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Lava Cake: Second-year MFA Exhibition

June 25, 2021 to July 8, 2021

The Department of Art & Art History presents Lava Cake, the second-year MFA exhibition, featuring works by Amy Elkins, Gabriella Grill, Joshua Moreno, Miguel Novelo, and Gregory Rick.

Installed in the Stanford Art Gallery, Lava Cake is available to view online. Stanford affiliates may register to view the exhibition in person by scheduling a visit.

Join us for the online opening on Friday, June 25 at 3 pm PT; please register in advance.

The Lava Cake exhibition is oh-so-sweet, marking as it does, a return to in-person exhibitions for the second-year Stanford Art Practice MFA cohort whose recent work it represents. The themes and concerns of these students' current projects are, however, far more urgent than celebratory.  

The intense isolation, grief, protests, and even wildfires of this past year have cracked open new ways of seeing, making, and being. These artists’ vivid explorations of precariousness, transformation, interconnectedness, personal responsibility, and even our place in the universe, have emerged through the fissures. 

Facing lockdown alone, Amy Elkins turned her camera onto herself in a protracted personal performance where she negotiates her sense of self with literally everything she has at hand. Gabriella Grill, through intimate and vaguely violent gestures of weaving, stuffing and mummifying, converts abandoned garments and boxes from disposable wrappings of desire to room-scale obstacles. Gregory Rick’s paintings and sculptures offer us a fierce riot of references–personal, archival, mythological, and historical–with which he requires viewers to claim their own position in the multitudinous narrative arcs he depicts. Joshua Moreno teases a perilously fleeting yet gorgeously syncopated order out of the minutiae he finds in all aspects of his environment–both the natural and the mediated. Miguel Novelo asks us to look outwards to his vast computer generated heavens, and inwards to his similarly simulated earth—to find new bearings, or perhaps let go of them all together. 

A lyric from the singer/poet Leonard Cohen deftly captures the tectonic shifts presented by the works in this exhibition and our current moment:

There is a crack, a crack in everything 
That's how the light gets in

–Camille Utterback, Curator

Schedule a Visit!
Lava Cake is installed in the Stanford Art Gallery. Stanford affiliates may register to view the exhibition in person by scheduling a visit. Reservations are limited and first come, first served. Available viewing appointments are 2:00-4:30 pm on 6/29, 6/30, 7/1, 7/6, 7/7, and 7/8. Please note that each reservation is for one Stanford affiliate only, with a limit of six people per half hour. Stanford ID is required for entry.

The opening will take place online via Zoom; please register in advance.

Department of Art & Art History
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