Year In Review

The SVA Continuing Education Community in 2019

The year 2019 has run its course, and we now collectively stumble into the fog of the holidays: parties, travel, gift exchanges, and maybe some indulgences to undo with our new year’s resolutions. So what did 2019 mean for the creative communities of SVA Continuing Education? For the New York art world, 2019 brought the new MoMA, the Whitney Biennial, Frida Kahlo, and Yayoi Kusama.

For our faculty, it was a productive year of exhibitions, books, art fairs, and more. A Masters Series exhibition devoted to Steve Brodner turned the spotlight toward decades of Brodner’s incisive wit, political acumen, and masterful drafting skills. "I’ve noticed that sometimes your drawing of a public figure must have given you a side-splitting moment of laughter,” said Peggy Roalf of American Illustration in her interview with Brodner.

Midlife, a new book by Elinor Carucci, delves deep into Carucci’s life as an artist, wife, mother. The book is a potent follow-up to Carucci’s previous books, Mother and Closer. Reviewers from The New Yorker, WIRED, PDN, and more have described it as “unflinching,” “deeply personal,” “unvarnished,” and “simply human.

"Through it all, she discovered a beauty in life different from any she'd known before,” writes Laura Mallonee for WIRED. The debut of Midlife coincides with exhibitions, book launches, and artist talks in New York City and Antwerp.

And in diverse cities across the country, SVACE faculty members exhibited their paintings, sculptures, drawings, photos, illustrations, and videos. Art galleries in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens featured Barbara Nitke, Felipe Galindo, Elise Engler, Peter Hristoff, Tirtzah Bassel, Nicolas Touron, Lorenzo Triburgo, and Sarah Grass (who also exhibited in Amsterdam). Shirley Irons participated in shows in East Hampton and Santa Monica, Shelley Haven in Yonkers, and Peter Fiore in Indianapolis. Pan Terzis and his Mega Press set up booths at fairs in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Chicago. Christian Breed and Lorenzo Triburgo took part in New York’s leading artist residencies and fellowships.

Barbara Segal gave a talk at TEDxPenn, weaving together Renaissance art forms, fashion, and the morphology of contemporary sculpture through recent decades. Valerie Smaldone interviewed writers and performers throughout the year. Films by multi-faceted faculty members Keren Moscovitch, Roswitha Rodrigues, and Mark Sposato won awards at numerous film festivals.

Sarah Grass reflects on the larger context:

"2019 has been a fascinating year of female artists’ careers reigniting– either late in their careers, or posthumously. This isn’t about the artists finally making work that matters, or finally being recognized for the first time (they’ve been known), but rather finally existing in a systemic landscape that values their voice."

"To name a few, Cecilia Vicuña (whom I first met at SVA) has had a surge of museum shows in the US and abroad. Her work, deeply engrained in climate change and activism is finally being met with a public ready to listen. Simone Leigh’s large scale sculptures – rooted in a ceramics practice once disregarded – were prominently displaying symbolic social histories of black women on the High Line and at the Guggenheim in 2019. And finally, though there are many more examples, NYTimes critic Roberta Smith wrote about female surrealists Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo 're-emerging' this year (post-humously) in two Upper East Side galleries."

<p "="">Here are two images. The first is a person with folded hands enveloped in fabric, the second is a sculpture outdoors on the High Line Park.

Simone Leigh's "Brickhouse" in the High Line park in New York. (Photo: Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press)

<p "="">Here are two images. The first is a person with folded hands enveloped in fabric, the second is a detail of a painting of a person in a small chamber, painting a moon in a birdcage.
[l-r] Jane England (Courtesy of the Artist and Lehmann Maupin), Remedios Varo, “Star Maker"
<p "="">Here is a picture of an art gallery with fabric-based installation art on view.

Cecilia Vicuña, installation view of “About to Happen,” 2018 (Photo: Johnna Arnold, Courtesy BAMPFA Photo)

"With large institutions changing policy to instill equality in their collections (e.g. the Baltimore Museum announcing they will only collect female artists in 2020), I’m excited to see which artists/works our current political landscape will reignite and unveil to the public beyond 2019."

Throughout the year, our community came together for special events. At Art & Activism, our special guest presenters opened up issues around public art, identity, and live performance. At Photoville and the MoCCA Arts Festival, our faculty members offered portfolio reviews and discussions about their work and classes. At No Art is an Island, we teamed up with SVA MFA Fine Arts for art, music, performance, and a day in the sun at Governors Island. And SVA ContinuEd, our quarterly publication, brought readers closer to faculty members Itziar Barrio, Peter Hristoff, Alicia Grullón, Lorenzo Triburgo, and Mark and John Sposato, along with glimpses of classes, degree departments, and student artwork galleries.

We aim to grow with our community on campus and beyond, so stay tuned in 2020!

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