Rachel Berwick’s multi-media installations focus on the threshold between nature and culture as a means of exploring themes of extinction and loss, and our inevitable desire to recover that which is lost. Her work has been included in exhibitions at venues such as the Serpentine Gallery, London; the 26th Bienal de São Paolo; the 7th International Istanbul Bienal; and Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. In the U.S, she has exhibited at the Smithsonian American Art Museum; Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA; The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgeﬁeld, CT; and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, among others. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, a Smithsonian Artists’ Research Fellowship and The Robert Rauschenberg Residency. Berwick received her MFA from Yale University School of Art and BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. She taught at Yale School of Art from 1991–99 before joining the faculty at RISD where she is professor and Head of the Glass Department.
Brenda Danilowitz, is an art historian and chief curator at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. She received her MA in Art History from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, where she taught art history before relocating to the US. She has taught at Yale University, and the Universities of Hartford and Connecticut. She is the author and editor of numerous books and essays on the work of Josef and Anni Albers and has organized exhibitions of their work in the US, Europe, Mexico, Peru and Brazil. She has published essays and articles on twentieth century Southern African art and artists including photographer Constance Stuart Larrabee and printmakers John Muafangejo and Azaria Mbatha.
Lenka Clayton is an interdisciplinary artist whose work considers, exaggerates, and alters the accepted rules of everyday life, extending the familiar into the realms of the poetic and absurd.
In previous works, she has searched for and photographed every person mentioned by name in a German newspaper; worked with artists who identify as blind to recreate Brancusi’s Sculpture for the Blind from a spoken description; and reconstituted a lost museum from a sketch found in an archive. For three years she was the world’s first Artist-in-Residence-in-Motherhood after she founded a self-directed artist residency that took place inside her own home and life as a mother of two young children. On Mother’s Day 2016 she launched An Artist Residency in Motherhood as an open-source project. There are currently over 600 Artists-in-Residence-in-Motherhood in 41 countries.
In 2017 Clayton and collaborator Jon Rubin debuted a major new work ...circle through New York commissioned by the Guggenheim Museum that took place at the Guggenheim and in five other locations in a circle throughout the city including a pet store, a church and a Punjabi TV station. Other recent exhibitions include Object Temporarily Removed, at the The Fabric Workshop and Museum Philadelphia, Talking Pictures at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and A Measure of Humanity, at the Columbus Museum of Art. Clayton and Rubin are debuting a new project at the The 57th Carnegie International, opening Fall 2018 at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh.
Dave Hardy is an artist who works primarily in sculpture. He received a BA from Brown University, an MFA from Yale School of Art and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2004. Hardy’s work has been exhibited widely in the U.S. and internationally. Solo shows include Galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris (2017); Skibum MacArthur, Los Angeles (2017); Galerie Jeanroch Dard, Brussels (2016); Wentrup Gallery, Berlin (2014); Churner and Churner, NYC (2014); Regina Rex, NYC (2013) and Art in General, NYC (2009). Selected group shows include Tibor De Nagy (2016), Invisible Exports (2015), Bortolami (2014) and Jack Shainman Gallery (2008) in NYC. His work was included in the Queens International at the the Queens Museum (2016), Greater New York 2005 at PS1/MoMA and Make It Now at Sculpture Center in NYC (2005). In 2018 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, and he received a NYFA Fellowship in 2017 and 2011 and an Emerging Artist Fellowship from Socrates Sculpture Park, NYC in 2005. He has taught at New York University, Sarah Lawrence College and Pratt Institute, amongst others, and he was resident faculty at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in summer 2018. In 2019 he will be the Warhol Fellowship Resident at RAIR in Philadelphia, PA. His work has been written about in Artforum, Art in America, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal… and has been articulated as performative, nasty, elegant, depersonalized, corporal, abject, vulnerable, improvisational.
Jina Valentine’s interdisciplinary practice is informed by the intuitive strategies of folk artists and traditional craft techniques, and interweaves histories latent within found texts, objects, narratives, and spaces. She has exhibited widely, both in her independent work and with her collaborative project, Black Lunch Table. Valentine has participated in numerous residencies including the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans, and the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. Her work has received acknowledgement and support from Art Matters, Creative Capital, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, and the North Carolina Arts Council. Jina completed her BFA at Carnegie Mellon University, her MFA at Stanford University, and is an Assistant Professor of Printmedia at SAIC.
Sara Raza is an award winning curator and writer based in New York City where she maintains the curatorial studio practice Punk Orientalism. She is a specialist on global curatorial knowledge, with an academic focus and professional interest in performance based practice and architectural art history pertaining to the fluid territories of Central Asia, Caucuses and the Middle East and North Africa. Most recently she was the Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Middle East and North Africa based at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, where she led the third and final phase of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative and curated the exhibition But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporay Art of the Middle East and North Africa, which debuted in New York (April-October 2016) and traveled to the Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milan (April-June 2018).
Fayen d'Evie is an artist based in Dja Dja Wurring country, rural Victoria, Australia. Her projects are often conversational and collaborative, and resist spectatorship by activating diverse audiences in embodied readings of artworks. Fayen advocates the radical potential for blindness, arguing that blindness offers critical positions and methods attuned to sensory translations, ephemerality, the tangible and intangible, precariousness, concealment, the obscured and the invisible. Fayen is the founder of 3-ply, which investigates artist-led publishing as an experimental site for the creation, dispersal, translation, and archiving of texts. Past exhibitions include: Eavesdropping, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne, 2018; When the Other Meets the Other Other, Cultural Centre, Belgrade, 2017; From One Body to Another, Casula Powerhouse, Sydney, 2017; Human Commonalities, V.A.C. and the State Museum of Vadim Sidur, Moscow, 2016; TarraWarra Biennial: Endless Circulation, Healesville, 2016; The Gravity, the Levity, KADIST, San Francisco 2016; 3rd Ural Industrial Biennial, Yekaterinburg, 2015; Just as Money is the Paper, the Gallery is the Room, Osage Gallery, Shanghai, 2015. Fayen is a candidate for a PhD in Curatorial Practice at Monash University. She holds a BFA in Painting from the University of Melbourne, a PhD in Environmental Studies from the Australian National University, and a BSc (Hons) in Physics from the University of Canterbury, Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Based on extensive periods of research and enquiry, Wael Shawky’s work tackles notions of national, religious and artistic identity through film, performance and storytelling. Whether instructing Bedouin children to act out the construction of an airport runway in the desert or organizing a heavy metal concert in a remote Egyptian village, Shawky frames contemporary culture through the lens of historical tradition and vice versa. Mixing truth and fiction, childlike wonder and spiritual doctrine, Shawky has staged epic recreations of the medieval clashes between Muslims and Christians in his trilogy of puppets and marionettes – titled Cabaret Crusades: The Horror Show Files (2010), The Path to Cairo (2012) and The Secrets of Karbala (2015) – while his three-part film, Al Araba Al Madfuna, uses child actors to recount poetic myths, paying homage, rather than mere lip-service, to the important narratives of yesteryear.
Sara Raza is an independent curator and writer based in New York City. She is a specialist on global curatorial knowledge, with an academic focus on performance based practice and architectural art history from Central Asia, Caucasus and the Middle East and North Africa. Most recently she was the Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Middle East and North Africa based at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, where she led the third and final phase of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative and curated the exhibition But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporay Art of the Middle East and North Africa, which debuted in New York (April-October 2016) and traveled to the Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milan (April-June 2018).
Alexandra Foradas is a curator specializing in modern and contemporary art, and is interested in systems, meaning-making and knowledge transmission, and the relationship between museums and performance. Foradas is currently Associate Curator at MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA, where she has curated and co-curated solo exhibitions by Taryn Simon (2018), Jenny Holzer (2017), Janice Kerbel (2017), and Gunnar Schonbeck (2017), as well as the group exhibition Bibliothecaphilia (2015). Upcoming projects include an exhibition of work by contemporary artists addressing translation (2020). She has also curated and juried several exhibitions in the region, including at Eclipse Mill (North Adams, MA), Collar Works (Troy, NY), and the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery (Keene, NH).
Kambui Olujimi was born and raised in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. He received his MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts and is a graduate of Parson's School of Design and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Olujimi works within the realm of ideas rather than within an exclusive medium. Although he has directed a great deal of work in film, his is truly a multi-media practice. He crafts potent social commentary from delicate wisps of myth and whimsy mixed with real-world narrative. Lyrical and elliptical rather than ideological, Olujimi’s art transcends the political sphere, affirming its own autonomy.
Olujimi's work has been exhibited widely across the United States, with solo exhibitions at the CUE Arts Foundation (New York, NY); MIT List Visual Arts Center (Cambridge, MA); Apexart (New York, NY); and Art in General (Brooklyn, NY). His work has premiered at The Sundance Film Festival (Park City, UT), as well as group exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institute, (Washington D.C.); Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA); the Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY); Studio Museum in Harlem (New York, NY); and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco, CA). Internationally he has exhibited at Museo Nacional Reina (Sofia, Madrid); Kiasma (Helsingfors, Finland); Para Site (Hong Kong, China); and The Jim Thompson Art Center (Bangkok, Thailand). His work is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Orange County Museum of Art. His exhibitions have garnered reviews by Art in America, The New York Times, The New Yorker, ArtSlant, Modern Painters, Artforum, and The Brooklyn Rail, among others. In 2012, the exhibition monograph "Wayward North" was published by Art in General.
He has received numerous grants and fellowships including from A Blade of Grass, The Jerome Foundation, and The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Olujimi has completed residencies with Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (Skowhegan, ME); Apexart (New York, NY), The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (New York, NY) Civitella Ranieri (Umbertide, Italy), and The Fountainhead Residency (Miami, FL). He was most recently awarded a Rauschenberg Residency (Captiva, Florida). Kambui Olujimi has exhibited with Catharine Clark Gallery since 2010.
"I make works whose mechanisms bring about a shift in viewers' expectations. This shift leads to new ways of seeing, and ultimately new ways of thinking about even the simplest of everyday activities such as reading a book or staring at a stone. Each project is a departure from the previous one and though my work is often not self similar; absurdity, the quixotic, instantaneity, temporality and the childhood sense of wonder are characteristics that continue to flow through the body of my work. One reoccurring theme in my work is floating. I am interested in creating situations where the effect of gravity is not overly apparent. Challenging the laws of nature is a human-specific activity as is the suspension of disbelief. If the viewer can suspend their disbelief for a moment then I’ve succeeded in bringing them to a new place within their own minds.
I aim to be constantly curious, and making work is an act of following my curiosities. My works bridge genres of action, object, installation and performance. While my artistic background is heavily rooted in the making of things, conceptually I am more interested in the permanence of thought than an archived object. Some of my works exist in the physical for a short amount of time, and some for only any instant. I’m interested in temporality because it causes one to shape memories, ideas and critical thinking as a means to keep hold onto something that is no longer there. The work lives in the mind, in the temporal lobe where memories are stored, language is disseminated and thinking has a direct connection to the body. "
Lily Cox-Richard (b. 1979) belongs to a growing movement in contemporary American art that seeks a dialogue with our cultural and artistic past by reaching well beyond the by-now familiar confines of the modern era. Instead she and others explore the aesthetic sophistication and mixed social and moral messaging of the 19th century with admiration and pointed critique. Cox-Richard's recent series of compellingly beautiful and ghostly plasters, titled The Stand (Possessing Powers), doesn't merely reference the work of American Neo-Classical sculptor Hiram Powers (1805–1873). Rather she revisits and remakes his most celebrated figural pieces, including Eve Tempted, Greek Slave, The Last of the Tribes, with painstaking fidelity to the original but for one glaring omission—the figure itself.
Jen Bervin is the RISD Provost's Fine Arts Fellow for the years 2018-2019. For more information on the Jen's Fellowship, click here.
“Jen Bervin’s work—all of it—engages the eye, the hand, the ear, and the mind. Her artistry is vast and inclusive, by finesse and intelligence, by curiosity, forbearance, and vision. She knows the unexpected wonder of pattern is everywhere and that the smallest detail contains enough energy to spawn a universe. I think they should send her into space, if it were not for the fact her work has already sent us there. Her poems in themselves, those exhilirated fragments, are the purest form of the art itself—they contain the innate inner gradients of whatever takes our breath away.”–Mary Ruefle