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Presented by BFA Visual & Critical Studies

Carving History

Album Cover Prints by Nils Karsten
February 27 - March 16, 2021
Print and wood block

Nils Karsten, Land Speed Record, Hüsker Dü, 6 x 6'.


Tue, Mar 2; 6:00 - 7:00pm

BFA Visual & Critical Studies and The Flatiron Project Space are pleased to announce an installation of large scale paper works by visual artist and BFA Fine Arts faculty member Nils Karsten (BFA 1999 Fine Arts), on exhibit from Saturday, February 27, through Tuesday, March 16, 2021. The exhibition, viewable from the sidewalk, presents a selection of images—and the woodblock itself for one of these works—based on influential albums of the late 20th century.

There will be a virtual opening and conversation with the artist on Tuesday, March 2, 6:00pm ET. Click here to join the event on Zoom.

Karsten has prepared the following statement about his work:

My woodblocks are hand-carved, yet diverge from the more traditional woodblock in their scale; most measuring from 5x5' to 5x10' . For the past 10 years, I have been carving large-scale versions of album covers—iconic ones as well as a series of lesser known indie and punk records. The woodcut is a form that democratized art during the early Renaissance in Western Europe and has a rich tradition in Germany. I equate its history with the anti-establishment culture of indie and punk bands. I am interested in the cover image that is familiar to millions of people of all ages, across all cultural boundaries. I am as interested in those images hardly known but that serve as emblems of a no less certain powerful spirit, a geist. Just as high culture and pop culture reclaim images, back and forth, I like to reclaim images with my woodcuts, and mix all the disparate images together during the act of cutting, moving things around and printing.  —Nils Karsten, February 2021

Nils Karsten is originally from Hamburg, Germany. He apprenticed as a cabinetmaker in Berlin before moving to New York in 1995, receiving his BFA from the School of Visual Arts (1999). In 2002 he participated in the Skowhegan Residency Program and in 2003 received his MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Karsten has been a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts Fine Arts department in New York, teaching drawing and painting since 2003.

His work has been shown in galleries and museums internationally, including Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong and Shanghai, China; the Pera Museum, Istanbul, Turkey; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; The Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina; The Hunter Museum, Chattanooga, Tennessee and in New York: Marvelli Gallery, Ubu Gallery, Churner and Churner, and The Museum of Arts and Design. 

His work can be found in numerous private collections and public collections, including the Brooklyn Museum, New York, The Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC, The Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC, and the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts in Taipei, Taiwan. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

For further information, email Nils Karsten at nkarsten@sva.edu

Free and open to the public