MFA Exhibition 2008
Trisha Grover, Michael Hall, Joanne Hashitani, Whitney Irvin, Ann Kim, Reiko Kubota, David Linger, Daniel Nevers, Sandra Ono, Jennie Ottinger, Robb Putnam, Ethan Worden
From a mountain of washing machines to translucent paintings hung from a wire web, the second year graduate students create fresh work for the Master of Fine Arts Exhibition 2008, on-view at the Mills College Art Museum from May 4 through June 1, 2008.
For her installation, Trisha Grover hand-melts plastic into forms of subtle beauty but with a material that is directly associated with human waste. She is interested in the necessary denial required to consume and discard permanent things in a society that rarely is confronted with its garbage.
Michael Hall explores the effects of control and protection in his paintings and videos. Using material culled from web sources and a personal archive of found and original photography and video, Hall produces enigmatic imagery. Through humor, scale, cropping, rhythm and juxtaposition he asks viewers to reexamine their relationship to what they are seeing and the application those images have in their lives.
Joanne Hashitani makes paintings and installations composed of strands of invisible thread. She creates repetitive, translucent marks that accumulate to form fields or masses, which sit on a grid of thread that provides the structure for the work. There is fragility and strength in the work as it responds to the fluctuations of light and movement in the surrounding space.
Whitney Irvin uses cut paper to create three-dimensional drawings of larger women found in magazines and pornography. Each drawing has many layers and depicts women in a state of pleasure and presentation. By exploring private entertainment in a public sphere she hopes to start a dialogue between the desires of women depicted in the drawings and the viewers that consume them.
Ann Kim's The Spectacle consists of paintings on paper that address the issue of "violence as spectacle." Her past investigations of ego/alter-ego, oil/water and figure/shadow have brought her to further explore the dualities of the polemic nature of violence, and solitary guilt/collective violence in this series.
Reiko Kubota uses video and sound to create a total experience. Through her interactive installations she intends to transform the notion of her work's physicality through to surround viewers in a sensual experience.
David Linger's paper thin, porcelain panels feature deeply embossed text and screen-printed images. The narratives Mr. Linger projects in his multiple-panel works combine stories based on emotional states culled from the corners of his past with related images from a variety of sources.
Daniel Nevers uses everyday objects from the hardware store, such as washing machines, saw horses, and straps, in his sculptures in unexpected ways. Influenced by pop psychology and armchair philosophy, his work simultaneously pulls viewers in and pushes them away while asking what it means to purposefully construct nonsensical barriers.
During the past few years, Sandra Ono has rekindled her childhood fascination with studying cellular structures and scientific renderings. She is interested in trying to materialize something invisible, like a lump in the throat, using seemingly banal materials. Working in mixed media, she amasses forms to give physical weight and presence in different internal states. Her current work attempts to depict the experience that lies between the visceral and the cerebral.
Jennie Ottinger's installation of drawings, gouache paintings, and projected images entitled Third Thing invites the viewer to derive their own meanings from the juxtaposed elements. She seeks to find the curious ways a certain image, if sweet and playful, can become sinister or threatening, creating a new idea beyond the individual images.
Robb Putnam creates emotive animal characters out of fabric, thread, glue and other mixed mediums. This "family" of cast-off entities, imaginary friends and monsters may strike the viewer as both inviting and repellent.
Ethan Worden makes objects that resist being themselves. They are things we know-identifiable and essentially pragmatic-yet through manipulation of scale, context, or configuration, they confound our expectations and project themselves into an absurd and lyrical space. Worden's practice asks viewers to examine the qualities of familiar and functional objects, but also to evaluate their own habits of seeing and interpreting their surroundings.