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Published on the occasion of the exhibition Uncommon Commencement at Heather james Fine Art, Palm Desert July 29 - September 30, 2010


Uncommon Commencement showcases the unique and fresh work of recent MFA graduates from Yale University, Hunter College, and the School of Visual Arts, as well as recent undergraduates of Otis College of Art and Design. Co-curated by Chip Tom and John Friedman, Heather James Fine Art is pleased to exhibit the work of this powerful group of up-and-coming artists for the very first time. The selected artists include Njideka Akunyili, Darcy Brennan, Sally Bruno, Matteo Callegari, Matthew Craven, Abel Rodriguez, Naomi Safran-Hon, Edgar Serrano, Felandus Thames, and Kristof Wickman.


Njideka Akunyili


Benin / British Wallpaper cut board mounted on collage 13 1/2 x 10 in. 2010


Mimetic Gestures oil, fabric and paper collage on canvas 88 x 70 in. 2010


Bridge cut board mounted on collage 88 x 65 in. 2010


Darcy Brennan


Untitled (Pet Radiator) charcoal, plaster and ink on paper 39 x 42 in. 2009


Untitled (Child Radiator) charcoal, plaster and ink on paper 38 x 50 in. 2009


Sally Bruno


Striped Tree and Monkeys oil on canvas 96 x 72 in. 2010


String Beans oil on canvas 20 x 16 in. 2010


Blueberry Fields oil on canvas 20 x 16 in. 2010


The Garden oil on canvas 48 x 36 in. 2009


Matteo Callegari


Fast Backbone acrylic, enamel and spray paint on canvas 68 x 52 in. 2010


Untitled (S) acrylic, oil, spray paint and collage on canvas 68 x 52 in. 2010


Untitled (Dots) acrylic, oil and spray paint on canvas 26 x 20 in. 2010


Untitled (Bulging) acrylic, oil and collage on canvas 20 x 18 in. 2009


Matthew Craven


Soldier mixed media on paper 17 1/8 x 13 1/8 in. 2010


Sinister mixed media on paper 17 1/8 x 13 1/8 in. 2010


Totem mixed media on paper 27 x 20 in. 2010


Abel Rodriguez


Untitled 1 acrylic, soft pastel, contact paper and tape on paper 39 3/4 x 35 in. 2010


Untitled 2 acrylic, soft pastel, contact paper and tape on paper 39 3/4 x 35 in. 2010


Untitled 3 acrylic, soft pastel, contact paper and tape on paper 39 3/4 x 35 in. 2010


Naomi Safran-Hon


Absent Home IV ink jet print, cement and lace on canvas 35 x 139 in. 2010


Absent Home II inkjet print, cement and lace on canvas 28 x 21 in. 2009


Palestinian Islands I cement and lace on canvas 61 x 54 in. 2009


Edgar Serrano


Staircase acrylic, carpet pads, watercolor and wood on linen 64 x 56 in. 2010


Scatological Scene acrylic and watercolor on linen 72 x 96 in. 2010


Felandus Thames


A Salt inkjet, rocksalt and acrylic interferance paint on paper 19 x 24 in. 2010


Golden Octapus inkjet on paper 18 x 24 in. 2009


Gold Makes My Teeth White inkjet and acrylic on paper 18 x 24 in. 2010


Gamtoos River acrylic on canvas 70 x 95 in. 2010


Kristof Wickman


Still Life with Bananas cast Aquaresin, cast polyester resin and paint 30 x 24 x 18 in. 2010


Untitled cast ceramic 5 x 9 x 4 in. Edition of 5 2009-2010


Self Portrait Neoprene exercise ball, cast silicone with aluminum armature 33 x 30 x 30 in. Edition of 3 2009-2010


Untitled cast Aquaresin 18 x 12 x 12 in. Edition of 2 2010


Artist Biographies


Njideka Akunyili Born: 1983

Education: 2010 MFA, Yale University, New Haven, CT. 2009 Post Baccalaureate certificate, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philladelphia, PA 2004 BFA, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA Selected Exhibitions: 2010 Uncommon Commencement, Heather James Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA 2009 Yale University 1st Year Graduate Show, New Haven, CT Contemporary Voices: 69th Annual Juried Exhibition, Woodmere Art Museum, PA Annual Student Exhibition, PAFA 2008 Fall Show, Off the Wall Gallery, Philadelphia, PA Annual Student Exhibition, PAFA Certificate Students’ Juried Show, PAFA All Campus Juried Show, PAFA 2007 Students-only National Juried Exhibition, Off the Wall Gallery, Philadelphia, PA National Juried Competition Show, Bowery Gallery, New York, NY Mainline Arts Center Works on Paper Annual Student Exhibition, PAFA 144th Annual Exhibition of Small Oil Paintings, Philadelphia Sketch Club 2006 Certificate Students’ Juried Show, PAFA Pure Gallery Group Show, Harrisburg, PA All Campus Juried Show, PAFA 2005 Graduate Students’ Juried Show, PAFA 2004 Senior Exhibition, Swarthmore College, PA 2002 One Man Student Show at the Kaori Kitao Gallery, Swarthmore College, PA Awards and Grants: 2010 Gamblin Paint Prize for an outstanding First year painting student, Yale University 2009 The Mindel Capland Kleinbard Award, PAFA The Coverley-Smith Prize, Woodmere Art Museum Benjamin West prize for figure painting, PAFA 2008 Frank C. Wright Jr. Scholarship, American Artists Professional League, NY Fellowship Juried Prize, PAFA Charles Toppan Curriculum drawing prize, PAFA Mabel Wilson Woodrow Award, PAFA Don Sabath Award – Special Notice, PAFA 2007 Mary-Rowe Memorial jury prize, Off The Wall Gallery, Philadelphia, PA Susan H. MacDowell Eakins painting prize, PAFA Robert T. Wickersham memorial purchase prize in lithography, PAFA Huldah Bender Kerner Scholarship, PAFA Benjamin West prize for figure painting, PAFA 2006 Academy merit scholarship, PAFA, 2006-2009 2004 Dean’s Award 2004, Swarthmore College, PA 2003 Jonathan Altman Art Grant, Swarthmore College, PA 2002-09 Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship

Collections: Community College of Philadelphia Swarthmore College Dean’s office Swarthmore College Art Department PAFA Print Department Archives Bibliography: Tammaro, Tina, Turning Students into Artists at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, American Artist Drawing, Spring 2008, pgs. 20, 21, 24. Njideka Akunyili creates art that mix collaged elements consisting of cut decorative patterns revealing narrative motifs based on her cultural experiences living in her home country of Nigeria.


Darcy Brennan Education: 2010 M.F.A. Hunter College, NY Group exhibitions: 2010 Uncommon Commencement, Heather James Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA Darcy Brennan’s monochromatic mixed media works on paper invoke a sense of solitude and reflection with their representation of mundane objects that can be interpreted as figurative substitutes for the human presence. The artists states, “the impetus for each of my projects is often found in the desire to understand how a once familiar space or object can be pushed off balance and severed from its home. The drawings and prints depict household fixtures, playground structures, imagined wastelands, childhood memories or dreams. These objects and spaces become personal relics and reflective vessels for a younger sibling, a toy, a private hideout, escape, or the memory of a parent’s comfort. The larger than life size portraits protect the interior spaces from the viewer’s scrutiny with stiff frames and imagined poise.” “I approach drawing as an act of remembering and forgetting. Tearing away at the paper with construction tools and erasers, I discover light in the darkness and reveal shapes and underlying definitions through each exposed layer. I find and lose, find and lose over and over again. Through this drawing process I divorce the objects from their specific identity and observe them as new, alone, independent and out of context. It is in the play between surface and depth, inside and outside, protection and vulnerability that I begin to negotiate areas of the psyche and the self that feel unknown, repressed, confined and curious.”


Sally Bruno

Education: 2010 B.F.A. Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA Group Exhibitions: 2010 Uncommon Commencement, Heather James Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA Business as Usual, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA 28th Annual Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show, The Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills, CA The Hallway Happening, Playa del Oro, Los Angeles, CA Anomie, Bolsky Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA 2009 Menageat, Bolsky Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA Awards: 2007 - 2010 Otis Grant Sally Bruno received her BFA from Otis College of Art and Design in 2010. Bruno’s paintings evoke her ideas about communication and the intersection of paint, ideas, and choice. The artist states “I work from images in my environment and experiences that I interact with on a daily basis; the paintings are the relationships I chose to recall from daily memory translated into shapes that have to then make sense as art. The story I recall is more of an impression than a narrative, and I retell this through carefully considered and painted forms, pigments, organic and geometric shapes, color selection, the varying quality of lines, stripes, dots, and how thick and thin medium interact with each other. I am in charge of creating—decision by decision---the visual language and the eventual impact or ‘meaning’ of an imagined world. We can mold or create anything we want in life and nowhere is this more obvious to me than on the canvas of an abstract painter. I feel that my painting represents all the choices and opportunities we arrange, rearrange and harmonize to make our life whatever we want it to be. I think of my painting as invented landscapes—realities even-- that exist in my mind where anything is possible.”


Matteo Callegari Born: 1979

Education: 2011 M.F.A. Candidate, Hunter College, NY 2003 Bachelor in Economics, Universita Ca’ Foscari Venezia Group exhibitions: 2010 Uncommon Commencement, Heather James Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA New York, Vaudeville Park, DANCE GHOST, (among the 30 artists :Bill Abdale, Peter Acheson, Katherine Bradford, Esther Klaes, Chris Martin, Phong Bui ) Curated by Elisa Soliven. London, Hannah Barry Gallery, NEW YORK NEW WORK, Abstract Painting from America, Matteo Callegari, Wyatt Kahn, Erik Lindman, Anton Zolotov. (catalogue) 2009 New York, Envoy Enterprises, Forgotten in the Smile, Drew Beattie, Joe Bradley, Matteo Callegari, Chris Martin, Anton Zolotov, curated by Matteo Callegari. New York, OLD MAID Gallery, Mud in your eye, Drew Beattie, Matteo Callegari, Emily Noelle Lambert, Erik Lindman, Naomi Nevitt, Katie Torn, Anton Zolotov, curated by Anton Zolotov. Matteo Callegari creates abstract paintings that explore the use of form and content via shaped canvas, spray paint, expressive paint drips and geometric silhouettes. The artist states, “I am intrigued by space as an open field for different possibilities. I am interested in what kind of situations might develop between different elements in the picture plane. Abstraction with its potential of reduction becomes the perfect playground for a selected group of elements and for their interactions. The interactions between spills, smudges, patterns, shapes, bits of collage create the form and the structure of the painting. These marks are mostly made with tools, materials and mediums that are not “proper” of fine art painting (I use mostly hardware store materials). These marks have a more subtle presence, they are in-between being something and being nothing. To accentuate this I work mostly intuitively, relying on my instinct rather than my capacities of prestrategizing the painting. I try to leave my pieces open, and I avoid over-determining them; this pushes the paintings into providing more space for the viewer and for its subjectivity.”


Matthew Craven Born: 1981 Education: 2010 M.F.A. School of Visual Arts, New York NY 2004 B.F.A. Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI Solo exhibitions: 2010 Future Myths, Grizzly Grizzly, Philadelphia, PA 2005 New Work, Fine Arts Gallery, College for Creative Studies, Detroit, MI Group exhibitions: 2010 Plus One, Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York, NY Uncommon Commencement, Heather James Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA American Iconography, Adam Baumgold Gallery, New York, NY Highly Decorated, Nudashank @ Fountain, New York, NY Thank You, But It is Actually on Purpose, Visual Arts Gallery, New York, NY Urban Shaman, Parlor Antics, Brooklyn, NY Lordz of the Flyze, Nudashank, Baltimore, MD (two-person show with Julian Duron) 2009 Electric Kool-Aid, Visual Arts Gallery, New York, NY History Is Written By The Winners, Marvelli Gallery, New York, NY (solo show in viewing room) 2008 A Friend Indeed, Katzen Center, American University, Washington D.C. 2004 Administrative Show, Fine Arts Gallery, College for Creative Studies, Detroit, MI Hit to Death In the Future Head, Gallery 114, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI Bibliography: Cult Patterns, Assembly Journal, June 2010 Fine Line, TOKION magazine, May 2010 Visual Arts Journal, May 2010 Matthew Craven uses found imagery combined with Native American decorative patterns to create works on paper that explore our nation’s history and the effects of Western expansion on the assimilation of cultures.


Abel Rodriguez Born: 1979

Education: 2010 M.F.A. Painting Yale University, New Haven, CT. 2007 B.F.A. Drawing and Painting California State University, Long Beach. Cum Laude 2007 B.F.A. Graphic Design California State University, Long Beach. Cum Laude Solo Exhibitions: 2007 Hope of Progress, Dreams of Success, Gatov West Gallery, C.S.U. Long Beach 2005 That’s The Way It Is, Dutzi Gallery, C.S.U. Long Beach Group Exhibitions: 2010 Uncommon Commencement, Heather James Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA New Insight, Curator: Susanne Ghez, Art Chicago: NEXT, Chicago, IL 2009 A Proposito: Pan-Latino Dialogues, John Slade Eli House Center for Contemporary Art, New Haven, CT House Project, Westport Art Center, Westport, CT 2008 Los Angeles Juried Exhibition, Los Angeles, CA 2007 Change Please, Collaborative installation. Long Beach Park, Long Beach, CA Insights, University Art Museum. C.S.U. Long Beach Open Show, Curator: Howard Fox. Gallery 825, Los Angeles, CA 2006 Wasteland Dutzi Gallery, C.S.U. Long Beach El Reflejo, Collaborative performance/installation. Residence. Los Angeles, CA El Reflejo II, Collaborative installation, Residence, Los Angeles, CA Tierra de Oro, Collaborative installation, Raza Resource Center, C.S.U. Long Beach Insights, University Art Museum, C.S.U. Long Beach Truth, Trust and Illusion, Collaborative installation, Werby Gallery, C.S.U. Long Beach 2005 Performance, Viento y Agua Gallery, Long Beach, CA Long Beach Art Walk, Gatsby Hotel, Long Beach, CA Essence, Co-curator and participant, Basswerks Gallery, Culver City, CA Rupture, Gatov West Gallery, C.S.U. Long Beach Horizon, Gatov East Gallery, C.S.U. Long Beach Recently, Werby Gallery, C.S.U. Long Beach Insights, University Art Museum, C.S.U. Long Beach That’s The Way We Roll, Co-curator and participant in U-Haul show, Chinatown. Los Angeles, CA Hide and Seek, Co-curator, Basswerks Gallery, Culver City, CA 2004 Insights, University Art Museum, C.S.U. Long Beach Awards: 2010 Alice Kimball English Traveling Fellowship recipient 2007 Award winner, Open Show 2004, 2005, 2006 Dramatic Allied Guild Scholarship (Awarded at annual Insights show)

Abel Rodriguez was born in Fairfield California in 1979. He received his Masters of Fine Art from Yale University in 2010. Rodriguez’s paintings communicate through mixed media how space is negotiated, delineated and networked. The artist states: “The process of migrating to this country has displaced my sense of groundedness due to the constant relocation that was necessary for seasonal farm work. The image of the home and place in turn resulted in an illusion of permanence and stability. The past restructures itself by delineating a passage into the constantly reoccurring future. The passage acts as a point of slippage; oscillating in and out of form producing afterimages of the impact. The reoccurring image triggers a memory that is migratory, unstable, shifting, twisting and in constant flux. My interest in the interchangeability of a symbol: a placement / displacement binary of people, places and things, operates as dualities within the context of experience. The transposition of the symbol in time and space allows for a reconnection with the former. My work unravels and progresses from a personal narrative, translating the parts but leaving it open for interpretation and reflection.”


Naomi Safran-Hon Born: 1984 Education: 2010 M.F.A., Yale University, New Haven, CT. 2008 B.A., Summa Cum Laude, Studio Art, Art History, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA Solo exhibitions: 2008 Shared Future? Brandeis Vision of Coexistence in Palestine and Israel, Shapiro Campus Center Gallery, Brandies University, Waltham, MA 2007 Without a Face, Pardes Gallery, Haifa, Israel Group exhibitions: 2010 Uncommon Commencement, Heather James Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA Forest for the Trees, Heather James Fine Art, Jackson, WY Pattern of Invasion, The LABA Gallery, 14th Street Y, New York, NY Evocatecture, Heather James Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA 2008 A Friend Indeed: Contemporary Art and the Academy, Katzen Arts Center Rotunda, Washington DC Inside Out, Brandeis Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Art, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA Healing, Community and Transformation: Students Visions from Johannesburg, Kniznick Gallery, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 2007 The Rear, Herzliya Biennial of Contemporary Art 2007, Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Herzliya, Israel Desert Generation, the Artists’ House, Jerusalem and in Ha’Kibbutz Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel Prospect St. Studio – Portrait, Brandeis Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Art, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 2006 Can you hear what I see?, Museum Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa Freshman Index (Women), Brandeis Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Art, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 2003 Young artist award exhibition, Hecht Museum, Haifa University, Haifa, Israel Awards and Honors: 2010 Blanksteen Curatorial Fellowship, Yale University, New Haven, CT 2009 Robert Schoelkopf Memorial Traveling Fellowship, Yale University, New Haven, CT 2008 Paul Caine Memorial Award, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA Susan Mae Green Award, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA Ellen (Ilana) Raskin ’75 Memorial Award, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA Phi Beta Kappa, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA Slifka Foundation Grant, New York, NY 2007 Remis Award in Creative Arts, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA Gertrude Carnovsky Prize in Creative Arts, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 2006 Ethic Center Student Fellowship, International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 2004 Slifka Coexistence Scholarship to study at Brandies University 2003 Young artist award, Hecht Museum, Haifa University, Haifa, Israel

Bibliography: Safran-Hon, N., Shared Future? Brandeis Vision of Coexistence in Palestine and Israel, Pardes Publishing house, Haifa, 2008 Matalon, T., “My Draft Resistance.” Bridges 10 (1) p. 52 Collections: Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA John H. Friedman, New York, NY Naomi Safran-Hon was born in Israel in 1984. She received her Masters of Fine Art from Yale University in 2010. Safran-Hon uses cement and other materials to create works that push the boundaries of expectation, challenging ideas about art and of politics. The artist states: “This body of work has evolved from my fascination with cement. My interest in this material sprang from the cement wall that is being built in my home country in order to separate Israelis from Palestinians. This material incorporates multiple layers of meanings, symbolically as well as concretely. On the surface, the material alludes to construction but, transformed in my studio, it reflects the ways in which my life has been shaped by political reality. Construction of identity interlaces with construction of landscape. Pushed against lace and domestic materials cement references the way in which political reality infiltrates personal life. In my studio cement becomes paint where not only the borders of my region are explored, but also ideas about painting and the limits of this medium. The creation of works, away from my homeland, presents a challenge since the viewers and I have different cultural languages. Thus I look for methods, which can transform my reality into images that can speak in a familiar language to the viewer.”


Edgar Serrano Born: 1979

Education: 2010 M.F.A. Painting Yale University, New Haven, CT. Group Exhibitions: 2010 Uncommon Commencement, Heather James Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA Edgar Serrano was born in Chicago, Illinois. In 2010, he received an MFA from Yale School of Art in Painting. Serrano’s paintings merge wild, colorful abstraction and expressive figuration into compositions that reference Western and Latin influences and the visual tropes of art history.


Felandus Thames Education: 2010 M.F.A. Painting and Printmaking, Yale University, New Haven, CT. 2008 B.A. Painting and Graphic Design, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS Solo Exhibitions: 2008 Works by Felandus Thames, Southside Gallery, Oxford, MS 2003 Here & There, Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center, Jackson, MS 2001 Missing, Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center, Jackson, MS Group Exhibitions: 2010 Uncommon Commencement, Heather James Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA Yale M.F.A Thesis Show, New Haven, CT 2009 Yale Second Year Comprehensive Show, New Haven, CT Summer Group Show, Lemieux Galleries, New Orleans, LA Yale Peer Exhibition, New Haven, CT 2008 100 Hundred Years of Richard Wright, National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, TN The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Relationships and Love, Walker’s Point Center for the Arts, Milwaukee, WI 2007 Winter Group Show, Southside Gallery, Oxford, MS Fall Group Show Attic Gallery, Vicksburg, MS Signs, Attic Gallery, Vicksburg, MS Black Artist Group Exhibition, Southside Gallery, Oxford, MS 2006 Southern Kaleidoscope, Attic Gallery, Vicksburg, MS 35th Anniversary Show, Attic Gallery, Vicksburg, MS Kitchen, The Attic Gallery, Vicksburg, MS 2005 Windows, Annual Theme Show, The Attic Gallery, Vicksburg, MS 2003 Emerge, Municipal Art Gallery, Jackson, MS Mississippi Collegian Competition (Juried), Meridian Museum of Art Highway 61, Annual Theme Show, The Attic Gallery, Vicksburg, MS 2002 Self Portrait Show, Gallery 119, Jackson, MS 2001 Mississippi Collegian Competition (Juried), Mississippi Museum of Art Residencies: 2002-2003 Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center, Jackson, MS Awards: 2010 Scholarship, Yale School of Art 2007 Grant, Mississippi Arts Commission 2005 Individual Artist Fellowship, Mississippi Arts Commission 2003 Individual Artist Fellowship, Greater Jackson Arts Council 2003 Best in Category, Mississippi Collegian Art Competition 2002 Travel Grant, Greater Jackson Arts Council Public Commissions: 2004 Portrait, Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children 2003 Public Art, City of Jackson, Mississippi Office of the Mayor 2003 Portrait, Jackson Medical Mall Foundation

Teaching: 2010 Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT Teaching Assistant to Samuel Messer, Basic Drawing Felandus Thames received his Masters of Fine Art from Yale University in 2010. Thames pursues the grotesque or, what he calls, “things that should never have been born.” The simultaneity of seductiveness and repulsiveness inextricably involved in any conceptualization of the grotesque permeates Thames’s oeuvre. Looking at images of medical traumas, and heavily influenced by Hans Bellmer’s “dolls,” Thames contemplates the possibilities inherent in the grotesque as well as the opportunities that archival sources offer to his artistic practice. He doesn’t simply mine the archive; he engages the narratives held within it, discovers fissures or erasures, and redefines significations through the insertion of another artist-funded narrative. The encounter he engenders is an undetermined one that allows for spectatorial wonder. It is, for all of its openness, however, a barbed encounter in which, no one remains innocent. His preoccupation with the grotesque ties artist, work, and spectator together into a collective pendulum that sways between the poles of seduction and repulsion or rather exposes the connectivitybetween them.


Kristof Wickman Born: 1981 Education: 2010 M.F.A. Combined Media, Hunter College of the City University of New York 2005 B.F.A. Studio Art, University of Wisconsin, Madison Selected exhibitions: 2011 Group Show, Duve, curated by Evan Gruzis, Berlin, DE 2010 Uncommon Commencement, Heather James Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA Relax, Socrates Sculpture Park, curated by Bridget Donahue, Queens, New York Group Show, coinciding with the Capsule fair, curated by Jayne Drost, New York, NY Hunter Thesis Show, Times Square Gallery, New York, NY, 2009 Inaugural Group Exhibition, Union Gallery, NY, NY M.A.’s Select M.F.A.’s, Times Square Gallery, NY, NY New Insight, curated by Susanne Ghez, NEXT Fair, Art Chicago Good News, Porter Butts Gallery, Memorial Union, Madison, WI 2008 Everything Must Go, Birmingham, AL 2007 It Isn’t Funny Anymore, Project 1981, Long Island City, Queens, NY 2006 Drawing No Conclusions, OODA group, Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI The Promised Land/Sailor’s Delight, OODA group installation, Wendy Cooper Gallery, Chicago, IL 2005 In the Name of Progress, Silo Gallery, Madison, WI Wetness, OODA group installation at Gallery 110, Madison, WI 2004 Office Kiss, OODA group installation at 734 Gallery, Madison, WI Outstanding Students in Contemporary Sculpture, Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, New Jersey Overlay, Commonwealth Gallery, Madison, WI Does the Past Suck?, Wisconsin Union Theatre Gallery, Madison, WI Over Oceans, Through the Air, Beyond All Barriers, Ironworks building, Madison, WI Grants, Fellowships and Awards: 2010 Tony Smith Fund Award 2006 Vermont Studio Center, Rowland Fellowship, winter residency 2005 MacDowell Colony Fellowship, summer residency 2004 International Sculpture Center Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award Lyman S.V. Judson and Ellen Mackechnie-Judson Student Award in the Creative Arts Collections: Jean Pigozzi Collection, NY, NY University of Wisconsin, Madison Memorial Union permanent collection

Kristof Wickman creates whimsical sculptures using a variety of media such as ceramic, resin, found objects and latex. The artist derives his sculptures upon images and objects interpreted as unambiguous artifacts that can be culturally specific while at the same time appear categorically detached. Wickman states “My aim is to make a non-literal reality from literal parts. The object in question crosses over from the symbolic to become taxonomically neutral, or slips into abstract form. I try to facilitate the momentary experience of the tangible giving way to the intangible through an equal investment in image and surface. Also, humor is very important to me as an element of incongruity that upends meaning. The joke, as a footnote or diversion has the ability alter the perception of an artwork. Within an artwork humor can point to the contingency of the entire structure. In my process of making, there’s often a back and forth between the tempering of austerity with humor and the tempering of comedic value with seriousness.”


45188 Portola Avenue Palm Desert, CA 92260 760-346-8926 PO Box 3580 172 Center Street Suite 101 Jackson, WY 83001 307-200-6090 www.heatherjames.com


Heather James Fine Art - Uncommon Commencement Exhibition Catalogue