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TWENTY20 BFA F IN E A RTS 2 016


TWENTY20 BFA F IN E A RTS 2 016


Essay by Daniel S. Palmer

2

I imagine that my recent tract on the “hyper-professionalization of the

extremely complex ecosystem? Why not focus

emerging artist” had something to do with why I was invited by the School

on the positives? Wouldn’t it make more sense

of Visual Arts’ BFA Fine Arts Department’s faculty to visit the thesis show of

for me to congratulate the artists from the SVA

their students, act as a guest judge to select the artists chosen for this book,

thesis show on their accomplishments, chiefly, the

and write a little essay for this volume on a subject of my choosing.

adventuresome spirit in which they approached

I’m so incredibly honored that the ARTnews article seems to have had a

their education as an opportunity to create art

meaningful impact, especially in art schools. When I was asked by the pub-

in an experimental, uncertain, meandering

lication’s editors to contribute, and came up with the topic, I thought that it

way? Especially because the way they did so is

might be read by a friend or two (at most). It pleases me immensely to know

paramount in possibly one of the last opportu-

that it is now being assigned in classes where young artists are confronted so

nities they will have to operate entirely outside

directly with difficult decisions about how to act as they begin their careers in

of market pressures. Particularly, I laud them for

these fraught circumstances. Arts education can have significant benefits to

this attitude because their approach should serve

help a young, bright mind establish a meaningful long-view toward art-mak-

as a confidence booster and memorable expe-

ing. Ideally this training should be a site of experimentation and refining

rience that emboldens them to infuse this same

one’s approach to creating meaningful art. The fact that I’ve been invited re-

invigorated spirit into their future efforts. Finally,

cently by numerous New York art schools to participate in a critical exchange

don’t many of them also deserve credit for their

with their students about this topic is especially consequential. I’ve found

eager enthusiasm and the way they explored the

it incredibly meaningful to be involved in these discussions because of how

exhibition format, using it to cultivate a gener-

pivotal this crossroads can be in an emerging artist’s trajectory. This moment

ative, creative use of the school’s galleries? I was

has an increased urgency today as the wider discourse has led us to a serious

truly impressed by the way that they displayed

reconsideration of arts education and its role in the crises faced by emerging

and communicated about their work in a manner

artists in the art world today.

that encouraged audiences to engage with it on

My essay for ARTnews certainly posited the possible shortcomings of arts

a profound level. This was certainly fostered by

schools, especially when viewed as places to perfect a studio-visit sales pitch,

the artists’ willingness to enter into purposeful

hone a brand, or be recruited by galleries because a degree becomes seen as

dialogue with viewers of all types, and in doing

a part of a salable package. I was also particularly critical of the growing

so, share the best of themselves, their intentions,

horrors created by crippling debt that results from rising tuition and rent.

and the myriad of meanings that can be found in

However, I mainly focused on issues arising in the years beyond an emerg-

their art.

ing artist’s education. Particularly, the article centered around the dynamic

I was particularly moved by the ways that

of artists following the allure of commercial success and accordingly being

Mikhaila Zabat’s raw, powerful video, combined

encouraged to self-censor and conform to market trends when embracing

the intensity of an action film with the sociologi-

the manipulation of less-than-beneficent galleries and speculative collectors.

cal nuance of a second generation hybrid iden-

Clearly these are issues that must continue to be addressed in the context of a

tity immigrant experience. Likewise, Kyveli Zoi’s

thesis exhibition of a newly minted cohort of art school graduates.

ensemble of a painting of interior spaces with

That said, why would I crank out yet another essay that criticizes the “state of the arts” today and especially the role of the art school in that

TWENTY20

geometric tile patterns spills out into an embodied architectural setting with a table, chairs, and


woven rug, and in doing so evoked Mediterranean cafe culture in a most

I commend Dillon Utter for his meticulously

activating way. Of course, Adebunmi Gbadebo’s exploration of the formal

drawn paintings, which veraciously yet admiring-

potential of beautiful, shorn black hair was as striking as significant in our

ly depict characters from post-industrial rust-belt

fraught political moment, while also upending the macho legacy of white,

towns in all their details—subjects that other, less-

male-dominated Minimalism through her loaded sculptural references.

er artists would avoid or fetishize for their lack of

Then of course, Alex DeFoe’s Good Time Gal with its twisted playroom

glamour. Francesca Facciola’s intimate, hyper-de-

interior and Joy Horden’s black light environment of cacti, surf imagery

tailed paintings present segments of seemingly in-

and doodled banners both embody the imperfect drop-out culture of subur-

nocuous portions of the human body, in all their

ban basement apartments that could be a meaningful antidote to the sleek

freckled, wrinkled beauty. John Patrick Wells’ Steel

perfection of the white cube. Likewise, Andrew Cziraki scrutinizes religious

Drawing Man updates the folk hero John Henry’s

texts and miracles by redacting each appearance of the divine names in the

competition against a steam-powered hammer.

Christian Bible and by scientifically analyzing seemingly miraculous holy

Where the former slave raced to lay a mile of

water. In doing so, these artists celebrate skepticism as a powerful force in a

railroad track, Wells, dressed in vintage conduc-

culture founded upon certainty.

tor apparel, engages in his own challenge—a

Yunji Choi’s delicate use of flora embedded directly into the gallery wall

hand-drawn race against a printer to see who can

and Yoshikazu Tomiyama’s colorful printing directly on historic newspaper

produce steel spikes faster. We’re left to wonder if

with subtle formal interventions reveal the geometry of our environments

his heart will also give out in victory. Molly Urell-

and material culture, but also the important connotations conveyed in their

Poe’s reproductions of some of art history’s most

sophisticated disruption. I was also impressed by countless individualistic and

iconic paintings are piled on the ground, and

heartfelt efforts present in the exhibition, such as: the figures embroidered

she also includes unkind references to Duchamp

on imported sacks by Ryan Margulies; Lyn Liu’s almost surrealistic, though

and other modern masters in this exhibition,

technically rendered paintings; intimate, nostalgic and meticulously paint-

showcasing the kind of irreverence to false idols

ed pictures by Yimeng Chen; intricately embroidered compositions of sports

that ought to be cultivated in art schools. Finally,

activities by Sa Peng; and strange characters comprised of composite-found

Matthias Kauderer’s spinning “NYC” bike rack

materials and drawn faces by Noor Bseiso. They all are emblematic of fresh

embodies with all the precariousness and un-

voices of artists who clearly bring a genuine passion to their work.

certainty of a revolving top, just as it slows and

Devin Tamiazzo’s videos and his collage aesthetic wallpaper perfectly

is about to tumble. This, of course, serves as a

encapsulate the way that artists today must navigate the new ways of seeing

perfect metaphor for the uncertain path laid out

and experiencing life that have been ushered in by a digital age. David Huer-

ahead of SVA’s recent graduates and other young

ta’s wonky, cartoonish figures drawn on cardboard encapsulate the moment’s

artists emerging into the New York City art world

renewed interest in figurative painting. However, their most intriguing aspect

today. I have no doubt that these students will

is of course that they serve as cutout cardboard frames for the scrap paper

face the situation with an emboldened outlook

games of tic-tac-toe that he played with artists he admires. It is also worth

and firm resolve to cultivate and cherish moments

noting that his sprayed checkerboard floor and impromptu “Fartforum”

of pure artistic freedom to create in as meaningful

merch booth in the building’s lobby also emphasize handmade imperfection

and heartfelt a way as they know how.

and levity.


4

Noor Bseiso

The Dance (detail), 2016, acrylic on canvas, fabric, wood, 67 x 85 x 15�. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.

TWENTY20


Untitled (detail), 2016, acrylic on unstretched canvas, fabric, wood, 67 x 75 x 18�. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.


6

Noor Bseiso

The Neck Cramp, 2015, acrylic on canvas, wood, stuffing, 60 x 20 x 20�. Photo: Raul Valverde.

TWENTY20


The Spill, 2016, mixed media, 90 x 55 x 25�. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.

The Spill (detail), 2016. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.


8

Yimeng Chen

Untitled, 2015, oil on panel, 12 x 12”. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.

Untitled, 2015, oil on panel, 10 x 10”. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.

TWENTY20


Boy with the Accordion, 2016, oil on linen mounted on panel, 15.5 x 8.5�. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.


10

Yimeng Chen

Untitled, 2015, oil on panel, 9 x 12�. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.

TWENTY20


On and Off, On and Off, 2016, oil on panel, 8 x 8�. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.


Yunji Choi

12

Dessert Signs, 2016, wire, fabric, acrylic paint, 7 x 9 x 10” and 11 x 10 x 18” each; dimensions variable. Photo: Raul Valverde.

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Dessert Signs (detail), 2016. Photo: Raul Valverde.


14

Yunji Choi

Artificial Nature, 2016, dried flowers, 84 x 38�. Photo: Raul Valverde.

TWENTY20


Artificial Nature (detail), 2016. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.


16

Andrew Cziraki

Euphrates Rising, 2015, ink jet prints, 24 x 24" each. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.

TWENTY20


18

Andrew Cziraki

Bornless One Vol. 1, 2016, framed metagenomic DNA data from holy water sample 1, glass vessels, tomato, rice, kiwi, (30 frames) 12 x 16� each., (installation) 8 x 7 x 9'. Photo: Raul Valverde.

Bornless One Vol. 1 (left), Where is God? (right), 2016, bible pages, plywood, dimensions variable. Photo: Raul Valverde.

TWENTY20


Bornless One Vol. 1 (detail), 2016. Photo: Raul Valverde.

Where is God? (detail), 2016. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.


20

Alex DeFoe

Ferrariboutin, 2015, upholstery fabric, polyfill stuffing, beaded trim, 3 x 12 x 3.5”. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.

Untitled, 2016, mixed media, 12 x 3 x 2” ea. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.

TWENTY20


Good Time Gal, 2015, mixed media, dimensions variable. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.


Alex DeFoe

22

Roxanne, 2016, faux fur, polyfill stuffing, 14 x 3 x 2�. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.

TWENTY20


24

Francesca Facciola

The Bascio’s Living Room, 2016, oil on canvas, 88 x 64”. Photo: Francecsa Facciola.

TWENTY20


Intends to Stay, 2015, oil on canvas, 60 x 50". Photo: Francecsa Facciola.

Olecranon, 2015, oil on canvas, 48 x 72�. Photo: Francecsa Facciola.


26

Francesca Facciola

Earth, Wind and Fire, 2016, oil on wood panel, 10 x 10". Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.

TWENTY20


Installation view, 2016, oil on canvas, wood panel, dimensions variable. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.

Intends to Stay (installation view), 2015, oil on canvas, 60 x 50�. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.


Adebunmi Gbadebo

28

Untitled, 2016, human hair, wire, thread, canvas, dimensions variable. Photo: Raul Valverde.

DaDa (detail), 2015, human locs, wire, 20’, dimensions variable. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.

TWENTY20


DaDa (installation view) 2015. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.


30

Adebunmi Gbadebo

Untitled (detail), 2015, human hair, thread, 40’, dimensions variable. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.

TWENTY20


Black Gold, 2015, human hair, thread, razor blades, matte medium on canvas, 62 x 50�. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.


32

Joy Horden

Chill (installation view), 2016, neon, embroidery, inkjet prints on fabric, 7 x 8’. Photo: Raul Valverde.

Surf Guy, 2016, inkjet print on fabric, 20 x 23". Photo: Joy Horden.

TWENTY20


Grave, 2016, neon, mixed media , 3 x 5.3’. Photo: Raul Valverde.


34

Joy Horden

At the Beach with the Boys, 2016, inkjet print on fabric, 23 x 23". Photo: Joy Horden.

Tropical Depression, 2016, inkjet print on fabric, 46 x 46". Photo: Joy Horden.

Three Beach Fun, 2016, acrylic on fabric, machine embroidery, 56 x 23". Photo: Joy Horden.

TWENTY20


Tropical Depression (installation view), 2016, neon embroidery, inkjet prints on fabric, prints on vinyl, bronze, acrylic, organic materials, dimensions variable. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.


36

David Huerta

Artist’s Studio, 2016, mixed media, dimensions variable. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.

TWENTY20


The Color Red (left), Real Epiphany (center), Painting for David Huerta by David Huerta (right), 2015, graphite and colored pencil on bleached canvas, 40.5 x 30.5" each. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.

Robin Winters, 2016, sharpie on notebook paper, 12 x 8.75". Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.


David Huerta

38

Untitled (installation view), 2015, mixed media, dimensions variable. Photo: Raul Valverde.

TWENTY20


40

Matthias Kauderer

Untitled, 2016, video, wood, found bicycle rack, 16.5 x 16.5 x 16.5’. Photo: Raul Valverde.

Untitled (video still), 2016, HD video. Photo: Raul Valverde.

TWENTY20


Untitled, 2016, found shopping carts, rope, colored acrylic, 6.5’ x 3.25 x 10. Photo: Raul Valverde.

Untitled (detail), 2016. Photo: Raul Valverde.


Matthias Kauderer

42

Untitled, 2015, found wood beams, screws, 11’ x 4” x 5.25’. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.

Untitled (installation view), 2015. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.

Untitled (detail), 2015. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.

TWENTY20


Untitled (detail), 2015, found piano harp, aircraft cable, wire, ping pong table, paddle and ball, 6.5 x 6.5 x 6.5’. Photo: Raul Valverde.

Untitled (installation view), 2015. Photo: Raul Valverde.


44

Lyn Liu

Untitled, 2015, oil on canvas, 8 x 6�. Photo: Lyn Liu.

TWENTY20


Untitled, 2015, oil on canvas, 24 x 24�. Photo: Lyn Liu.


46

Lyn Liu

Untitled, 2016, oil on canvas, 24 x 30”. Photo: Lyn Liu.

Theatre IV, 2016, oil on canvas, 11.75 x 16”. Photo: Lyn Liu.

TWENTY20


Portrait of Volker Schlöndorff, 2016, mixed media on panel, 7 x 5”. Photo: Lyn Liu.


48

Ryan Margulies

It’s not Me it’s You, 2016, acrylic on burlap, 30 x 40” x 1.5”. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.

TWENTY20


That was Then, 2016, acrylic, ink, collaged burlap, paper on canvas, 30 x 40 x 1.5�. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.


50

Ryan Margulies

Jill and Jen, 2015, acrylic on burlap, 33 x 45” x 1.5”. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.

Letters from Moms, 2016, acrylic on burlap, 36 x 36” x 1.5”. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.

TWENTY20


First Born, 2016, acrylic on burlap and velvet, 30 x 36” x 1.5”. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.


52

Sa Peng

Ping Pong, 2016, embroidery, sewing, 11 x 16�. Photo: Sa Peng.

TWENTY20


Swimming, 2016, embroidery, sewing, 11 x 16�. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.


54

Sa Peng

Swimmer Match, 2016, embroidery, sewing, 11 x 9�. Photo: Sa Peng.

TWENTY20


Installation view, 2016, embroidery, sewing, dimensions variable. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.

Winter Sports, 2016, embroidery, sewing, 14 x 22�. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.


56

Devin Tamiazzo

Directors of Acquisition, 2015, HD video, 3D animation, 8 x 12’. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.

Directors of Acquisition, 2015, HD video, 3D animation, 8 x 12’. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.

Omniframe (detail), 2016, collage, wallpaper, 7.5 x 12’. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.

TWENTY20


Omniframe (installation view), 2016. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.


58

Devin Tamiazzo

Fuck Progeny, the People Want Prodigy! (video still), 2016, 8 channel HD video, 3D animation, dimensions variable. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.

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Fuck Progeny, the People Want Prodigy! (installation view), 2016. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.


60

Molly Urell-Poe

TWENTY20


50 Year Gap of Cultural Importance, 2015, paper, wood panel, oil, 11 x 8.5” ea. (left) and 10 x 8” ea. (right). Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.


Molly Urell-Poe

62

INSERT interminable conceptual paragraph here, 2016, bicycle wheel, aluminum, rubber, diameter: 24�. Photo: Raul Valverde.

Trashing the Art World (detail), 2016. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.

Context of Display (top), 2016, plastic bag, dimensions variable, Trashing the Art World (bottom), 2016, canvas, wood panel, oil, dimensions variable. Photo: Raul Valverde.

TWENTY20


America’s Tr(i)ump, 2015, oil and ink on wood panel, 10 x 8”. Photo: Molly Urell-Poe.


64

Dillon Utter

The Fairgrounds, 2015, oil on panel, 24 x 30�. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.

Hired Hands, 2016, oil on panel, 30 x 40�. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.

TWENTY20


The Tenant II, 2015, oil on panel, 24 x 30�. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.


66

Dillon Utter

Impulse, 2015, oil on panel, 30 x 24�. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.

TWENTY20


Grand Street, 2016, oil on panel, 30 x 40�. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.


68

John Patrick Wells

Knees to Receive Me, 2015, wood, metal, plastic, expanding foam, acrylic wax, silicone, 48 x 28 x 24�. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.

TWENTY20


As Waters Fail from a Lake, 2015, wood, metal, expanding foam, crayon, wax, 96 x 48 x 18�. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.


70

John Patrick Wells

Eaves, 2016, metal, tar and soil, 72 x 48 x 9�. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.

As Waters Fail from a Lake (top), The Thick Darkness that Covers My Face (bottom), 2015, mixed media, dimensions variable. Photo: Raul Valverde.

TWENTY20


Plank (left), Eaves (center), Give up the Ghost (right), Growth (floor), 2016, mixed media: wood, tar, tar paper, expanding foam, wax, metal, soil, fiberglass, acrylic, dimensions variable. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.


72

Yoshikazu Tomiyama

Consumption of life, 2016, silkscreen on news paper, petri dish, nutrient agar, cicada, dimensions variable. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.

TWENTY20


Consumption of life (detail), 2016. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.

Consumption of life (detail), 2016. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.


74

Yoshikazu Tomiyama

Monday, October 22, 1962, 2016, silkscreen on newspaper, petri dish, nutrient agar, cicada, 28.75 x 12.5�. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.

Thursday, March 20, 2003, 2016, silkscreen on newspaper, petri dish, nutrient agar, cicada, 28.75 x 12.5�. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.

TWENTY20


Thursday, March 20, 2003 (detail), 2016. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.


76

Mikhaila Zabat

You’re My Only Constellation In Life: You Better Stop & Think About What You’re Doing (floor), Dalawang Tirintas (ceiling), The Trinity (window), 2016, digital media, vinyl, yarn and hemp yarn, mixed media, dimensions variable. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer.

TWENTY20


The Trinity, 2016. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.


78

Mikhaila Zabat

You Better Stop, 2016, HD video, duration 3:07, dimensions variable. Photo: Mikhaila Zabat.

Think About What You’re Doing, 2016, HD video, duration 3:07, dimensions variable. Photo: Mikhaila Zabat.

TWENTY20


You Better Stop (left), Think About What You’re Doing (right), 2016, installation view. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.


80

Kyveli Zoi

Theatre of Ruins, 2016, acrylic and oil on linen, 25 x 35�. Photo: Kyveli Zoi.

TWENTY20


Room of Contemplation, 2015-2016, mixed media: acrylic, oil on linen and wooden table, dimensions variable. Photo: Henry G. Sanchez.


82

Kyveli Zoi

Conversation in Greek, 2015-2016, mixed media, dimensions variable. Photo: Raul Valverde.

TWENTY20


Museum of Humanity, 2015-2016, acrylic and oil on linen, 34.2 x 49.2�. Photo: Kyveli Zoi.


TWENTY20 BFA F IN E A RTS 2 016


20/20 2016  

Twenty20 / Artwork by recent graduates of the BFA Fine Arts Department, School of Visual Arts, New York - 2016 SVA NYC

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