Misha Gordin

Image Credit: © Misha Gordin, from the shout series, 1984 – 1987
assembled & printed in a traditional darkroom



Sadashi Inuzuka – Artist Lecture

February 28, 2008
RCVA Lecture Hall, 2nd Floor
5:30 pm
Sadashi Inuzuka


Inuzuka has been living in North America for over 25years (Born in Japan). Examining the life lived between two cultures Inuzuka’s installations explore the intersection of human society and the natural world, traditional and non-traditional forms, as well as art and science. The work explores a range of subjects – ecological imbalance, the impact of invasive non-native species, and water consumption and conservation.

Al LaVergne 11/1 Lecture

Image Credit: Al LaVergne
with his sculpture, “Passion”

Al LaVergne
November 1
RCVA Lecture Hall, 2nd Floor
5:30 pm

A major concern in Al LaVergne’s sculptures is to develop a vocabulary of interactive movements between forms and spaces. The subject matter is rarely preplanned, even when figures are involved. LaVergne works in several mediums, but welding fabrication with reconstituted metal gives him the most freedom. The ability to apply metal directly allows LaVergne to develop and capture a personal spirit as he constructs the works of art. The resolution of the compositions is developed during the exploration of spaces as he negotiates with the laws of gravity to achieve balance.

Karen Bondarchuk 10/25 Lecture

Corvus Deflatus, 2007, 25″x25″x68″, scavenged roadside tires

Karen Bondarchuk
October 25
RCVA Lecture Hall, 2nd Floor
5:30 pm

Karen Bondarchuk is Foundation area coordinator in The Frostic School of Art at Western Michigan University, and has taught in the Foundation Program since 1997. Born in Canada, she received her MFA in Sculpture from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and her BFA in Sculpture and Video from The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Bondarchuk is a practicing visual artist who works in kinetic sculpture, drawing and performance. She has shown her art in the United States, Canada and England. Her artwork is in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Canada and other private collections.

ART21 @ The Richmond Center 10/18


On October 18, 2007 the Frostic School of Art will participate in Art21 Access ‘07 by previewing Season 4, Episode 4: Paradox, of the PBS Art21 series. Episode 4 will be on running on the plasma panels on the 1st and 2nd floor of the Richmond Center for the Visual Arts from 10am – 5pm. The event is free and open to the public.

This event is part of Art21 Access ‘07, a celebration of contemporary art and creativity at over 300 museums, schools, libraries, art spaces, and community centers, presented by Art21 in partnership with Americans for the Arts during National Arts and Humanities Month.


Episode 4: Paradox
Artists: Artists: Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, Mark Bradford, Robert Ryman, and Catherine Sullivan

EPISODE DESCRIPTION: How do contemporary artists address contradiction, ambiguity, and truth? The artists in this episode investigate the boundaries between abstraction and representation, fact and fiction, order and chaos. Creating juxtapositions that are at times disorienting, playful, and unexpected, these artists engage with the uncertain and plumb accepted assumptions of meaning in art.

Mark Bradford. Production still © Art21, Inc. 2007.

“My practice is both collage and décollage at the same time,” says Mark Bradford. “Décollage you take it away, and then collage, I immediately add it right back.” Using a combination of signage from the city streets, including business advertisements and merchant posters, twine, and glue, Bradford produces wall-sized paintings and installations that are a reflection of “the conditions that are going on at that particular moment at that particular location,” he says. Bradford describes for viewers the concepts behind his many works, from Daddy, Daddy, Daddy (2001), for which he used materials used in his mother’s hair salon, to Black Venus (2005), a map-like painting relating to the primarily African-American Baldwin Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, and Game Recognize Game (2004), which combines a painting and a sculpture of soccer balls. In one installation, Bradford uses video to juxtapose two events – a celebratory Martin Luther King Day parade in Los Angeles, and a busy Muslim marketplace in Cairo. Though worlds apart, Bradford points out how both spaces simultaneously portray a celebration yet also present an undeniable political condition, as the African American and Muslim communities have become “politically charged.” Likewise, through his video Practice (2003), Bradford “wanted to create a condition, a struggle.” For the film, Bradford attempts to dribble and shoot a basketball while wearing a Los Angeles Lakers uniform to which he has added a make-shift antebellum hoop skirt. Shot on a windy day, the piece captures his struggle with the billowing skirt – as he falls and gets back up time and time again – in an effort to make the shot. “It was about roadblocks on every level, cultural, gender, racial, regardless that they’re there,” he says. “It is important to continue. You keep going…And I made the hoop…Sometimes it takes me a little longer to get there. But I always make the shot.”

Catherine Sullivan. Production still © Art21, Inc. 2007.

Despite a family background in the visual arts (her mother worked at the famous Los Angeles-based Gemini G.E.L. print studio), Catherine Sullivan was drawn to acting and the theater. “I was always interested in the body’s capacity for signification,” she says. “What was this kind of potential for infinite transformation?” Her interests turned to stagecraft, and eventually evolved into the merging of live theater and filmmaking. “I really enjoyed the pleasure of the eyes to look where they wanted to look,” says Sullivan. “In an installation context, there’s actually opportunity for different kinds of content to be present in different ways. At some point it’s a direct engagement with one single image. Other times, it’s an engagement with a lot of different images all competing for your attention.” Viewers follow Sullivan from a workshop with actors and students in Poland, to an exhibition space in Avignon, to a Polish-American social hall in Chicago to observe her performance-based films, many of which are influenced by popular film, real-life conflict, or ritual. The actors and performers in Sullivan’s works create behavioral and emotional states through quick transitions between gestures. As Sullivan describes, “the content itself suggests other kinds of oppressive cultural regimes that I would like the movement to be analogous to. It really is in this kind of calculation of character, action, setting, context that the work ultimately happens.”

Robert Ryman. Production still © Art21, Inc. 2007.

Growing up in Nashville, Robert Ryman had a strong interest in music, particularly jazz. A bebop musician in his youth, Ryman’s musical knowledge influenced his work as a painter. His approach to learning an instrument was applied to painting, and, like music, “I thought the painting should just be about what it’s about…” He says. “In all of my paintings, I discover things. Sometimes I’m surprised at the result, but I know what I’m doing.” Ryman does not use assistants and prefers to work alone. Using white paint on square forms, he creates works such as Philadelphia Prototype (2002) — which he makes on camera — highlighting the subtle nuances of a surface and exploring the role that context and perception play in a visual experience. “I think of my painting as not really as abstract because I don’t abstract from anything,” he says. “It’s involved with real visual aspects of what you really are looking at…and how it’s put together and how it works with the wall and how it works with the light…I don’t use any illusion. It’s the real thing that you see. It’s a real experience.”

Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla. Production still © Art21, Inc. 2007.

“It’s kind of an excuse to research something,” says Jennifer Allora of the work with her collaborator since 1995, Guillermo Calzadilla. “It’s this chance to learn more about something in the world and be able to formulate some kind of response.” Their public installation, Chalk (1998-2002), is an example of their approach to visual art as a set of experiments. The artists placed large pieces of chalk outside of government buildings in Peru, providing protestors with an opportunity to write out their demands publicly. “That piece has the potential to actively disrupt what are the norms of a particular setting,” says Allora. Adds Calzadilla, “A police squad…they arrested the sculpture…they took all the chalk away. It shows the limits of free speech in a so-called democratic society.” In their segment, the pair, often arguing and questioning each other’s ideas in order to reach common ground, explain two projects that took place on the island of Vieques, previously used as a bombing range by US military forces and only recently returned to the jurisdiction of Puerto Rico. For Returning a Sound (2004), Allora and Calzadilla used a horn attached to a motorcycle exhaust pipe to create a unique “anthem” for Vieques. In Under Discussion (2005), the pair created a new meaning for the discussion table to represent the islanders’ disagreement about how the island should be run and the “re-patriated” lands used. In addition, the artists describe the metaphor behind other works, including the video project Sweat Glands Sweat Lands (2006), which uses the video image of pork cooking on a spit turned by a car motor to portray the violence and vulgarity of a status-obsessed society. “For us it’s very important, the idea of having a work that has all these contradictions in itself. How can you put all these things that have nothing to do with the other one?…You use an ideological glue. This frustration with absurdity, this nonsense, this paradox, all these things constitute part of the meaning of the work.”


MARK BRADFORD was born in Los Angeles, California in 1961. He received a BFA (1995) and MFA (1997) from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. Bradford transforms materials scavenged from the street into wall-sized collages and installations that respond to the impromptu networks – underground economies, migrant communities, or popular appropriation of abandoned public space – that emerge within a city. Drawing from the diverse cultural and geographic makeup of his southern Californian community, Bradford’s work is as informed by his personal background as a third- generation merchant there as it is by the tradition of abstract painting developed worldwide in the 20th Century. Bradford’s videos and map-like, multilayered paper collages refer not only to the organization of streets and buildings in downtown Los Angeles, but also to images of crowds, ranging from civil rights demonstrations of the 1960s to contemporary protests concerning immigration issues. Mark Bradford has received many awards, including the Bucksbaum Award (2006); the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2003); and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award (2002). He has been included in major exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2006); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2003); REDCAT, Los Angeles (2004); and Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2001). He has participated in the XXVII São Paulo Bienal (2006); the Whitney Biennial (2006); and inSite: Art Practices in the Public Domain, San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico (2005). Bradford lives and works in Los Angeles.

Mark Bradford. Black Venus, detail, 2005. Mixed-media collage, 130 x 196 inches. Courtesy the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York.

CATHERINE SULLIVAN was born in Los Angeles, California in 1968. She earned a BFA from the California Institute of Arts, Valencia (1992) and an MFA from the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California (1997). Sullivan’s anxiety inducing films and live performances reveal the degree to which everyday gestures and emotional states are scripted and performed, probing the border between innate and learned behavior. Under Sullivan’s direction, actors perform seemingly erratic, seizure-like jumps between gestures and emotional states, all while following a well-rehearsed, numerically derived script. Unsettling and disorienting, Sullivan’s work oscillates between the uncanny and camp, eliciting a profound critique of “acceptable” behavior in today’s media-saturated society. A maelstrom of references and influences – from vaudeville to film noir to modern dance – Sullivan’s appropriation of classic filming styles, period costumes, and contemporary spaces such as corporate offices draws the viewer’s attention away from traditional narratives and towards an examination of performance itself. Sullivan received a CalArts Alpert Award in the Arts (2004) and a DAAD Fellowship (2004-2005). She has had major exhibitions at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota (2007); Tate Modern, London (2005); Vienna Secession, Austria (2005); Kunsthalle Zurich, Switzerland (2005); Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut (2003); UCLA Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2002); and the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (2002). She has participated in the Prague Biennial (2005), the Whitney Biennial (2004), and La Biennale d’art contemporain de Lyon, France (2003). Sullivan lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.

Catherine Sullivan. Ice Floes of Franz Joseph Land, production still, 2003. Five channels shot on 16 mm film transferred to video, projected from DVD, 21 min 48 sec per channel, black and white, silent. © Catherine Sullivan, courtesy the artist.

ROBERT RYMAN was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1930. Ryman studied at the Tennessee Polytechnic Institute and the George Peabody College for Teachers, Nashville, before serving in the United States Army (1950-52). Ryman’s work explodes the classical distinctions between art as object and art as surface, sculpture and painting, structure and ornament – emphasizing instead the role that perception and context play in creating an aesthetic experience. Ryman isolates the most basic of components – material, scale, and support – enforcing limitations that allow the viewer to focus on the physical presence of the work in space. Since the 1950s, Ryman has used primarily white paint on a square surface, whether canvas, paper, metal, plastic, or wood, while harnessing the nuanced effects of light and shadow to animate his work. In Ryman’s oeuvre, wall fasteners and tape serve both practical and aesthetic purposes. Neither abstract nor entirely monochromatic, Ryman’s paintings are paradoxically ‘realist’ in the artist’s own lexicon. Robert Ryman was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1994) and has received many awards, including a Skowhegan Medal (1985) and a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (1974). He has had major exhibitions at the Tate Gallery, London (1993); Museum of Modern Art, New York (1993); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1994); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1994); Dia Art Foundation (1988); Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, Scotland (2006); and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (2006-07). He has participated in Documenta (1972, 1977, 1982); the Venice Biennale (1976, 1978, 1980); the Whitney Biennial (1977, 1987, 1995); and the Carnegie International (1985, 1988). Ryman lives and works in New York and Pennsylvania.

Robert Ryman. Untitled, 1958. Casein, colored and charcoal pencil on manila paper, 9 1⁄4 x 9 1⁄4 inches. Private collection, New York. Photo by Ellen Page Wilson, courtesy PaceWildenstein, New York.

JENNIFER ALLORA was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1974. GUILLERMO CALZADILLA was born in 1972 in Havana, Cuba. Allora received a BA from the University of Richmond in Virginia (1996) and an MS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2003); Calzadilla received a BFA from Escuela de Artes Plásticas, San Juan, Puerto Rico (1996) and an MFA from Bard College (2001). They have collaborated since 1995; approaching visual art as a set of experiments that test whether concepts such as authorship, nationality, borders, and democracy adequately describe today’s increasingly global and consumerist society. Believing that art can function as a catalyst for social change, the artists solicit active participation and critical responses from their viewers. The artists’ emphasis on cooperation and activism have led them to develop hybrid art forms – sculptures presented solely through video documentation, digitally manipulated photographs, and public artworks generated by pedestrians. Major exhibitions include the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (2007); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2004); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2004); Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut (2002); and Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan (2001). Awards include the Korea Foundation Award (2004); Penny McCall Foundation Grant (2003); Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant (2002); and a Cintas Fellowship (2000–2001). Residencies include P.S. 1 Contemporary Arts Center, Long Island City, New York (1998–99); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2003–04); and Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, California (2004). Allora & Calzadilla were short listed for the Guggenheim Museum’s Hugo Boss Prize (2006). They live and work in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla. Under Discussion, video still, 2005. Single-channel video with sound, 6 min 14 sec. © Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, courtesy the artists.