Oliver Wasow at Theodore:Art

Opening March 2nd, Theodore:Art will present a survey exhibition of photographer and faculty member Oliver Wasow’s work, spanning the years 1983 to 2018. The reception will take place March 2nd from 6 to 9 with the exhibition running through April 22nd. For more details, please click here.

Oliver Wasow occupies a unique place in the history of photography. He began his career as a younger member of the Pictures Generation and has remained consistently in the vanguard of technological innovation and issues central to contemporary photographic discourse. His pre-digital work of the 1980s anticipated the seismic shifts brought on by the digital revolution today, addressing photographic veracity, the cultural production of spectacle, post-production practice, and questions of authorship and ownership.

In many ways Wasow’s work of the past three and a half decades is a record of a world in transition, a world moving not only from the analog to the digital but from the natural to the technological sublime. His images, influenced by popular culture, fine art and vernacular photography alike, are often filtered through the unsettling and seductive world of special effects. Of particular interest to Wasow are the ways in which the visual tropes of romantic landscape painting, advertising and science fiction overlap to suggest a world dictated by the twin emotions of fear and desire.

 Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

Oliver Wasow was born in Madison Wisconsin in 1960. Wasow has had many one person exhibitions, including shows at Theodore:Art, Josh Baer Gallery, Janet Borden Gallery, Tom Solomon Gallery in Los Angeles, South Eastern Center for Contemporary Art in North Carolina, and the Hilliard Museum in Lafayette, LA. He was also the proprietor of Cash Newhouse Gallery in the East Village 1984-87. His work has also been included in numerous national and international group shows, including such benchmark exhibitions as ‘Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop,’ at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, ‘Image World,’ at the Whitney Museum of Art in NYC, and ‘The Photography of Invention,’ at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. His photographs are included in a number of private collections and are also represented in various prominent public collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, The Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC and The Milwaukee Art Museum. Reviews of his work have been featured in most major art publications, including, among others, Art Forum, ArtNews and The New York Times.

Wasow will be releasing a new book titled “Friends, Enemies and Strangers”. The book contain a wide selection of images both made and found by Wasow, and includes text and essays by the writer Rabih Allenmedine and the artist Matthew Weinstein; it will be published by Saint Lucy Press. The book will be available Spring 2018.

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Elinor Carucci at PhotoFairs SF

Faculty member and photographer Elinor Carucci will have her work exhibited through her gallery, Edwynn Houk Gallery, at this year's PhotoFairs SF. Edwynn Houk Gallery, a photography gallery based in New York and Zurich, specializes in masters of twentieth-century photography with an emphasis on the 1920s and 1930s as well as contemporary photography. Representing acclaimed artists such as Sally Mann, Nick Brandt, Joel Meyerowitz, Lee Friedlander and Stephen Shore.

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In recent times, Elinor Carucci has recieved much acclaim for her capture used to illustrate the viral story, Cat Person at the New Yorker. When asked about how she created the image and why the choice to use a real couple, she responded:

"I felt it had to be real, maybe because of the kind of photographer I am. My personal work is about the everyday dramas of real life, my own family, my own flaws and ugliness and joy and wonderfulness. I am drawn to photographing real things. In my editorial career—and I’ve been photographing for magazines for twenty years—I’ve learned that fashion and beauty is not what I want to do, and not where I’m strong. When you bring me into a real situation, a family or a couple, that’s where I work best. Also, practically, I knew these people would have to kiss in different ways for hours! I don’t know how I could have made two models do it."

To read more about her work behind the image, please click here.

PhotoFairs San Francisco, the cutting edge contemporary art fair dedicated to the photographic medium returns to the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason in San Francisco from Thursday, February 22nd - Sunday, February 25, 2018. The fair's international focus and boutique curation create an excellent environment to discover and collect innovative works of art. The Event will feature public talks programs, featured exhibitions and artist book signings.

For more information, please click here.

Adam Bell awarded Individual Artist Fellowship by New Jersey State Council on the Arts

Congratulations to our very own faculty member Adam Bell for being one of the 12 artists awarded an Individual Artist Fellowships by The New Jersey State Council on the Arts in partnership with the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.

"Whether it's sculpture, poetry, or theater, New Jersey has long been a forerunner in the arts," said Acting Secretary of State Tahesha Way. "Our arts history is incredibly rich and its pages are thick with distinguished emissaries like William Carlos Williams and Alice Barber Stephens. I have full faith and confidence that our newest generations of artists, like those supported through this excellent program, will not disappoint."

The Individual Artist Fellowships are competitive awards to New Jersey artists in 12 rotating disciplines granted solely on independent peer panel assessment of work samples. The anonymous process is focused on artistic quality, and awards may be used to help artists produce new work and advance their careers. New Jersey artists applied for awards this year in the categories of crafts, photography and playwriting. This program is carried out in partnership with the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.

 Adam Bell pictured middle row, third from left. 

Adam Bell pictured middle row, third from left. 

Adam Bell is a photographer, writer, and educator. He received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2004, and his work has been exhibited and published internationally. His books include Vision Anew: The Lens and Screen Arts (2015) and The Education of a Photographer (2006), and his writing and reviews have appeared in numerous publications including Afterimage, Aperture, Foam Magazine, Paper Journal, photo-eye, The Photobook Review, and The Brooklyn Rail. Department at the School of Visual Arts in NYC.

Dalia Amara, the Texture of Want at Mountain Gallery

MOUNTAIN is pleased to present The Texture of Want, an exhibition featuring artwork by alumni Dalia Amara and Olivia Swider. The artwork on view explores constructions of femininity, vulnerable self-reflexivity, and fallacy in the truth of images. Both artists have a background in image-making and the study of photography, but the way they synthesize that knowledge into their respective practices varies. While Amara’s work functions in the realm of photography, the content and context takes a more sculptural/performative turn. Conversely, Swider’s practice incorporates physical works and found materials to ask new questions around what constitutes an image, appropriation/ authorship, and the documentary/indexical capabilities of objects and the stories they hold. Together, these artists present a fascinating look at a postmodern approach to capturing and creating an image.

The exhibition opens February 24, 2018 and closes March 17, 2018. For more details, please click here.

  Fragments, 2017

Fragments, 2017

Dalia Amara’s work hones in on the performance of femininity. In recent video works the artist turns the camera’s voyeuristic eye on herself in an examination of learned behaviors, societal expectations, and the psychological struggles of being a woman. The mirror is a testing ground and the artist inhabits a duality as both photographer and model, audience and performer. Amara’s photographic works use the conventions of photography, but the visual language of sculpture. In these works the camera captures domestic scenes and curious objects with a reference to the body in absentia. The lack of a protagonist gives these photographs an unsettling tension. Like a crime scene investigator searching for the last bit of evidence to solve the mystery.

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2018 SVA Alumni Scholarship

Congratulations to Julianne Nash and Johnnie Chatman for being selected as recipients of the Alumni Scholarships Awards; and to Naixin Xu for the Thomas Reiss Memorial Award. Reviewed and rated by an alumni panel, the Alumni Society Board of Directors awards aid to the completion of final projects. The Society manages 26 annual scholarships that provide merit based support earmarked for specific academic programs and need based support. The assortment of scholarships allows the Society to provide assistance across majors, programs and class years -- touching more students lives every year. The Society’s flagship scholarship program is the annual Alumni Scholarship Awards program. In 2017, 78 projects were funded a total of $83,400.

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Agglomeration, by Julianne Nash, is at once an immensely personal project in regards to loss, trauma, and personal mortality; while at the same time references the breakdown of human and logarithmic computer vision. Within this series I contend with my fears of inheriting a degenerative form of vision loss by utilizing computerized image stacking algorithms to create digitally manipulated images that are difficult to visually comprehend. I intentionally confuse the patterns that the computer relies on to create a cohesive image by using tools made to blend images based on similarities to force them to blend on differences thus causing the computer to fail in the manner in which it is “supposed” to see.

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 I Forgot Where We Were; is here, by Johnnie Chatman, acts a meeting place for two bodies of work, I Forgot Where We Were… and where we were is here. Together the elements within the series use constructs and idioms of the West and western landscape photography as allegorical elements to facilitate a conversation on black identity as it reconfigures itself against media, historical, and transglobal narratives. The work opens up a dialogue on selfhood and place through the creation of an ambiguous space where a seemingly romantic fascination is met with a critical examination of the past and present through representations of history, time and the landscape.

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Naixin Xu is the recipient of the Thomas Reiss Memorial Award Fund which was established in 2003 in memory of Thomas Reiss (MFA 1993 Photography and Related Media) by his brother, Richard M. Reiss. An avid environmentalist, Tom passed away in August 2002 in a boating accident in Thailand. This annual award is designated to support a thesis project by a final-year MFA Photography, Video and Related Media major whose project addresses a humanitarian issue.


The Westbound Journey (working title) is an 1-1.5 hour long observational and photographic non-narrative film, focusing on a cross-country journey of commodities, which are transported to Tibet by a truck driver, from a small trade city in southeast China to Tibet. The aim is to present, from an observer’s view, a fluid subtle status of the culture itself, struggling between the old and the new. 

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SVA Alumni Society, Inc. is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation which works to provide support for SVA’s most promising students.The Society works in conjunction with the Alumni Affairs and Development office at the School of Visual Arts serving as the vehicle for granting student scholarships and soliciting donations to fund the scholarships. Due to support from the School of Visual Arts, 100% of all donations to the Alumni Society go directly to the education and financial needs of current SVA students.

Instructions on Parting by Amy Jenkins premieres at MOMA

Alumni Amy Jenkins upcoming film, Instructions on Parting (2018), will make it's world debut at MOMA on Febuary 16th, 2018.

“Instructions on Parting” weaves breathtaking artistic footage with cinema verite to tell an elegiac story about transformation, grief, and the essential nature of the collective human journey. Using personal home videos, Jenkins presents an intimate portrait of the cyclical nature of life and death. As she navigates the emotional transition into motherhood, she must also make sense of the untimely passing of several members from her immediate family.

For more details and to purchase your tickets for the screening please click here.

Amy Jenkins’ approach to art-making is multidisciplinary; the installations she creates combine video, sculpture, performance, writing and audio to create immersive environments. Crossing the static bounds of space and object, her projected video creates a poetic space that emulates thought and memory. The video in three-dimension becomes malleable, altering the boundaries of the physical and illusory.

Over the years she has worked with the moving image combined with sculpture in a number of ways, both with miniature objects and with large architectural elements. Consistent in all of her installations is the focus on a sense of place and the psychological aspects of interiors, whether physical in structure or of an individual's psyche. Performance, her own and her family’s, is also an important reoccurrence in Jenkins’ work. Jenkins’ content can be challenging and revealing; familial relationships, home, sexuality, and the male/female identity are themes she frequents. Visceral and emotional, these personal narratives offer a window into intimate life, where the commonplace becomes surprising and unexpected.

 Stills from Instructions on Parting

Stills from Instructions on Parting

Dina Litovsky interview with A Photo Editor

Class of 2010 alumni Dina Litovsky was recently featured in an interview with Heidi Volpe at A Photo Editor discussing her work and how she approaches travel based editorial work.

When Heidi Volpe asks how she approaches travel stories, Dina responds:

"I always like to do a fair amount of research beforehand. That involves reading up about its culture, people and landmarks. A useful place to start is past travel articles, which are also great for initial photo research. Looking at previous images of a city both gives me an idea of what to expect as well as what to avoid. It’s fun to be seduced by certain things when at a new location – everything seems exciting – but then it’s very easy to unwittingly repeat existing images of an over-photographed place/landmark."

"Once on location, I like to have a first day where I walk around the city only with an iPhone, getting a feel for the city and making quick images of locations where I’d like to come back to."

To read the full interview please click here.

 Images courtesy of Dina Litovsky

Images courtesy of Dina Litovsky