Thursday, March 11, 2010


Queens College MFA Studio Art Program is proud to announce the opening of Verses from the Abstract, an exhibition of the work of 20 current participants in the program, curated by Herb Tam, Associate Curator of Exit Art, NewYork. The exhibition, organized by the MFA program at Queens College is presented through the cooperation of Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs at their location in Long Island City.

Mr. Tam writes: “It strikes me that in a moment when strategies of conceptualism, performance, and appropriation are being valorized in institutions and the art market in a circular, nostalgic discourse with a vague 1960s and 70s patina, the group of artists at the Queens College MFA Studio Art program are hand making their art in painting, drawing, sculpture, sound, ceramics and video. As varied as their work looks and feels, these artists are united by how they extract form from unique, unspecific places of language and meaning. I see their work as discrete, highly personal statements or “verses from the abstract,” as A Tribe Called Quest, the Queens rap group, once riffed.

Many in this group are distinguished by their processing of our culture of waste and decadence. They turn our detritus into idiosyncratic objects charged with the grime and socialization of the original materials. Among many examples, Osaretin Ighile crudely but lovingly assembles a sculptural portrait of the Nigerian musical icon Fela Kuti from beer cans, food packaging and other trash; Antonia Perez fashions an “emotive painting” by tiling empty Kleenex tissue boxes; and Lisa Candage’s surreal send-up of a cooking demonstration distorts the reality of televised perception in deceptively complicated ways.

These artists scavenge all corners of mass production to collage, pile, cram and/or finesse coherence into abstract and representational form. But others conjure forms from relative scratch or from personal points of reference. Among these are Matthew F Greco’s abstract, ceramic constructions that reference primitive built structures; Becky Franco’s lusciously realistic paintings of interior moments from her suburban home; and Joyce Chan’s reductively repetitive drawings of Chinese scholar’s rocks.

Art in this program exists in varied forms, with varied emphasis and for various reasons. And all of these artists are positively committed to the possibilities of creativity and expression in general. It is a welcome development that artists just about to leave academic training are indeed invested in the awkward, difficult, and unwieldy process of manifesting unforeseen objects that consolidate ideas, attitudes and feelings.”

In conjunction with this exhibition, participants in the Queens College MFA Creative Writing and Music Programs will present a reading and performance featuring a smorgasbord of poetry, prose and music. They will be turning the spotlight on a selection of developing talents with a diverse body of work that emphasizes fun in unique and surprising ways.

This exhibition is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Queens College Office of Institutional Advancement.

Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs (DGCP) is located at 11-03 45th Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101. Exhibition on view from Thursday, March 25 through Saturday, April 3, 2010. Hours: 11:00am – 6:00pm Visit for directions.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds amazing, I hope the exhibition was a huge success for you all. Best of luck.

    - Nikita
    (an arts student in Melbourne, Australia, very interested in contemporary art and writing.)