February 1, 2012

Mickalene Thomas' Graduate New Forms Class Exhibit in the East One Gallery

Review by Leigh Hurwitz, History of Art and Design/ Library Sciences Graduate Student (2012)

Johnny Tragedy, "Cremation of Care Part 2"
vinyl, wood, silkscreen ink, plastic

In Mickalene Thomas' Graduate New Forms class exhibit, currently up in East One Gallery, it is not just the forms that are new.  Though pursued through different media, each piece in this show strives after a new way of looking.  Textual and geometric, crinkly and smooth, sequential and singular – all of these works cut closely into our notions of the experience of vision.  This show exposes the differences between such related concepts as looking, seeing, and viewing – as well as the opposition between doing these things and having them done to you.

A random sampling of the artists represented in the show gives us a foundation for this exploration.  In Leah Matthew's "Night Lights" series, omniscient circles enveloped in chaos stare hotly at passersby.  Kelly McCafferty's "Bingo" assembles a new lens with which to view leisure and comfort, constructed of a fluorescent afghan, bingo cards, and plastic liters of soda.  A series of videos is projected on one wall, all a manifestation of the role that each of us plays in this visual loop of subject and object, perspective and myopia, forward and back.

Tania Yenidjeian, "Untitled"
Meat/blood on paper
Every artist in this exhibit contributes to a cohesive attempt at untangling these universal states of being.  Although there isn't room here to adequately pay respect to all of them, it would behoove the members of the Pratt community to come witness and be witnessed, to fully comprehend the jerking floor of perception underneath our feet and wavering around us.

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