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Site Unseen: 2017 Stanford MFA Thesis Exhibition

May 16, 2017 to June 18, 2017


On view, May 16 through June 18, with a reception on Thursday, May 18 from 6-8pm. This group exhibition features the thesis artwork of five graduating art practice MFA students.

Site Unseen is a telling title for this ambitious exhibition of new bodies of works and culminating projects that demonstrate remarkable confidence and creativity. A diverse group with distinctively different approaches and styles, what the artists share in common, however, is an interest in structure, from physical structures to conceptual frameworks, and an engagement of space, be it perceptual, social, or psychological” - Xiaoze Xie, faculty curator.

Becca Kahn Bloch is a mixed-media artist based in Oakland, CA. Trained as a printmaker with experience in lithography, etching, screen-printing, and letterpress, her current work is multidisciplinary, engaging with sculpture, audio, and site-specific installation. Grounded in queer and feminist theory, her work considers how to renegotiate failure as a site of possibility and reclamation.  Boris Oicherman is learning how to learn. How do I learn as an artist? How do we all learn our environments as we go along? How these two learning processes can converge? If they do, such mutual learning can create a democratic performative space where each element affects all others, where the artists, the audiences and the environments merge into one process: life. The ultimate ambition is to create an event, an occurrence that makes a proposition: a model that has potential existence outside of the context of art. Mark Baugh-Sasaki explores the human world through the lens of landscape and the environment. He uses the physical landscape and its materials, in addition to the metaphorical content embedded within. He questions our definitions of nature and delves into the natural world as a cultural product made up of geologic strata and layers of socio-political histories. His hope is that by understanding our surroundings we will better understand ourselves. Omar Thor Arason’s current work negotiates morality as it manifests in bodies, particularly in their relationship to each other. He investigates the ways in which personal systems of morality, encoded in humans through foundational experiences, can extend beyond the individual and act in both unifying and divisive ways. Arason’s paintings are composed of figures interacting with each other in a variety of moral situations that are both personal and universal in nature, and pertinent to current political events. In a departure from his previous work, Arason’s new paintings are pared down in terms of color and composition; his sparing use of architectural elements suggests only a basic plane in which to ground the figures. Steven Garen investigates material ecologies within our surrounding environments. His sculptures juxtapose discarded objects and building materials that become both the structures for and objects of display. For the past two years, he has focused on the shifting shorelines of the San Francisco Bay, exploring the strata of urban waste and natural objects at sites of industry and infrastructure. Inspired by the mass transit of commuters and freight cargo, Garen has created a series of floating structures that will transit the Bay into the gallery.

Image: photo by Mark Baugh-Sasaki

VISITOR INFORMATION: The Stanford Art Gallery is located on Stanford’s campus, off Palm Drive at 419 Lasuen Mall. Parking is free after 4PM weekdays and all day weekends. Parking by the Oval is free after 6pm weekdays.

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