MFA Biennial 2013

Exhibit Dates: 
Oct 26, 2013 - Mar 9, 2014
DuPont II Gallery

Post Consumed: A Millennial Biennial presents the work of twelve artists enrolled in Masters of Fine Arts programs across the United States. These culturally diverse and emerging artists represent a generation confronting political, economic, and social realities with an increasingly global perspective on artistic production, communication, and geographic and psychological space. Their creative production pushes the boundaries of painting, sculpture, and photography into experimental new realms.

Lais Pontes’ social media identity construction in her Born Nowhere Facebook series and Natasha Jozi’s intentionally pixilated digital video performance Their Sight Is Touching You address the politics of gender and visibility. Related to religious themes, veiling the human body is also the focus of Sanaz Sohrabi’s large color photographs of women wrapped like sarcophagi in Muslim burial shrouds, the colors of which the artist states have changed due to American pop culture influences.

Ji Sun Beak’s participatory sculpture calls attention to the power of individual voice. Using humor and technological tools such as a television and a microphone, Beak engages us in physical experiences that empower us to examine language and perspective. In The King Has Donkey’s Ears and Urine Chair, the audience unwittingly performs as someone who is culturally blind or who, despite trying to speak, fails to communicate. Commenting on how words often fall on deaf ears, Erin Colleen Johnson’s work also explores the signs and signifiers of lost cultures and communication in her video that incorporates Morse Code as an attempt to “understand the present through the vestiges of the past and investigate institutions and structures that are losing, or have already lost, their authority.”

Incorporating a similar sense of the relic in her post-consumer waste-based work, Kristin Richards employs shredded governmental documents to craft meticulously detailed collages that seem to be cryptically coded displays of numbers and word fragments. Erin Hinz’s Surrealist-inspired paintings present a composite array of disembodied images and anatomical parts floating in a nonspecific fluid atmosphere. Psychedelic and Pop-inspired in their colorful depiction of mass produced toys, the artist relates her work to the privileging of subjective female pleasure.

In sobering contrast to Hinz’s presentation of erotic joy, Tonja Torgerson presents the female body in a state of physical pain as the result of a lack of medical care. In her mixed media work on paper entitled COBRA, she couples an image of a woman with money falling from her palms with a text reading, “Only the Wealthy Get to Stay Healthy.”

Contrastingly playful and absurd in their rendering of the body, University of Delaware student Dusty James’ grotesque cartoons created on salvaged windows and picture frames directly parody American gluttony and advertising waste. While his work explores the abject physical body as a means to satirize human excess, Adam Boggs creates sculptures that directly mock humanity’s existential malaise. In works such as Join Hands, We’re… and Oh (blank) Day, the artist aestheticizes cynicism and saccharine consumer displays. Similarly, Margeaux Walter’s lenticular or holographic photographs of people being covered and subsumed by their own material goods echoes the idea of lives overtaken by consumption.

Lastly, Kwan Taeck Park’s sculpture of a globe on a wooden stand that allows visitors to step inside and look up to view a shared sky imagines a global identity that can only be experienced through the artwork.


-Maiza Hixson
Gretchen Hupfel Curator of Contemporary Art

2013 MFA Biennial Artists

Ji Sun Beak

Hunter College, New York, NY

Adam Boggs 

State University of New York, Purchase College, Purchase, NY

Erin Hinz

University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN

Dusty James

University of Delaware, Newark, DE

Erin Colleen Johnson

University of California Berkeley, Berkeley CA

Natasha Jozi

Montclair University, Montclair, NJ

Kwan Taeck Park

School of Visual Arts, New York, NY

Lais Pontes

School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Kristin Richards

Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT

Sanaz Sohrabi

School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Tonja Torgerson

Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

Margeux Walter

Hunter College, New York, NY


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