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Presented by BFA Visual & Critical Studies

Museum as Muse

February 6 - March 8

Painting of a room with three blue couches, one that is facing the viewer and the other two behind it facing left and right. There is a large, ornate black window behind and paintings on the wall, and a white, Roman-looking statue is falling toward the couch.

Leigh Behnke, Falling Furie III, 2019, oil and pigment on canvas mounted to board.


Thu, Feb 6, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Please note: The reception date was previously incorrectly listed as Thursday, February 13.

BFA Visual & Critical Studies presents “Museum As Muse,” an exhibition of paintings by SVA faculty members Leigh Behnke and Peter Hristoff (BFA 1981 Fine Arts) and Joe Fig (MFA 2002 Fine Arts; BFA 1991 Fine Arts). Curated by Leigh Behnke, the exhibition will be on view from Thursday, February 6, through Sunday, March 8, at the SVA Flatiron Project Space, 133/141 West 21st Street, New York, NY.

“Museum As Muse” explores the experience of the museum as a physical environment, using this corporeal experience as a point of departure for the paintings in this exhibition. This work goes beyond looking at individual works, to thinking about the contents of the museum in situ. The site of the institution itself serves a vehicle and inspiration.

Joe Fig‘s series “Looking/ Seeing” reflects on the experience of the viewer in the space of the museum. Fig is known for his sculptural representations of the artist in their studio, which have been shown internationally. This new series is an extension of that exploration, with the focus widened to encompass the space in which the art is viewed, contemplated and observed. He is represented by Cristin Tierney Gallery in New York and is the Department Chair of Fine Arts at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida.

Peter Hristoff is a faculty member at SVA and was the first visual artist-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. His ongoing series “Everything and Nothing” addresses current political, social and religious issues through the metaphoric use of museum imagery. The operatic, serial nature of the work examines ideas of collections and archives.

Leigh Behnke has painted interiors as a means to place her iconography in both a specific geographic and a symbolic context. Her recent series “Your History Is Your Future” has used the interior of the Kunsthistoriches Museum in Vienna, as well as sculptural pieces from that institution. She is a faculty member at SVA.

a painting of people facing away from the viewer, observing a painting on a museum wall

Joe Fig, Rembrandt/MET, 2019, oil on linen on MDF board, 13.5" x 11".

A painting featuring a silhouette of a person holding a jug over their head and pouring it. The person is obscured as if behind a transparent shower curtain.

Peter Hristoff, Everything and Nothing, mixed media on paper, 11" x 15".

Free and open to the public