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{2010} School of Art

Masters Thesis Exhibition


{2010} School of Art

March 27—April 24, 2010

Masters Thesis

Exhibition


2010 School of Art Masters Thesis Exhibition The 2010 School of Art Masters Thesis Exhibition is made possible through the generosity of the University of Houston’s Student Fees Advisory Committee. Copyright ©2010 Blaffer Gallery University of Houston 120 Fine Arts Building Houston, TX 77204-4018 All Rights Reserved 713-743-9530 www.blaffergallery.org ISBN 978-0-941193-47-4 Design:Ana Perez Editor: Rachel Hooper Copy Editor: Polly Koch 500 copies printed by All images courtesy of the artists unless otherwise noted. Photo ©Jonathan Hopson


{Contents} Introduction

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Artists

12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

Anne J. Regan Debra Barrera Geoff Hippenstiel Grant C. MacManus Keijiro Suzuki Nancy Douthey Richard Nix Robyn Lehmer Sura Khudairi Tala Vahabzadeh Vanessa VanAlstyne


In tr o d u c ti o n


What it means to be an artist is constantly in a state of flux. New technologies and new ways of thinking about making art as collecting and assembling, playful performance, culture jamming, and provoking action are evolving and pushing artists to radically rethink what they are doing. The 2010 graduating class of the University of Houston School of Art Masters of Fine Arts program has risen to the challenge and seized the freedom in this persistent change. The School of Art continues to encourage their students to think interdisciplinary, and these graduates have embraced a multitude of media from video to creative writing to sound installations. The artworks in their thesis exhibition are a testament to their bravery in pushing the boundaries of convention and their motivation to seek a meaningful engagement with their audiences. Some artists draw inspiration from the winding paths that they have taken to get here. Keijiro Suzuki comes from Japan and uses his observations of US and Japanese rituals, beliefs, and histories to create a series of “ficticious facts” that conjure a politically-charged, often absurd reality. Anne J. Regan was born along the blues trail, and her work is deeply rooted in

that musical tradition, resonating with the sounds and legends of the American South. Sura Khudairi explores how cultural identity is woven into and expressed by fabric and cloth, and as a woman of Muslim decent, she is particularly interested in humanizing individuals behind veils, hijabs, and burquas. The veil plays a role in Tala Vahabzadeh’s installation, only she is interested in using the covering along with other photographs to show the conflicting worlds of tradition and modernity and public and personal life in her native Iran. Other artists create situations where the audience is asked to interact with and even complete their art. Richard Nix sets up a series of displays and scenarios where he asks people to take control of his art and make it into whatever they want. Debra Barrera lays out an altar of common objects haunted by histories and poetic associations that tie into the texts the artist has written on the walls, and the combination of text and relics entice us to piece them together in association with our own memories. Nancy Douthey’s performances


and video installations use repetition, interruption and disobedient action to draw people into her meditations. Grant C. MacManus uses sound to craft a subtle interaction with viewers and direct them through space. Abstraction is another tool used by some artists to open our minds to new possibilities and help us grasp at the intangible. Geoff Hippenstiel’s paintings hover inconclusively between abstract brushstrokes and their source image. Materials are metaphor in Robyn Lehmer’s beautiful ceramic tiles delicately strung together and hanging from theceiling. Vanessa VanAlstyne alters found amateur video with reproductions of digital glitches to cleanse the video and release its true digital nature.

Blaffer Gallery is proud to present these artists’ culminating thesis projects. The entire Blaffer staff has worked hard to coordinate all aspects of the exhibition. Our gratitude goes to Ana Perez, who designed this catalog under the tutelage of uh instructor Cheryl Beckett of Minor Design. Polly Koch polished the text with her amazing editing skills. The uh School of Art, especially John Reed, Rachel Hecker, and Cathy Hunt, helped prepare the students for their Blaffer debut. As a team, we are all happy to present these mfa projects as a culmination of the artists’ three years of graduate study at the University of Houston. Rachel Hooper Associate Curator

Blaffer Gallery, the Art Museum of the University of Houston


Artist s


Anne J. Regan

{b. 1980, Peoria Illonois}

Hoodoo Your Love 2010. “Who Do You Love” 45 RPM record by Bo Diddley, beeswax, wick, jar, honey, binding spell, orris root, rose petals, coriander seed, witch grass & cumin seed

Love In Vain {Truth Serum No. 2} 2010. Rainwater gathered from atop Robert Johnson’s grave, Little Mt. Zion Church, Greenwood, MS & perfume bottle in glass dome, dimensions variable, edition of 4

Lead Belly Communicator 2009. Wooden mermet pendulum containing soil from Lead Belly’s grave at the Shiloh Baptist Church Cemetery, Caddo Parrish, LA, plexiglass etched with a dowsing talking board and Lead Belly LP resting on four ball jars, dimensions variable;

St. James Infirmary 2010. Video, 2 minutes, loop.

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Debra Barrera

{b. 1984, Corpus Christi. Texas}

Zang Dang Bang 200, 20in by 30in, Oil on Canvas

Coal Miner’s Daugther 201045in by 67in, Acrylic on Wood

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Geoff Hippenstiel {b. 1974, Santa Monica, CA}

Connair 2010. Aquatint, Rosin, and a Zinc Plate, 8 in by 10 in

Girl Scout Cookies Of America 2011. Samoan Girl Scout Cookies, 20cm by 5cm

Coke Zero 2010. Aluminum Cans and Splenda, 5in by 4 in

Shutter Island 2009. An Island, 20 km by 30 km

Lawnmower 2010. Metal and Grass, 3 ft by 1 ft

Harry Potter 2007. 120 min video

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Grant C. MacManus {b. 1978, Dallas, Texas}

Pride and Prejudice 2010. Wood, Glass, Charcoal, Toys.Installation

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Keijiro Suzuki

{b. 1981, Nagoya, Japan}

Now Thats What I Call Music 2010. Compact Discs, 32in by 40in

Before Meets After 2010. Plexiglass, Gorilla Glue, and Wood, 40in by 20 in

Supernanny 2010. Newspaper, Gesso, and Charcoal, 8in by 10in

Cocacola Zero 2010. Aluminum Cans and Fishing Wire, 40in by 22in

Crave Cupcakes 2010. Butter, Sugar, and Charcoal, 3in by 1in

Martha Stewart Living 2010. Paper Doillies, Glue, and Plexiglass, 20in by 1in.

16


Nancy Douthey

{b. 1978, Fort Worth, Texas}

The Passengers 2010. Oil on Canvas 22 in by 30 in

Rick Rolled 2010. 2 min loop song

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Richard Nix

{b. 1982, Houston, Texas}

Osmosis Jones 2010. Blood Cells, Wood, Corn Sryup, 20in by 30in

Clueless 2010. Oil on Canvas, 12ft by 30 ft

Grumpy Old Men 2009. Dirt, Water, and Cotton 20in by 60in

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 2010. Barbie Dolls, String, and Ink, Installation

Two for the Road 2009. Audrey Hepburn Poster and Guoache, 50in by 50in

Are You Afraid of the Dark 2010. Glowsticks and Paint, Installation

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Robyn Lehmer {b. Fresno, California}

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 2010. Barbie Dolls, String, and Ink, Installation

Two for the Road 2009. Audrey Hepburn Poster and Guoache, 50in by 50in

Are You Afraid of the Dark 2010. Glowsticks and Paint, Installation

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Sura Khudairi

{b. 1976, Baghdad, Iraq}

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 2010. Barbie Dolls, String, and Ink, Installation

20


Tala Vahabzadeh {b. 1981, Tehran, Iran}

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 2010. Barbie Dolls, String, and Ink, Installation

Two for the Road 2009. Audrey Hepburn Poster and Guoache, 50in by 50in

Are You Afraid of the Dark 2010. Glowsticks and Paint, Installation

Cocacola Zero 2010. Aluminum Cans and Fishing Wire, 40in by 22in

Crave Cupcakes 2010. Butter, Sugar, and Charcoal, 3in by 1in

Martha Stewart Living 2010. Paper Doillies, Glue, and Plexiglass, 20in by 1in.

21


Vanessa VanAlstyne {b. 1981, Midland, Texas}

Pride and Prejudice 2010. Wood, Glass, Charcoal, Toys. Installation

Osmosis Jones 2010. Blood Cells, Wood, Corn Sryup, 20in by 30in

Clueless 2010. Oil on Canvas, 12ft by 30 ft

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MFA Exhibition  

Catalog for the University of Houston Masters Thesis Exhibition