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Pratt Fine Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition curated by Alex Santana

Published: April 22, 2024; Author: Julia Sonrisa

 April 29, 2024    06:00 PM-07:00 PM EDT

Address: 630 Flushing Avenue 7th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11206, United States

Phone: +1 718-360-9500


Pratt Fine Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition curated by Alex Santana

Curated by Alex Santana, the MFA Thesis Exhibition Unfixed Ecosystems: Obsidian / Yarrow is presented in two parts:

Part I: Obsidian

March 25 — April 5, opening March 25, 6 — 8 pm

Imogen Aukland, Elaine Chen, Elizabeth Hackenberg, Aliza Katzman, Angie Kim, Seungheon Lee, Deona Lizette, Sarah Martin-Nuss, Nish, Sirawich Pukuka, Lu, Suzanne Watters, Xiangjie Rebecca Wu, Olivia Zabludowicz

Part II: Yarrow

April 29 — May 10, opening April 29, 6 — 8 pm

Obadiah Aljefri, Amanda Baker, Jake Berstein, Emelia Gertner, Gabriel Gibbs, Billy Hawkins, Kyung Yeon Kim, Nao Kondo, Eun Lee, Lara Lee, Haoyu Niu, Katie Heller Saltoun, Nature Shankar, Nico Sun, Chang Zhang, Huahua Zhu

Gallery Hours: Monday—Saturday from noon to 6 PM

The Fine Arts MFA program at Pratt Institute presents a two-part thesis exhibition featuring 30 artists whose works engage with painting, sculpture, drawing, video, installation, assemblage, sound, and performance. The artists approach the transformational quality of creative exchange and intellectual collaboration, celebrating diverse aesthetic practices and methodologies. Through this networked, horizontal approach to art-making, education occurs and reoccurs in its highest form, slowly changing us over time together.

In some of their work, a human likeness exists within and outside society’s imposed containers. It can also be a resplendent ghost that sticks with us or a body that becomes a landscape at the bottom of the ocean. In other words, a lifetime of everyday moments with family can read like an endless blur, accumulative and feverish. This animated worldview takes the form of cascading light on a canvas and wax dripped on the floor. In an adjacent landscape, a fountain exists at the end of the world, its water flowing endlessly. Next door, a painting’s abstracted forms reflect clouds in the sky, illuminated somehow despite the fog. Those forms cast shadows onto adjoining teetering architectures, which stand tall, miraculously, despite their weakened pressure points and unstable foundations. Like a microcosm of our situation, empires will fall once again, as they have fallen before. In response to this inevitability, new sites are still being built from the ground up for collective dreaming, refuge, and care.

The artworks in this exhibition underscore the instability of our world and put forth the beautiful promise of creative and spiritual liberation in a community with others. In her 1995 essay Workers for Artistic Freedom, Bell Hooks writes, “Being an artist is not simply a matter of possessing the gift to create.” She says, “To truly mature in one’s artistic practice it is important to learn about art, to see art from everywhere and everyone, to study, to interact with others.” In Hooks’ view, the creative process of artmaking rejects individual subjectivity and, by extension, the sorrow of contemporary alienation. By relying on one’s relationships with others and the world around us, unabashedly present, listening, and resonating with the worldviews of others, we participate within our ecosystem in the fullest sense.

Two entities from the natural world provide useful frameworks for thinking about entropy and its catalyzing influence in all spheres. Obsidian is an igneous rock of volcanic glass, and yarrow is a flowering plant native to North America. In the context of this exhibition, obsidian and yarrow function metaphorically: both discuss metamorphosis over time, human transformative usage, and material resilience.

— Alex Santana, curator

Time: 6:00 pm EST



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