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
Nancy Margolis Gallery is pleased to announce the Rhode Island School of Design’s MFA Painting Thesis will be on view July 7 through July 22, 2016. The opening reception will take place on Thursday, July 7, 6 to 8pm. 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.
May 1st, 2016
Rosalind Breen is a Canadian born, interdisciplinary artist whose work explores the nature of empathy and archetypes as shared through contemporary pop culture, and the internet. Her work has been exhibited throughout Canada, Iceland and the United States. She is currently a graduate student at the Rhode Island school of design where she is pursuing an MFA degree in Painting.
Danny Ferrell is a painter whose work represents fantasies and fears about the other through depictions of the everyday queer male experience. The paintings are structured and informed by ever-present dichotomies: public/private, nature/culture, taste/kitsch, transparency/opacity. Loosely based on his own relationships, experiences, and imagination, Ferrell’s work functions like a daydream, where memory, longing, and external influences shape a personal fiction. Danny lives and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Syraya Horton is an interdisciplinary artist who employs painting, photography, and collage to navigate the complex relationship between women’s physical self-awareness and social media. Her work has been shown in Austin, Houston, Providence and New York. In 2013, Horton was the recipient of the Joan Mitchell Fellowship to attend a month-long residency at the Vermont Studio Center.
Stuart Lantry is an interdisciplinary artist, whose sculptures, drawings, videos and performances attempt to contend with the absurdity of urban life. His work hovers between function and failure and fact and fiction, establishing closed loop systems to explore psychological aspects of his relationship to the built environment. A native of Los Angeles, Lantry earned his Bachelors degree from Dartmouth College, graduating manga cum laude and is currently a graduate student in the department of Painting at the Rhode Island School of Design. Lantry has shown his art in New York, Los Angeles, Providence, and New Hampshire.
Tristram Lansdowne is a Canadian artist whose watercolors, sculptures, installation and prints focus on themes related to landscape and architecture. Since graduating from the Ontario College of Art & Design in 2007 he has exhibited across Canada and the U.S. Recent exhibitions include Provisional Futures at the Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery, Empire of Dreams at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Contained at the Boston Centre for the Arts, and Half Master at Microscope Gallery in Brooklyn. He was a semi-finalist in the 2011 RBC Painting Competition and in 2013 his work was acquired by the National Gallery of Canada.
Shona McAndrew is a Paris born artist whose who received her Bachelors degree in the US at Brandeis University in Visual Arts and psychology. McAndrew, whose interdisciplinary practice employs drawing, painting, and printmaking explores themes of female representation and body positivity. She has exhibited in the US, throughout Boston, Providence, and New York.
Jagdeep Raina is a Canadian artist whose practice engages with archival materials as an entry point to construct works on paper exploring the history of Punjabi communities amid the South Asian diaspora throughout the Americas. His works have been exhibited throughout Canada and the United States including The Gelman Gallery at the Rhode Island School of Design, Capacity 3 Gallery in Guelph, Ontario, and Latitude 53 Gallery in Edmonton, Alberta.
Paul Rouphail is a painter who fuses architectural history, American pop iconography, and vernacular turns of phrase. His works have been exhibited at the The Gelman Gallery at the Rhode Island School of Design, Microscope Gallery in Brooklyn, The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University and The Chautauqua Institution, among others. Rouphail’s work has been reviewed online and in print, including in New American Paintings (Issue 122), The Chautauqua Daily (Howard Halle), and Gestalten Press’ Imagine Architecture (Lukas Feireiss and Robert Klanten).
Ziyang Wu is originally from Xuzhou, Jiangsu, China. Wu received his BFA from the Florence Academy of Fine Art in Italy. Since then his art practice has been focused on what Henri LeFebvre termed micro-alienation within contemporary Chinese society through a combination of video, painting, installation and performance. Wu has shown his work internationally in China, USA, and Europe including exhibitions at the Milan Design Week, at the Medici Palace, and at the Academy Art Museum in Maryland. This past year he was invited by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation to gather archival materials from his exhibitions and art events in China during the 1980s.
Ping Zheng’s paintings employ modernist, elemental and pictorial languages in exploring ideas of landscape. Zheng was born and raised in China, and left to pursue her studies in London at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, where she earned a Bachelors Degree. She is currently finishing up her MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design, and has participated in group shows both in the United Kingdom and the United States, respectively. She currently lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island.