Lauren Kalman 9.14.21
Abigail D. DeVille 10.5.21
Jennie Jieun Lee 11.16.21
Alicia Mersy 2.1.22
Edgar Heap of Birds 3.1.22
Shahzia Sikander 4.12.22
All lectures are on Tuesdays at 7pm
Free and Open to the Public
Each year Pratt Fine Arts invites contemporary artists for a public lecture and to conduct studio visits with fine arts graduate students. This Visiting Artists Lecture Series (VALS) is coordinated by graduate student leaders. The aim is to provide our students with exposure to a wide array of artists working in a variety of fields at various stages in their career. Recent and past visiting artists include: Elektra KB, Nina Katchadourian, Wardell Milan, Wendy Red Star, Narcissister, Pradeep Dalal, James Hyde, Jill Magid, Schezerade Garcia, Rochelle Feinstein, Lavar Munroe, Lorna Simpson, Rico Gatson, Anicka Yi, Nicole Eisenman, Tom Sachs, Aura Satz, Leigh Ledare, Judith Bernstein, Dan Walsh, Kalup Linzey, Keltie Ferris, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Diana Al-Hadid, Mary Walling-Blackburn, Michelle Handelman, Phoebe Washburn, Rashaad Newsome, Dora + Maja, Bryan Zanisnik, Nancy Grossman, Guido Van Der Werve, Carrie Schneider, Tamy Ben Tor and Miki Carmi, Peter Saul, Michael Berryhill, Wafaa Bilal, and Catherine Opie.
Lauren Kalman is a visual artist based in Detroit, whose practice is rooted in contemporary craft, sculpture, video, photography and performance. Her work investigates constructions of the ideal, the politics of craft, and the built environment through performances using her body.
Raised in the Midwest, Kalman completed her MFA in Art and Technology from the Ohio State University and earned a BFA with a focus in Metals from Massachusetts College of Art.
Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Museum of Arts and Design, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Cranbrook Art Museum, Contemporary Art Museum Houston, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Mint Museum, World Art Museum in Beijing, and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris among others. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Françoise van den Bosch Foundation at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Detroit Institute of Art, Museum of Arts and Design, and the Korean Ceramics Foundation.
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Abigail DeVille was born in 1981 in New York, where she lives and works. Maintaining a long-standing interest in marginalized people and places, DeVille creates site-specific immersive installations designed to bring attention to these forgotten stories, such as with the sculpture she built on the site of a former African American burial ground in Harlem.
DeVille often works with objects and materials sourced from the area surrounding the exhibition site, and her theatrical aesthetic embodies the phrase, “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” Though collected objects are essential to her installations, DeVille’s priority is the stories her installations can tell. DeVille’s family roots in New York go back at least two generations; her interest in the city, and her work about it, is both personal and political.
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For over a decade, Jennie Jieun Lee has challenged conventions of ceramic sculpture, embracing the inherent vulnerability of a medium that has long been tamed by its practitioners. Across busts, vessels, and painting, Lee’s works accumulate indices both deliberate and accidental, grafts that both decorate and distort. Firing works in various states of uprightness and collapse, Lee also imparts ceramic’s requisite hollowness in another reflexive maneuver. References to gestural painting abound in Lee’s work: the artist covers her busts and vessels in liberal pours of glaze, in addition to working in two dimensions. Transferring the immediacy and authenticity conferred upon gestural painting to sculpture, Lee disrupts a medium typically associated with the domestic.
Jennie Jieun Lee (b. Seoul, 1973) lives and works in Sullivan County, New York. Recent solo exhibitions include AF Projects, Los Angeles (2020); Halsey McKay Gallery, East Hampton (2020, 2018); and Martos Gallery, New York (2019, 2015). She is the recipient of several grants including Art Matters (2019), The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2017), and the Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant (2016). She has a forthcoming solo exhibition with Cooper Cole, Toronto.
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Alicia Mersy (b. Montreal, Canada, 1988) is an artist and filmmaker of Lebanese/French origin who lives and works in New York. Her work uses the camera to connect to people and to the divine, by forging pathways towards personal and collective peace within a world of infinite production and boundless orientation. Mersy draws from big phenomena including the natural sciences, global capitalism and the infinitude of galactic spirituality to explore decolonial aesthetics and political resistance. Her approach to new media, photography and installation creates space for conversations surrounding self representation, social, politics, and the resistance of repressive global structures. Mersy received an MA in Fine Arts from Central Saint Martins in 2015. Alicia Mersy’s work has been featured in exhibitions at The Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Migros Museum of Contemporary Art and Abrons Art Center (New York, USA)
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Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds is an artist and an advocate for indigenous communities worldwide. His work includes multidisciplinary forms of public art messages, large-scale drawings, Neuf Series acrylic paintings, prints, works in glass, and monumental porcelain enamel on steel outdoor sculpture.
Heap of Birds’ artistic creations were shown in the 2007 Venice Biennale. While representing indigenous communities his art focuses first on social justice, and on the personal freedom to live within the tribal circle as an expressive individual.
His work has been exhibited at some of the most renowned institutions in the world, including The Museum of Modern Art; Orchard Gallery, Northern Ireland; the Cheyenne and Arapaho Nations Reservation in Oklahoma; Site Santa Fe Museum, New Mexico; Grand Palais in Paris, France; and Documenta, Kassal, Germany. His work holds a place in the collections of many museums, such as the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City; Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Most recently, his work appears in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; the British Museum in London; Anchorage Museum in Alaska; and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
In 2012, he was named an USA Ford Fellow, and in 2014 he was honored as a Distinguished Alumni from the University of Kansas. He has received grants and awards from The National Endowment for the Arts, the Andy Warhol Foundation, Bonfil Stanton Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trust, AT&T, Lila Wallace Foundation, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Sharing his expertise and talent with the next generation of artists, Heap of Birds has taught at Yale University, Rhode Island School of Design, University of Capetown and the University of Oklahoma. Now retired from teaching at the University of Oklahoma, after 30 years of service, he continues to serve there as professor emeritus.
Heap of Birds received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas. Before earning his master’s degree from the Tyler School of Art, he completed graduate level study at the Royal College of Art in London. He holds honorary doctor of fine arts and letters degrees from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, Canada, and California Institute of the Arts in Valencia.
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Shahzia Sikander was born in 1969 in Lahore, Pakistan. Educated as an undergraduate at the National College of Arts in Lahore, she received her MFA in 1995 from the Rhode Island School of Design.
Sikander specializes in Indian and Persian miniature painting, a traditional style that is both highly stylized and disciplined. While becoming an expert in this technique-driven, often impersonal art form, she imbued it with a personal context and history, blending the Eastern focus on precision and methodology with a Western emphasis on creative, subjective expression. In doing so, Sikander transported miniature painting into the realm of contemporary art.
Raised as a Muslim, Sikander is also interested in exploring both sides of the Hindu and Muslim “border,” often combining imagery from both—such as the Muslim veil and the Hindu multi-armed goddess—in a single painting. Sikander has written: “Such juxtaposing and mixing of Hindu and Muslim iconography is a parallel to the entanglement of histories of India and Pakistan.” Expanding the miniature painting to the wall, Sikander also creates murals and installations, using tissue-paper-like materials that allow for a more free-flowing style. In what she labeled performances, Sikander experimented with wearing a veil in public, something she never did before moving to the United States.
Utilizing performance and various media and formats to investigate issues of border crossing, she seeks to subvert stereotypes of the East and, in particular, the Eastern Pakistani woman. Sikander has received many awards and honors for her work, including the honorary artist award from the Pakistan Ministry of Culture and National Council of the Arts. Sikander resides in New York and Texas.