20/20 2020

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Pandemics Change Everything, Including Art During a long career as a visual artist, I have witnessed numerous changes regarding the resources and opportunities that are open to fine artists. From classic representations in painting and their abstract counterparts to the influence of media imagery and the moving image, artists choose from a wide range of possible styles, genres and materials. With the onslaught of the digital world in which pictures can be reduced to code and transferred to places around the globe, the fine artist becomes acquainted with various perspectives addressing art-making processes and issues. Whereas once the fine artist was viewed as being confined to a life of insecurity, this is no longer the case. The many options of image-making range from working with oil and acrylic pigments, graphite, silkscreen and computer-driven programs to installation formats and sculpture. Artists simply reinvent the ways their tools at hand can be expanded to create original forms. At SVA, the fine artist learns skill sets that can be put to use in the gallery and museum worlds, industry, education and business. Our graduates have found employment at museums and galleries such as MoMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the New Museum. In the business world, several of our students have started their own businesses in fabrication and design. They have acquired jobs in animation, illustration, set design and at ateliers, working for national and international companies. Some have pursued the education field, teaching in primary, secondary and college-level institutions. Many of our fine arts students pursue graduate level study—we are pleased to say that our students are admitted to top tier institutions including Columbia University, Yale University, Hunter College, the Rhode Island School of Design, the Art Institute of Chicago, Rutgers University and the Royal College of Art in London. And others make their way into opportunities to exhibit their work in New York City and around the world. The artist’s palette is one of creativity, turning the ordinary into the extraordinary, making images and objects that reflect their generation’s concerns and attitudes. They create the visual markers of our time, in all mediums, and speak to diverse audiences at home and abroad. With the rise of Instagram as a social force, for example, the image becomes an immediate instrument of communication. As the world stage is now everywhere at once, intersections with new technology are absorbed into many art practices, ranging from painting and drawing to printmaking and sculpture, as well as video and film. The fine artist at the School of Visual Arts is equipped with tools for the 21st century. Creative problem-solving is perhaps the strongest asset for the fine artist who can think outside the box and form new connections between images and materials. Such innate skills are fostered in the name of innovation. At SVA, our department is both traditional and experimental, with students choosing which paths they wish to explore in-depth. Our stateof-the-art building in Chelsea permits them to experience a future that they will share and help direct. Suzanne Anker, Chair BFA Fine Arts Department SVA/NYC

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Brian Kuan Wood Stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, I had to view the works of SVA’s graduating BFA Fine Arts students on my screen rather than at the physical end-of-year Open Studios exhibition. I now catch myself writing “physical exhibition” as if sharing space with artworks is already so unusual. The speed at which many of us had to adapt to working online gave the sense that a new world order was upon us. Even if working from home is nothing new—with personal computers and the internet we have slowly made the transition over the past years or decades—it nevertheless felt like jumping headfirst into a predestined future. Fortunately, I had bought a large external display anticipating headaches after weeks of squinting at my laptop. When those weeks turned into months, I was happy with the decision. But now, as one wonders whether months will turn into years, rather than continue to buy more screens (as more domains of life are sure to be uploaded onto them), I find myself wondering about the way screens demand a completely different way of seeing and sensing art. The graduating BFA Fine Arts students were no exception, of course. They too had to adapt their works to suit the formal criteria of digital platforms. In reviewing their works digitally, I was just as happy to see entire bodies of work— and even artistic attitudes behind them—completely unconcerned with digital platforms as I was to see others dutifully scrambling to adapt to the new regime (why not?), whether photographing physical works or offering clues pointing to works I may never actually experience. Do those works even exist? According to the calculus of the screen, I’m not sure it matters. Are there aspects of the works I have access to that I will never understand without being in the same room as them? To be sure. Are entire swaths of work being removed from view because they simply don’t translate? The question itself makes me want to probe further, to catch a glimpse of what might have gone missing. In all of this, I remembered a comment that Tyler Rowland (artist and director of operations in the BFA Fine Arts Department) made one day while showing me the vast BFA Fine Arts building. I might have been marveling at their facilities for digital printing and fabrication or digital media (the sound booth!) when he remarked that many of the current BFA students seem to be abandoning a lot of technical media for more handmade analog approaches to art-making. I remembered this remark immediately when I learned that I would select 20 student portfolios digitally, and in some slightly perverse way, looked forward to applying a digital stricture to art practices that are unaware or even opposed to such strictures. But while I have my own serious misgivings about a lot of technology, I had to remember that these students are half my age, maybe born around 2000 or just before, which means they spent the majority of their lives

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in the company of smartphones, video games, and virtual/ augmented realities. The thought alone makes me want to start doing ceramics—which would have been a silly and whimsical idea only a few months ago, but now seems like an increasingly responsible way of re-establishing contact with the material world after too much screen time. Perhaps the students have a natural fluency in this tension that I can only speculate about. Backlit screens are cousins of the whole cinematic apparatus and produce their own special cocktails of belief and disbelief at what is being shown. In making my selection, I was interested in how I might “feel” my way around the bottleneck, to peer deeply into my pixels to sense what was actually happening in some inner life that might have informed the works. While I didn’t have the physical experience of the works in space, I did have time. I had focus. And I also had the students’ own artist statements—a PDF document that would sit on one side of my large screen opposite their works, which often could have been misconstrued as supplementing their statement, rather than the other way around. If, in the sterile vacuum of an exhibition space, there is an assumption that artworks should have been already amputated from the lifeworld of the artist, then the even more radically sanitized vacuum of screen space seems to ask for that connection to be restored. So, to compensate for lacking the physical experience of the works, I often tried to understand their place and function in relation to the lifeworlds of the artists who made them. I’m still not sure how fair it is to a young artist to be so attentive to their biography though. Generally speaking, what often makes art by students so special is its strong connection to the world of the artist, especially compared to the kind of self-conscious and industrialized work you encounter in the professional art world, say, in the Chelsea galleries only blocks away from SVA. Where museums need to place works they exhibit in conversation with public discourse or some canonical or technical genealogy, students, like most artists, are usually clear about the humble origins of artworks. At the same time, a problem arises when works that do assert their own voice and make a powerful incision are nevertheless sutured back onto the biography of the artist. Suddenly, an artist has to incorporate normative or even completely wrong ideas about their own culture or body as some kind of artistic collaborator, when in fact they may be completely unrelated to the work, and often projected by ignorant viewers too eager to demonstrate their own cultural sensitivity. Viewing the students’ works as images on a screen, I nevertheless had to navigate these tensions, and was reassured to find that many works of the 2020 graduating class understood—and, in different ways, preempted—the paradoxes of attachment to life experience. In some ways they were there first, playing games with their own expectations as well as mine, for instance, exploring and even celebrating


the power of women at violent extremes, with female serial killers, dismembered zombie women and dominating Amazon goddesses. Reading the students’ often autobiographical statements allowed me a look behind, say, exceptional technical skill in painting or drawing to see how the content of the person and the works combine to explore a memory of childhood trauma, emotional and physical violence, hard times or simply why a portrait seems to uncannily sink into its subject. Or why a fetishistic visual and tactile overabundance in sculptures might be explained by the artist being hearing impaired. There were also paintings and drawings that reflected their artists’ simplicity and serenity in communicating a mood and sensory lifeworld with a few key marks. Other works explored unknown or imaginary worlds formed by simple line drawing, or more theatrically, in entropic ecologies of decay or runaway logical systems. In these more sublime dramas, the artist seemed to aspire to oblivion, overwhelmed by mediatic or natural spectacles with an autonomous power completely indifferent to their person or history. I couldn’t even tell if some of these experiments were artworks at all, and I appreciated that the artist didn’t seem to care one way or the other. As theaters of transformation where technology collapses into mineral elements and beams of light, and found materials become animated by bugs and plants, these works seemed to be about something more than art, and more than ourselves. These works seemed particularly in tune with how, as we enter the summer of 2020, the hand of the artist and the biography of the artist—much less any exhibition, physical or virtual—are insignificant compared to something much larger that is happening all around us. Brooklyn, June 2, 2020

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Cura Choi 6 • twenty/twenty


ator’s ices 7


Tiffany Alfonseca

Jane (from the series In Quarantine) • 2020 • graphite on paper • 16×16" • image courtesy of the artist

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Luda (from the series In Quarantine) • 2020 • graphite on paper • 16×16" • image courtesy of the artist

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Tiffany Alfonseca

Cosmo (from the series In Quarantine) • 2020 • graphite on paper • 16×16" • image courtesy of the artist

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Bryce Alexander (from the series In Quarantine) • 2020 • graphite on paper • 16×16" • image courtesy of the artist

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Tiffany Alfonseca

Wilson (from the series In Quarantine) • 2020 • graphite on paper • 16×16" • image courtesy of the artist

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Rose (from the series In Quarantine) • 2020 • graphite on paper • 16×16" • image courtesy of the artist

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Christina Athas

You Guys Shouldn’t Hang Out Alone • 2019 • oil on canvas • 56×42" • photo: Beatriz Meseguer

Storm, Meat and Fish • 2019 • oil on canvas • 22×30" • photo: Beatriz Meseguer

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Smiley Nails • 2020 • oil on canvas • 30×24" • image courtesy of the artist

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Christina Athas

Dada Car • 2019 • oil on canvas • 33×26" • image courtesy of the artist

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Poody Coffin • 2020 • oil on canvas • 45×34" • image courtesy of the artist

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Nari Baek

Ilizarov (13 Years Old) • 2019 • photo: Gustavo Murillo Fernández-Valdés

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Ilizarov (13 Years Old) • 2019 • silicone,flex foam,metal • photo: Raul Valverde

Dear Tetrapod • 2020 • video (color, sound) • 2:30 min. • Image courtesy of the artist

Dear Tetrapod • 2020 • video (color, sound) • 2:30 min. • Image courtesy of the artist 19


Nari Baek

Tetrapods III • 2020 • wire, plaster, rice paper, glass bead gel • 24×36×36" • image courtesy of the artist

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I am scared I • 2018 • inkjet print • 36×24" • image courtesy of the artist

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Brigitta Bengyel

Imperfect Animals • 2019 • installation • dimensions variable • photo: Beatriz Meseguer

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Emergency • 2020 • installation of four GIFs on four screens, audio file, bench cut in half for social distancing dimensions variable • image courtesy of the artist

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Carol Cao

2019 • glazed ceramic • installation and dimensions variable • photo: Beatriz Meseguer

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The Pink Coral • 2019 • glazed ceramic • 8×5×5" • photo: Beatriz Meseguer

The Dragon • 2019 • glazed ceramic • 12×6×1.25" • photo: Raul Valverde

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Carol Cao

Virus Flowers • 2020 • Sculpey • 2×2×0.5" each • image courtesy of the artist

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4/1/2020 • 2020 • Sculpey • 2×2×0.5" each • image courtesy of the artist

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Stanley Chen

Children Bedroom • 2019 • acrylic and watercolor on unprimed canvas • 68×68" • photo: Raul Valverde

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Magenta Self-portrait • 2019 • acrylic and watercolor on linen • 40×48" • photo: Raul Valverde

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Stanley Chen

Meiran Salon • 2019 • graphite on cotton bed sheets • 48×70" • photo: Gustavo Murillo Fernández-Valdés

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Meiran Salon (detail) • photo: Gustavo Murillo Fernández-Valdés

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Stanley Chen

Scan Me • 2019 • watercolor on fabric, found object • 13×13" • image courtesy of the artist

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Untitled • 2019 • low fire clay with glaze • 25×25×48" • photo: Beatriz Meseguer

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Veronica Fernandez

One To Thirty Days • 2020 • oil on canvas • 84×144" • image courtesy of the artist

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Veronica Fernandez

For Her, I’ll Love Us • 2019 • oil on canvas • 72×78" • photo: Beatriz Meseguer

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Find Me When I'm Not Hungry and Tired • 2020 • oil on canvas • 84×90" • photo: Beatriz Meseguer

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Veronica Fernandez

The Sleepover (You Make Me Feel Protected) • 2019 • oil on canvas • 84×132" • photo: Beatriz Meseguer

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Veronica Fernandez

I Close My Eyes and the World Becomes Flat (I’m Just Thankful I’m Not Blind) • 2020 • oil on canvas • 84×108" • image courtesy of the artist

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Backyard • 2020 • oil pastel, colored pencil, paper on wood • 12×12" • image courtesy of the artist

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Anna Gryglak

Plate Series • 2019 • oil on paper plates • 6" each • photo: Beatriz Meseguer

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Plate Series • 2019 • oil on paper plates • 6" each • photo: Beatriz Meseguer

Iza • 2019 • oil on wood • 24×18" • image courtesy of the artist 43


Anna Gryglak

Untitled • 2019 • oil on canvas • 8x6" • photo: Beatriz Meseguer

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Alex • 2019 • oil on canvas • 48x32" • photo: Beatriz Meseguer

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Weilong Guo

Excavation • 2020 • plaster, dust, concrete, oil paint on LED screen, three channel video installation: • 28.8×19" screens • image courtesy of the artist

Excavation • 2020 • laster, dust, concrete, oil paint on LED screen, three channel video installation: • 28.8×19" screens • image courtesy of the artist

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Excavation • 2020 • plaster, dust, concrete, oil paint on LED screen, three channel video installation: • 28.8×19" screens • image courtesy of the artist


2020 • 3-channel video installation (color, sound) • 60 min (loop)

2020 • 3-channel video installation (color, sound) • 60 min (loop)

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Xinyu Han

Red Painting • 2019 • oil on canvas • 70×49" • photo: Raul Valverde

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Blue Painting • 2020 • oil on canvas • image courtesy of the artist

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Xinyu Han

Next Question • 2020 • oil on canvas • 18"24" • image courtesy of the artist

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Skiing • 2020 • oil on canvas • 36×48" • image courtesy of the artist

Green Painting • 2019 • oil on canvas • 26×49" • photo: Raul Valverde

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Sueun Lee

2019 • installation view from BFA Fine Arts Open Studios, fall 2019 • photo: Gustavo Murillo Fernández-Valdés

Untitled • 2019 • oil pastel and gesso on canvas • 30×40" photo: Gustavo Murillo Fernández-Valdés

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Untitled (sketch) • 2020 • graphite on paper • 9×12" photo: Beatriz Meseguer


Untitled (sketch) • 2020 • graphite on paper • 9×12" • image courtesy of the artist

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Sueun Lee

Untitled (sketch) • 2020 • graphite on paper • 9×12" • image courtesy of the artist

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Untitled • 2020 • oil and oil pastel on canvas • 22×28" • image courtesy of the artist

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Yue Liu

Four hundred discarded objects • 2020 • photograph on Plexiglas • 79×79" • image courtesy of the artist

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Four hundred discarded objects • 2020 • photograph on Plexiglas • 79×79" • image courtesy of the artist

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Yue Liu

Four hundred discarded objects • 2020 • photograph on Plexiglas • 79×79" • image courtesy of the artist

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Four hundred discarded objects • 2020 • photograph on Plexiglas • 79×79" • image courtesy of the artist

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Titus McBeath

Cain • 2019 • electronics, 3D printed sculpture, mixed media • 36×36×4" • photo: Raul Valverde

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Able • 2019 • electronics, 3D printed sculpture, mixed media • 36×36×4" • photo: Raul Valverde

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Titus McBeath

Teeth Memory (Cornbread) • 2019 • 3D print • 5×5×3" • photo: Raul Valverde

Wall Construction 2 (Charmed Wall) Real Size • 2020 • Popsicle sticks and cardboard • 4×6×2" • image courtesy of the artist

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Teeth Memory (PizzaDog) • 2019 • 3D print • 8.5×6×3.5" • photo: Raul Valverde

Teeth Memory (Cupcake) • 2019 • 3D print • 3×3×4" • photo: Raul Valverde

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Maeve McGlinchey

2019 • installation view from BFA Fine Arts Open Studios, fall 2019 • photo: Beatriz Meseguer

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Fake Orgasm • 2020 • video • 1:08 min

Fake Orgasm • 2020 • video • 1:08 min

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Maeve McGlinchey

Another Torso (Unfinished) • 2020 • image courtesy of the artist

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Cocoon (Unfinished) • 2020 • image courtesy of the artist

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Annie Morrissey

As Above, So Below • 2020 • digital render • dimensions variable • image courtesy of the artist

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Annie Morrissey

As Below, So Above • 2020 • digital render of 3D printed mirascope · 36×24×36" · image courtesy of the artist

Microscopic Pores • 2020 • photograph • image courtesy of the artist

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2020 • laser engraving on plywood • 24×18" • image courtesy of the artist

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Chunbum Park

Post Human Love (Detail) • 2019 • acrylic on canvas • 79×60" • image courtesy of the artist

Put In • 2020 • acrylic on canvas • 84×84" • image courtesy of the artist

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From left to right: Passion Caldera • 2020 • acrylic on canvas • 60×45" • Post Human Love • 2020 • acrylic on canvas • 60×45" • photo: Raul Valverde

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Chunbum Park

The Sages On The Mountain • 2019 • acrylic on canvas • 79×60" • photo: Beatriz Meseguer

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Screaming Beauty • 2020 • acrylic on canvas • 60×45" • image courtesy of the artist

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Valeria Pezo

From left to right: Mis Estrellas • oil on glass • 15.5×12.5" • Te Extrano • oil on glass • 3.4"×3.5" • Te Siento • oil on glass • 5×7" • El Mundo • oil on canvas • 4"×4" Larga Distancia • oil on canvas • 12×12" • photo: Beatriz Meseguer

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Y Ahora? • 2019 • acrylic on canvas • 20"×35" • photo: Beatriz Meseguer

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Valeria Pezo

2019 • video (color, sound) • 4:14 min

2019 • video (color, sound) • 9:20 min

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Ansiedad • 2019 • oil on canvas • 10×12" • image courtesy of the artist

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Sharon Reitz

Harmonious • 2020 • oil paint on canvas • 30×30" • image courtesy of the artist

Harmonious Interior • 2020 • oil paint on canvas • 30×30" image courtesy of the artist

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Harmonious • 2020 • oil paint on canvas • 30×30" • image courtesy of the artist

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Sharon Reitz

Connected • 2020 • oil paint on canvas • 30"×30" • image courtesy of the artist

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Connected (Second Location) • 2020 • video (color, sound) • 35 seconds

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Sharon Reitz

Feeling Content • 2020 • acrylic on burlap, live moss and plants • 20×30" • Image courtesy of the artist

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The Traveler • 2020 • video (color, sound) • 28 seconds

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Bailey Smith

Multitudes of Nothingness • 2020 • silkscreen on plexiglass, part one of two panels • 16×24" • image courtesy of the artist

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Multitudes of Nothingness • 2020 • silkscreen on plexiglass, part two of two panels • 16×24" • image courtesy of the artist

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Bailey Smith

Ayanami Pepsi (綾波ペプシ) • 2020 • collage and acrylic on canvas • 20×24" • image courtesy of the artist

Untitled • 2020 • oil on canvas • 28×32" • image courtesy of the artist

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Self Isolation • 2020 • oil on canvas • 20× 24" • image courtesy of the artist

Is That Necessary? • 2020 • oil on wood panels, fabric, ribbon, thread • dimensions variable • image courtesy of the artist

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Sandra Wu

2019 • installation view from BFA Fine Arts Open Studios, fall 2019 • photo: Gustavo Murillo Fernández-Valdés

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Cubes • 2019 • oil on canvas • 79×79" • photo: Beatriz Meseguer

Untitled • 2019 • oil on canvas • 79×79" • photo: Beatriz Meseguer

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Sandra Wu

Untitled • 2019 • photo: Gustavo Murillo Fernández-Valdés

Invisible • 2020 • video (color, sound) • 1:00 min

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Untitled • 2019 • photo: Gustavo Murillo Fernández-Valdés

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Chair Choi 94 • twenty/twenty


r’s ices 95


Emma Fasciolo

Chainmail Blanket • 2019 • aluminum on bed • 40×60" • photo: Raul Valverde

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Chainmail Blanket • 2020 • aluminum • image courtesy of the artist

Checkered Blanket • 2020 • knit yarn • image courtesy of the artist

Chainmail Mask • 2019–2020 • aluminum • image courtesy of the artist

Beaded Blanket (in progress) • 2020 • wood beads and tool Image courtesy of the artist

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Yiyi Gu

My Table • 2019 • oil on canvas • 48×60" • photo: Beatriz Meseguer

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Dining Table • 2020 • graphite, wood carving, oil paint on wood • 35×27" • image courtesy of the artist

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Yiyi Gu

A Corner of My Room • 2020 • oil paint on wood • 40×30" • image courtesy of the artist

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Tiramisu • 2020 • oil and graphite wood • 11×14" • image courtesy of the artist

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Yiyi Gu

Under My Desk • 2020 • oil on wood • 31×46" • image courtesy of the artist

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Untitled • 2020 • oil and graphite wood • 20×16" • image courtesy of the artist

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Yiyi Gu

Flowers • 2020 • oil paint on wood • 12×16" • image courtesy of the artist

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Gloves • 2020 • oil paint on wood • 8×10" • image courtesy of the artist

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Hanni Huang

Slogan Banner • 2020 • eigital photograph • image courtesy of the artist

Quarantine Diary #5 • 2020 • digital photograph • image courtesy of the artist

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Quarantine Diary • 2020 • digital photograph • image courtesy of the artist


Quarantine Diary #3 • 2020 • digital photograph • image courtesy of the artist

Quarantine Diary • 2020 • digital photograph • image courtesy of the artist

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Jia Jeon

The Hiding Place • 2019 • fabric and wood structures • photo: Gustavo Murillo Fernández-Valdés

Overview of Fountain • 2020 • installation • image courtesy of the artist

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The Hiding Place • 2019 • fabric and wood structures • photo: Beatriz Meseguer 109


twenty/twenty Cover artwork by Veronica Fernandez Inside cover artwork by Yue Liu

A note from the chair

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Essay by Brian Kuan Wood

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Curator’s Choices Tiffany Alfonseca

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Christina Athas

14

Nari Baek

18

Brigitta Bengyel

22

Carol Cao

24

Stanley Chen

28

Veronica Fernandez

34

Anna Gryglak

42

Weilong Guo

46

Xinyu Han

48

Sueun Lee

52

Yue Liu

56

Titus McBeath

60

Maeve McGlinchey

64

Annie Morrissey

68

Chunbum Park

72

Valeria Pezo

76

Sharon Reitz

80

Bailey Smith

86

Sandra Wu

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Chair’s Choices Emma Fasciolo

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Yiyi Gu

98

Hanni Huang

106

Jia Jeon

108

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BFA Fine Arts: About the Program In addition to traditional media, SVA offers experimental practices in digital sculpture and the emerging field of bio-art. From figure studies to cutting-edge con­ceptual approaches, our department prepares the fine arts student to enter a myriad of professions and graduate programs. Courses in art history and contemporary art theory inform creative approaches to diverse aesthetic practices. The Fine Arts Department at the School of Visual Arts is unique. The fine arts student at SVA can choose an individualized course of study. Our new Fine Arts Digital Lab hosts private workstations equipped with up-to-the-minute software and instruction. Our digital sculpture initiative boasts computer-driven cutting machines for fabricat­ing sculpture. Painting classes include projects in direct observation or photography as well as abstract methods. Our faculty consists of professional artists, critics and curators whose work has achieved both national and international recognition. In addition, the Fine Arts Department sponsors many events and field trips to museums, galleries and artists’ studios to prepare the student for professional-level experience in the fine arts. With Chelsea’s art scene at our back door, students stay tuned in to art history in the making. Networking opportunities inside and outside SVA prepare our students for job placements and career development. For example, you might land a studio job assisting an instructor or a visiting artist, which could become access to a gallery, which could lead to your first show. In senior year, we invite dealers and curators to open-studio events showcasing your work, a twice-yearly chance for you to make important connections. In addition, we focus on all avenues of creative production. Our alumni have worked at top art museums, animation studios, education venues, art therapy practices, public art and other allied professions. You have access to more than 90 instructors in the studio department, a number unmatched in size and excellence anywhere else. These artists of stature are a vital part of the New York creative scene, whose work you can see in the galleries, museums and even the public spaces of the city. Connect with the one who inspires and supports your creative efforts the most—the artist you gravitate toward will act as your mentor to help you achieve your artistic goals. Becoming a fine artist in New York is to see and feel the fluent dynamics of creation as a public phenomenon and an interchange of ideas. Your individual gift, your voice, is made public in exhibition venues.

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