“PROXIMITY” Exhibition

Anna Zorina

poster for “PROXIMITY” Exhibition
[Image: Matt Hufford "Salty Fossil" (2019) 9 inch diameter, oil, unfired terra-cotta clay]

This event has ended.

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art +
Boston University MFA exhibition
curated by Josephine Halvorson and Didier William

Josephine Halvorson and Didier William, respective chairs of their graduate fine art programs at Boston University and The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, have organized an exhibition of their students’ work at Anna Zorina Gallery in New York City. This is the third annual iteration of this collaboration which brings students from the two institutions together and shares their work with a wider public.

During their graduate education, these artists have been given space and time at a remove from the market. To some extent they’ve had the freedom to set the terms of viewership of their art, deciding if and when to represent their practice digitally or present it in the flesh. They’ve had a hand in exercising that elastic membrane between private and public, the negotiation of which is critical for any emerging artist. Graduate school provides an important buffer, a protected space for vulnerability and growth.

New York City is geographically situated between Boston and Philadelphia. For decades artists have toggled back and forth along the northeast corridor, and this collaborative exhibition is no different. Each student has carried their unique piece from their studio to this particular location. We all agree implicitly that a painting, an object, or a video should be experienced in person, in close proximity with other artwork and a viewer. This is what makes an exhibition, after all. But with most art being seen online, proximity becomes a bold affirmation of presence and engagement.

The studio is an internal space of making, articulated separately from an external public. Along this sliding scale that demarcates the borders of self, artists find their voice and identify their agency. For many in this exhibition, softening these boundaries becomes fertile ground to think through perspective, history, architecture, and the body. Melanie Delach’s paintings ask us to consider the residual spaces nestled between stable architecture and its ruins. Roderick Jones’ provocative interventions use ornamentation and collage to restage our sensual relationship to familiar objects. Gus Wheeler scales up or down found imagery, carefully calibrating cultural context and speeds of legibility through the sense of touch. Matt Hufford’s vulnerable surfaces transform as they cure or crumble, becoming part of the environment they represent.

Notwithstanding the ever-present commercial tendency to flatten and simplify, Proximityencourages us to make new meaning out of the textures, surfaces, and images that materialize the spaces between us.



from April 11, 2019 to April 27, 2019

Opening Reception on 2019-04-18 from 18:00 to 20:00

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