The way I figure it, our first semester in SVA’s MFA Fine Arts program is for getting our feet wet, finding the art supply stores, and convincing ourselves that we haven’t made the biggest mistake of our life.
Semester number two is when we start to make art that matters. But we’re still all over the map. We’re juggling subject matter, media, color, meaning, fabrication, and
installation issues. At least. Because making art is the hardest thing we’ve ever done, and now we’re trying to be good at it, while people watch and criticize. And we’re still not sure it isn’t a mistake to spend oh-my-god how much money? in order to leave ourselves less employable than before we started.
Which gives the fine arts students only the first semester of their second year to make everything that goes into their MFA thesis
show. Make it. Make it coherent and meaningful. Make it visually and intellectually arresting. And, by the way, how’s that written thesis coming?
The show We Object (curated by Wallace Whitney) which is open at SVA’s Visual Arts Gallery (601 West 26th Street, suite 1502) displays work from half of the class of 2013. The other half will be shown next month. I only give you the timeline so that you will understand the pressure under
which this art was created – pressure that doesn’t show in the art itself, which is, by turns, playful, skilled, vibrant, unusual, unsettling, disciplined, undisciplined, unexpected, and arresting.
A thesis show by its nature has no common theme. It is a group of works not created to stand together but forced to share visual and actual space. Sometimes that’s a weakness, but not in We Object.
This is art that would work alone, but also works wonderfully in a group show. It argues, creates contrasts, creates synergies, and surprises the viewer. After seeing
all of the galleries that combine to make up the show, I found myself starting over in the first room to see it all again. It is a feast; not moveable like Paris, but still ephemeral. These artists may never show together again, and this exhibit closes on January 26th.