Hoffberger School of Painting MFA thesis exhibition: Still, Life

Hoffberger School of Painting MFA thesis exhibition: Still, Life

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)

April 30, 2021
Hoffberger School of Painting MFA thesis exhibition
Still, Life
May 2–15, 2021
Opening: May 2, 2–6pm
Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)
1300 W. Mt. Royal Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland 21217
United States

Curated by Melanie Kress. 
Produced by Timo Kuzme.

Still Life is the final thesis exhibition of the eight 2020 graduates of the Leroy E. Hoffberger School of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Each year, MICA’s second-year MFA students present an exhibition showcasing their thesis work at campus galleries located in Baltimore. This spring, the 2020 MFA graduating class presents their thesis exhibition in New York City.

The eight artists in the graduating class will exhibit paintings representing their second-year thesis bodies of work, as well as works produced between spring 2020 and spring 2021. While each artist represents a distinct form and approach to painting, the title of the exhibition, Still Life, suggests the moment of waiting and change and the challenge of capturing it. Across the eight distinct bodies of work, the materiality of painting, and how its practitioners connect with it, allows painters to raise questions distinct from those posed by other artists in other mediums. The eight painters hail from Wenzhou, China to Salt Lake City, Utah, and work across collage, automatism, portraiture, and other disciplines in a variety of scales.

The LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting and its alumni are at the forefront of contemporary art and painting discussions, which impact not only the well-being of future painters, but how we as a society view cultural theory and art in practice.

Featured artists:

Mimi Pinnow is a painter whose still lifes highlight the uncanny beauty in the everyday. Her paintings reflect solitary experiences in which light provides a respite and serves as a truth-teller, expressing one’s private world as a microcosm of public life and emotion. 

Eric Birkin is a painter interested in exploring the power and complexity of the psychic architecture of nature and space. Watercolors and oil paintings on panels seek temporal cracks and information gaps, and he aims to use paint to capture a unified force in between.

Carolyn Forrester is a painter interested in the contemporary entanglement of performing and viewing the self. She makes colorful, collage-based paintings by layering various painterly, photographic and printing processes, pulling from daily life, media imagery, and painting history.

Jerrell Gibbs retraces family memories, examining the origin of his own life by representing intimate and instantly joyous moments. Affirming the multilayered experience of the African-American diaspora, Gibbs plunges the viewer into an immersive experience, the realm of his childhood.

Timo Kuzme seeks to establish a new language of understanding about body, identity, and ontology in the affective qualities of paint. Their work, created through an intimate relationship with the surface, focuses on the bodily rhythms in the material utilizing layers of transparency and a scale large enough to capture a multiplicity.

Edward Moore is an artist working in oil, watercolor, drawing, and relief printmaking. His work uses figurative painting modes to explore contemporary relationships between individuals and their environments. In some paintings, calm interiors, bright windows, and solitude becomes a means toward an emotional strength distanced from the outside world. In other paintings the geometry of fences and lawnmowers intrudes on the interiority of the solitary mind.

Michael Pajtas focuses on non-objective paintings that are a reflection of human consciousness, mind, emotion, and spirit. Pajtas explores ideas, materials, and philosophies with the intention of developing upon the potential of painting in the 21st century. Pajtas hopes to inspire viewers to explore their own subjective experience, to contemplate the nature of art, beauty, life, and reality.

Xuanlin Ye’s paintings are rooted in an Eastern aesthetic tradition that is expressed in a contemporary perspective. He is interested in postcolonial studies, racial studies, and modern Asian art history. His work is the result of researching new imagery that expresses representations of the contemporary Asian geopolitical psyche without the influence of Orientalism.

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Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)
April 30, 2021

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