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Presented by MFA Art Writing

Amy Sillman: "Faux Pas." Reading and Discussion

Oct 29, 2020; 6:30 - 8:00pm
Book cover for Amy Sillman: Faux Pas. Selected Writings and Drawings

Artist Amy Sillman (BFA 1979 Fine Arts) will read an excerpt from her new book Faux Pas. Selected Writings and Drawings. Following the reading, Sillman will discuss her book with MFA Art Writing Chair David Levi Strauss.


Faux Pas. features essays on art-making, abstraction, humor, not-knowing, awkwardness and more, from one of New York’s most influential and popular painters and teachers, Amy Sillman.


Since the 1970s, Amy Sillman has developed a singular body of work that includes large-scale gestural paintings blending abstraction with representation, as well as zines and iPad animations. Over the past decade, Sillman has also produced stimulating essays on the practice of art or the work of other artists: for example, reevaluating the work of the abstract expressionists with a queer eye; elaborating on the role of awkwardness and the body in the artistic process; and discussing in-depth the role and meanings of color and shape. Featuring a foreword by Lynne Tillman, Faux Pas is the first book to gather a significant selection of Sillman’s essays, reviews and lectures, accompanied by drawings, most of them made specially for the book.


Faux Pas aims at revealing the coherence and originality of Sillman’s reflection, as she addresses the possibilities of art today, favoring excess over good taste, wrestling over dandyism, forms over symbols, with as much critical sense as humor. As Jason Farago notes in The New York Times, "Sillman is in a thin crowd (with, let’s say, Andrea Fraser, Hito Steyerl, Matias Faldbakken, David Salle) of artists who can really write. The evidence is in Faux Pas ... her writings display the same good humor and intelligence of her best paintings."


Amy Sillman (b. 1955) is a painter who has lived and worked in New York City since 1975. She earned her BFA in 1979 at SVA, and her MFA from Bard College in 1995. Sillman’s work is based on drawing, improvisation and a process she describes as raveling and unraveling at once, negotiating a terrain that lies between things, such as figuration and abstraction, writing and image, the intimate scale of the hand and a larger sense of meaning unfurls in physical space. She has been exhibiting regularly since the 1990's, both in the U.S. and internationally, and her work is held in many private and public collections in the U.S. and Europe, including The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney, the Brandhorst Museum in Munich, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, and The Tate Modern in London. A mid-career traveling survey show, "one lump or two," curated by Helen Molesworth, originated at the ICA Boston in 2013, accompanied by a monograph. Last fall she curated the exhibition “The Shape of Shape” for MoMA’s re-opening, accompanied by a zine entitled “Shapes” produced for MoMA Magazine. Sillman is represented by Gladstone Gallery in New York, where her current solo show “Twice Removed” will be on view until November 14, 2020.


Note: All events listed on sva.edu/events are in Eastern Time (ET).

Free and open to the public