Alumni Painting Exhibition_12Pratt Manhattan Gallery is presenting “Pratt Alumni Painters,” an exhibition of work by 14 emerging and established painters who graduated from Pratt within the last three decades, now through September 8, 2012, at 144 West 14th Street, second floor. The work of Pratt alumni has been displayed at many prominent museums including The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Brooklyn Museum, as well as at museums and galleries internationally. The exhibition is curated by Nick Battis, director of exhibitions, Pratt Institute, and is free and open to the public.

“The mantra 'painting is dead' has been echoed through art circles for several decades now,” said Director of Exhibitions Nick Battis. “This exhibition is a testament to the talents of our alumni, but it also reinforces that painting continues to be a viable medium,” he added. 


The full list of participating alumni artists includes:

•   Derrick Adams  (B.F.A. Art and Design Education, 1996) 

•   Polina Barskaya (M.F.A. Painting/Drawing, 2010) 

•   Trudy Benson (M.F.A. Painting/Drawing, 2010) 

•   Matthew Deleget  (Combined M.S./M.F.A., 1997) 

•   Elaine Komorowski (M.F.A. Painting, 1990) 

•   Il Lee (M.F.A. Painting, 1982) 

•   Carrie Moyer (B.F.A. Painting, 1985) 

•   Lisa Sanditz   (M.F.A. Painting, 2001) 

•   Kris Scheifele (M.F.A. Painting, 2009) 

•   Andrew Sendor (B.F.A. Painting, 2000) 

•   Russell Tyler  (M.F.A. Painting, 2010) 

•   Takashi Usui (M.F.A. Painting, 1996) 

•   Marc Van Cauwenbergh  (M.F.A. Painting, 1989) 

•   Blade Wynne  (B.F.A. Painting, 2002) 

Derrick Adams is a multidisciplinary New York-based artist with a practice rooted in deconstructivist philosophies and the perception of ideals attached to objects, colors, textures, symbols, and ideologies. His work focuses on the fragmentation and manipulation of structure and surface while exploring the shape-shifting force of popular culture in our lives. He has exhibited and performed in New York at Tilton Gallery and The Kitchen. He participated in “The Bearden Project” at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 2001 and the “Greater New York” exhibition at MoMA PS1 in 2005.

Polina Barskaya's work focuses on the family and the individual's relationship with the family. Born in Ukraine, she grew up in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, where she witnessed the culture clash of the Old World Soviet mentality vs. New World American ideals and freedoms. Her work expresses the multitude of emotions and psychological complexities associated with these experiences. She has had solo exhibitions and participated in many group exhibitions in New York.

Trudy Benson burst on to the New York art scene soon after graduating from Pratt with solo exhibitions at Freight + Volume in 2010 and at Mike Weiss Gallery in 2011. Her take on abstract expressionism updates the oeuvre with an over-the-top use of thick paint resulting in a sculptural, relief-like surface, as though the paint were applied with a trowel. Her work has been reviewed in many publications, including Artnews, Modern Painters, and The Huffington Post.

Matthew Deleget is an abstract painter, curator, and writer. He has exhibited nationally and internationally and has had solo and group exhibitions in Europe and Australasia. In 2003, Matthew founded MINUS SPACE, a platform for reductive art on the international level based in Brooklyn, New York. Matthew Deleget's work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Flash Art, Artnet Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Basler Zeitung, among others.

Elaine Komorowski's images are inspired by remnants of interiors such as old doors and shutters collected from her Brooklyn neighborhood. Before constructing her new narrative on the surface of the wood, she often lives with these relics in her studio for many months, contemplating the patina of age and peeling paint in search of the history imbedded in the object. She has had solo exhibitions at George Billis Gallery in New York and Los Angeles and her work is included in numerous private and corporate collections.

Il Lee's works on paper, created entirely with ballpoint pens, are unique in their ability to convey a painterly and atmospheric visual field solely with the application of built up line. He has had solo exhibitions at Art Projects International in New York, the San Jose Museum of Art, the Queens Museum of Art, the Vilcek Foundation in New York, and the Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas, Texas. His work has been written about extensively in publications such as The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Artnews, and Art in America, among many others.

Carrie Moyer's seductive, abstract paintings, composed of bold shapes and lines of bright color, glitter, and raw canvas, vacillate between intimate personal experiences for both artist and viewer to loaded, clever constructs that reference art history and feminist art history. In addition to her painting, Moyer co-founded DAM! (Dyke Action Machine), an interventionist public art project that inserts lesbian images into recognizable contexts. Represented by CANADA Gallery in New York since 2003, she has exhibited extensively and currently has a solo exhibition at the Worcester Art Museum. Her work has been widely reviewed and written about in publications such as Art in America, Artforum, Flash Art, The New Yorker, and The New York Times.

Lisa Sanditz has a strong foothold on both coasts with past solo exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Her quirky landscape paintings reflect her broad lens of the artist as observer. She focuses on sites that are politically charged and places where industry and the economy have adversely transformed what nature intended. A recent visit to China also resulted in a critique of proliferating Chinese factory towns. Sanditz's work has been reviewed by The New York Times, Modern Painters, and Artnews, to name a few.

Kris Scheifele's unique process strips paint from a support structure, freeing it from its two-dimensional bonds. Her paintings, which can also be considered relief sculpture, rely on the elasticity of acrylic paints. In her Contortions series, the modeled paint is pinned to the wall where it bends and contorts, cleverly echoing drips and gestures of wet paint. Another series, Fades, exploits her layering technique with a contemporary version of scraffito-revealing layers beneath the surface through manipulated holes and decay. She was recently included in NY Arts Magazine's “30 Artists to Watch in 2012” list.

Andrew Sendor plays with conventional ideas about museum and gallery displays. He presents his human subjects in an exhibition setting, depicting them on pedestals and behind vitrines. His mastery of traditional oil painting technique lends itself to the representation of historic looking characters, complete with detailed vintage fashions, hairstyles, and facial hairstyles. He juxtaposes these attributes with contemporary pop references in wildly imagined museum installations. Sendor has had solo exhibitions at Richard Heller Gallery in Los Angeles and Caren Golden Fine Art and Stefan Stux Gallery in New York. He has been featured in numerous museum exhibitions including “Phantasmania” at the Kemper Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, “MAD LOVE” at the Arken Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen, Denmark, and “XS-Size Matters” at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art in Peekskill, New York.

Russell Tyler's paintings often reveal an alter ego in the form of a wolf. The wolf represents the bravado of his studio practice, where paintings are created in a state of chaos, and bold strokes are applied in frenzied, wild, thick strokes of color and carefree drips. His style could be characterized as “abstract expressionism extreme.” In 2010, he had a solo exhibition at Freight + Volume in New York, and in 2012 at Ebersmoore Gallery in Chicago. He is currently preparing for an exhibition at Fouladi Projects in San Francisco.

Takashi Usui, born in Yamashi, Japan, explores both agony and ecstasy in small, erotic works on paper that humorously reference traditional Japanese shunga woodblock prints. As he describes it, “the sexual instinct is deeply involved in emotion and death. Pain and ecstasy must exist together…it is an unchangeable fact that the body is dying while the mind is growing.” He has participated in numerous curated exhibitions in New York and Tokyo and has received several awards including Artist's Fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2000 and 2005. In 2010, he had a solo exhibition titled “Creature in the Pink World” at ISE Cultural Foundation in New York.

Marc Van Cauwenbergh is inspired by the human body in motion to work with a well-defined visual language that is poetic and sensual. The final composition of his elegant paintings on raw linen seems spontaneous, but in fact the works are well choreographed, with gestures planned and practiced in advance. He has exhibited extensively in New York and Belgium as well as in Germany, France, and other European cities.

Blade Wynne began his post-graduation artistic career with a Pratt travel grant. However, he focuses his attention on a sense of home with charming gouaches that depict his own home in Chesapeake, Virginia. His paintings examine the large and small scenes in our daily lives that may go unnoticed: a cemetery we pass on our way to work, an abandoned truck in a field, or details found in nature, such as pine needles and puddles. His work has been exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Providence, and Chicago. Most recently his work was exhibited in a solo show at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

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“Pratt Alumni Painters”

June 8–September 8, 2012

Pratt Manhattan Gallery

144 West 14th Street, Second Floor

Gallery Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 11 AM-6 PM


From left to right. Matthew Deleget's They Don't Love You Like I Love You, 2009, silver acrylic paint on four panels, hit with a hammer, 16 x 60 inches overall, each panel 16 x 12 inches. Courtesy of Alejandra von Hartz Gallery, Miami. Lisa Sanditz's Facebook Server Farm II, 2012, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches. Courtesy of CRG Gallery, New York.    


Amy Aronoff at 718.636.3554 or