School of Visual Arts presents “Unseen Realities,” an exhibition of painting, video and prints by current students and recent alumni that examines the boundaries between representation and abstraction. Curated by Richard Brooks, assistant director of SVA Galleries, the exhibition will be on view June 27 through July 13 at the SVA Gallery, 209 East 23rd Street, New York City.
Graciela Cassel (an MFA Fine Arts student) presents Citilife 2, a video emphasizing the abstract nature of the geometry so prevalent in the contemporary urban grid. Shooting at night, the artist splices and overlays illuminated train cars, streetlights and window reflections to create a vocabulary of images in a video collage that becomes a meditation on modern cities.
Simone Couto and Richard Walshe (MFA Art Practice students) exhibit Bacteria, a photographic series based on molecular cuisine: a culinary practice where one physically and chemically alters food using various scientific methods. For this project, the artists transformed strawberries, blueberries, balsamic vinegar, honey and yogurt by liquefying the ingredients, then adding emulsifiers and gelling substances to change their texture and appearance. The transformed food was then reassembled and photographed to appear as bacteria growing in Petri dishes.
Jee Hee Kang (an MFA Fine Arts student) makes drawings that initially appear to be abstractions, but that reveal a representational basis upon closer inspection. Using a frottage technique and a loose expressive line that emphasizes gesture, the artist gives an expressionistic image to utilitarian objects such as a refrigerators and typewriters.
In her mural sized oil painting, Reminiscence, Alicia Martin (MFA 2013 Computer Art) explores the eternal conflict between our rational and intuitive faculties. Executed in subtle earth tones with delicate paint handling, the artist depicts what she refers to as a “surreal dreamscape,” a mysterious interior space populated with biomorphic hybrid forms coexisting in uneasy balance.
Chloe Park (a BFA Photography student) photographs a series of minimalist landscapes recalling the photographs of Hiroshi Sugimoto. Using a low horizon line and limited tonal range, the artist isolates landscape elements such as a tree or building against open expanses of sky to emphasize our relationship with nature.
Eat, the life-size sculpture by Shin young Park (an MFA Fine Arts student) is a contemporary version of a medieval St. Sebastian sculpture. The artist uses Styrofoam, plaster and numerous wooden shards, rising from the figure-like quills on a porcupine, to construct a standing figure that is simultaneously disturbing and awe-inspiring, like a survivor from a long archetypal journey.
In her photographic series Teeth of the Sea, Maggie Shannon (MFA 2013 Photography, Video and Related Media) combines seemingly abstract shots of the ocean and underwater imagery to evoke a sense of mystery and fear of the unknown. The artist's play with light both above and below the surface invites the viewer to contemplate this unexpected representation of the sea.
Annie Won (an MFA Illustration as Visual Essay student) exhibits prints from her children's book The Story of Mr. N. Inspired by an Anne Beattie short story, Won’s illustrations employ whimsical compositions and a vibrant palette to tell the story of a man's loss of dignity and his struggle to regain it.