The Riverside Art Museum is pleased to announce the 2011 University of California, Riverside Masters of Fine Arts Exhibition, featuring eight first and second year graduate students, facilitated by UCR Associate Professor of Art, Amir Zaki. These students work in various and multiple media including sculpture, painting, photography, video, and installation. Working towards the culmination of their thesis projects, they each approach their work with a unique voice, conceptual framework, and formal sensibility. All of the students in the exhibition are actively engaged with an important lineage of artistic practice and the ever-evolving arena of contemporary art.
Participating artists in this year's exhibition include:
Gabriel Arroyo (1st Year MFA):
I like making paintings as a means of grasping things I don’t understand.
Rachel Bank (1st Year MFA):
I set up various systems within spaces of my car to make art work. Some works are created within the bounds of the length of a single commute. Other works are the result of prolonged repetitions of a test I may conduct on a part of my car.
I am using the time I spend driving my Honda Civic to produce work as I have been acutely aware of my varied states of mental, psychological and corporeal being during this liminal time. By enacting self-imposed systems within which to make work, my practice is becoming self-generative. This echoes the paradox of the ultimate lack of choices I feel I have over my states of being, as well as the unpredictability of everyday life.
Zack California (2nd Year MFA):
Zack California is a West Coast artist working today. He exercises his imagination and virtuosity in myriad media. His creativity knows no bounds.
Nick Lowe (1st Year MFA):
I like to think of my paintings as time machines. When I am painting, I go back in time and steal from ancient civilizations and use the artifacts I get to furnish my top floor penthouse suite. I set these objects up in the rooms of my top floor penthouse, often hiding my haphazard collections behind curtains of thick red velvet. My ideas about display come from garage sales and under stocked Rite Aids. I have illegitimate children in all eras of history whether it be from Ancient Greece, New York in the 50's, or cold-blooded dinosaur times. The paintings are an additive process built up of a variety of mark making, smudges, and wipeouts, and through a heavy handed painterly struggle, a picture emerges. Throughout this absurdist romp, the line between sincerity and irony become blurred. Neurotically flipping back and forth between abstraction and figuration, the paintings prefer to deepen the mystery rather than solve it.
Justin Lubliner (1st Year MFA):
I imagine that my work exists somewhere between the documentation of performance and the performance of documentation in an exploration of the reflexive relationship between the environment I photograph and myself as photographer.
Ryan Perez (2nd Year MFA):
I would like to establish a simple foundation that I feel I can take a position with. I do not believe the title of an artist suggests in any sense that artists are meant to be good people (“good” potentially meaning: moral, responsible, kind, politically correct, accommodating, generous, law abiding, etc.). I’m irreverent towards the idea of maintaining the status quo, the status quo being an imaginary criterion of sorts.
Although, I do recognize the potential existence of the status quo and by acknowledging its presence as a history that precedes me, I'm also acknowledging this condition as a fertile space for art making. Therefore, any shift or reformulation of the acme could cause a moment of chaos, skepticism, and incoherence, this being something I can get on board with.
I guess what I am trying scatter into the air is the idea of using the status quo not so much to maintain a past history, but to orchestrate a manifestation that attempts to generate the present condition of art making. Within this process, I do not buy into the idea of paying tribute towards a history that is being reformulated. As an artist, I try not to live my life quoting, when in fact I’m trying to generate for a fleeting present.
Carter Seddon (1st Year MFA):
These still life photographs involve placing an object emblematic of everyday life into the vague, atemporal space of a white backdrop. They are photographed in daylight rather than in the studio. The particular quality of the light and the temporality of the newspaper itself complicate the function of the white backdrop, which is normally used as a device to make objects seem as though they exist outside of time.
Matthew Shain (2nd Year MFA):
10 Themes I See in My Work
5. Lazy Eyes
7. Love & Hate
10. Being There
Curated and Prepared by: The UCR MFA Students