Summer Graduating Artists (July 15, 2011 – August 3, 2011)
Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts
The 2011 Exhibition of Graduating Artists at the Museum of Fine Arts (MoFA) on the Florida State University Campus brings together four artists who are presenting their thesis work that they developed as students in the BFA Studio Art Program. The work in the exhibition encompasses paintings, sculptural installation, video and photography. From the elegant and poignant sculptural installations by Ann Huskey, to the quiet, dreamlike photographs and videos by Lindsey Vinson Pemberton, to the etherial portraiture of Matthew Loren Miller’s and the, densely loaded, energetic canvases of Nadja Marks-Shafton’s paintings, there is plenty to capture the interest of museum visitors.
Ann Huskey’s installations reference the role of the gender bias in an equal rights society. Her work looks at the reality that no matter what legislation is passed or how politically correct our society tries to be, there is still an inescapable attachment to motherhood. Whether it is the expectation of motherhood or the assumptions and opinions of others about procreation, the female is bound to that role. Made more poignant today by several proposed legislative bills about the role and expectation of women in today’s society, Ann’s work brings home the inescapable reality that women are forever connected to their reproductive role. Her work is provocative and elegant and is delivered with undertones of humor.
Lindsey Pemberton’s photographic exploration leads the viewer on a metaphorical journey through memory. Using George MacDonald’s fairytale, The Princess and the Goblin in which the princess follows an invisible thread to safety, Pemberton creates double exposures and pairs photographs to reference the fractal nature of our minds. She embraces the notion that our minds refine particular moments and blur others – perhaps as a way of protecting us and keeping us safe. Her photographic and video installation is both intimate and poetic.
Matthew Loren Miller’s work strives to express the slower, more considered aspect of time from his grandfather’s generation in contrast to the more frenzied and multi-wi-fi enabled connectivity of his contemporaries. He presents beautiful portraits that are simultaneously rich in detail and description and void of specific context and time. He uses paint and light to create an etherial setting in which the concentration of the sitters (Lamar and Lomax) become the focus of the work. Miller hints at the tasks at hand without belaboring detail in the surrounds. This technique allows for a more romantic interpretation of Lamar and Lomax as they move through their everyday tasks. When viewing this work, one cannot help but contrast these images with the congestion and constant flux of our present day lives. Miller’s work pays homage to a fleeting and endangered way of life.
Nadja Marks-Shafton’s work seems to capture emotion through the abstract and recognizable elements layered within her paintings. Her densely painted works are captured through the process of revisiting distant memories. Instead of focusing specifically on what she remembers, she makes a point of painting how she remembers. Stand in front of these large canvases and you will know what she means. The colors, quality of her marks, impasto of her paint, and seductive layering of imagery will likely trigger memories of your own.