self improvement- up from the sofa, down on the yoga mat- but after we turn away- a boomerang strikes. These are angry works that demand a closer look at where social media, selfie culture, and self-surveillance have begun to lead.
Shona McAndrew Okoshken makes paintings, drawings, and photographs of full-size women and her newest works are sculptures. She has described her route as from two-dimensional representations of real women to actual realizations of imagined women. McAndrew’s imagined women in their private moments are generous and in a world where more loved can become most…les plus belles.
Tristram Lansdowne situates his watercolor paintings of modern villas at the fulcrum point between aspects of an architecture that attracts us but does not welcome us. Working with aplomb under a most elegant surface he manipulates perspective and how an image unfolds to access spatial ambiguity, discontinuity, and the uncanny.
Ping Zheng in her new abstract paintings has explored a personal connection to what she has called “the outside natural world and the inside natural world”. Exploring memories- both physical and emotional- and synthesizing her experiences out of doors today, she has developed a visual language that is ever-mutable, always deep-rooted. These are paintings that can be by turns transcendent, uplifting, buoyant, or earthbound. With color, light, and touch- soul is given voice.
Stuart Lantry’s studio is a staging area for performance and installation and a shop producing mad machines, complicated contraptions that create their own purpose and thereby solve in a sense a problem of their own devise. Turning ‘purposeful’ on its head Lantry’s inventions each present a loop- his bright response to a dark world under duress. He puts us on a Mobius treadmill on which we must ask ‘where are we going?’
Jagdeep Raina’s large works on paper stretch wide from side to side but align themselves with the riches of the margins as these are heartfelt works dedicated to the highs and lows of refugees exiled in estranged landscapes. Exploring the diaspora and the resilience of Punjabi culture, Raina combines archivist persistence and researcher memory to become the soulful artist who looks ahead.
Paul Rouphail’s painting draws a viewer into a world where architecture, advertisement, and news imagery meet pop iconography, emoticons, neon, and mustard. His work is a site from which shiny skyscrapers rise and reflect a painted world where we are offered a firm reminder that Poetry is Vertical and the 3rd Estate collides with the 5th.
Ziyang Wu– With black humor and a seriousness that could be called deadly Wu uses video, installation, and performance to bring a new dawn. Under the banner “Absurd Carnival” he projects operatic works of feverish tumult and fugue-like polyphonics.