U-Turn: SACI MFA Graduate Exhibition through April 22, 2016

SACI MFA 2016 Graduate Exhibition "U-Turn" at Biagiotti Progetto Arte Gallery, Florence

U-Turn: SACI MFA Graduate Exhibition

Through April 22, 2016

MFAinvite2Amaan Khalid Aslam, Emily H. Blasier, Fadi DaoudLisa A. Fracica, Rebecca J. Morris, Ana Lía OrézzoliLinda Kay Papadakis, Keri L. Rosebraugh, Hana Sackler, Jessica J. Taylor

Curated by Daria Filardo

U-Turn, is the final exhibition of SACI’s 2016 graduating class of MFA in Studio Art and MFA in Photography candidates, on view through April 22, 2016 at the Biagiotti Progetto Arte gallery in Florence, Italy. This is SACI’s first MFA in Photography graduating class and the second of MFA in Studio Art, both who have studied at SACI for two years, guided by their instructors, local artists, and curators. Works in various media from ten artists of diverse backgrounds and nationalities have culminated in an impressive graduate exhibition in a local art gallery. To see images from the exhibition and opening receptions, see: U-Turn: SACI MFA Graduate Exhibition opening reception at Biagiotti Progetto ArteUpon entering the gallery, these are some of the works you will see:

Keri Rosebraugh seeks to find connections between man and nature by exploring the fragility and strength of our habitat and how humans and the environment affect each other. Focusing on the inquiry and analysis of the concept of “fixing” things, specifically in nature, her artwork explores humans’ quest for comfort versus our urgent need to live mindfully on this planet. Her pieces are often temporary and created using materials and elements on site which decompose in time – symbolic of the cyclical nature and regeneration of our planet. She seeks to promote a dialogue examining humankind’s relationship with the sublime in a world of capitalistic practices and high-powered economies.

Amaan Khalid Aslam – Murjhaati Eentain is an ongoing project investigating the importance of historical traditions and cultural spaces in the city of Lahore, Pakistan and how these are being forgotten and disintegrating almost to a state of decay. Iconic heritage sites such as the Wazir Khan Mosque (built in the 1630s) in the old walled city have become engulfed by illegal slums and markets. Accordingly, the project explores how artistic practice can act as a preservation tool for majestic buildings like these, keeping them alive in their nostalgic glory and thereby reminding us that we are merely a small piece of their enduring history and now somewhat uncertain future. Using the metaphor of the brick as a unit of construction, this body of work serves to illustrate the importance of physical foundations, particularly the significance of personal roots and our relation to the world around us, both past and present.

Hana Sackler – In her photographic work, Hana Sackler turns her glance outward and externalizes private moments. She uses still images and sound to explore the perception of what is intangible. There is movement between a sense of detachment, closeness, absence, and presence. In the photographs, the faces of all the figures are excluded. Their identity is removed, and what remains are the gestures and the relationship between the body and the void. In both the audio piece and the still images, the moment and subject become ambiguous as the artist projects her perception of reality.

Jessica J. Taylor works autobiographically through painting to explore subjects of time, memory, beauty, and loss. Inspired by the birth of her daughter, she has painted her family tree using only family members’ baby and child portraits. The subjects range in age from her grandmother, born in 1932, to her cousin, born in 1996.  This series focuses upon our common beginning in order to remove the social hierarchies that normally divide people. It is also a celebration of childhood and, through this, play and discovery about paint and painting. Paint is used to explore, celebrate, record, remember, and, in the rare case, forget. The flowers painted on the wall are made from stencils of pressed flowers in the artist’s studio. They represent baby blankets, a resting place, wallpaper, a garden, and the fragility of new life.

Emily H. Blasier – The art of Emily H. Blasier aims to express the purity that can be found in the chaos of life and diversity of agriculture in juxtaposition with the crumbling manifestoes of humanity. The artist highlights the necessity of transition from the human construct of life to that of the growth and renewal of the natural world; from traditions of purity in the “old” human community to conversion, communication, and cultural immersion with the ever “new” and natural one. The series aims to create an understanding of what plants really are: communities of characters that each play a part in our survival and happiness. Plants are protagonists.

Lisa A. Fracica – Living and studying in Florence with students from diverse cultures and belief systems led Lisa Fracica to consider whether or not some common ground could be found with them. The artist has a strong interest in incorporating religious themes in her work. These have become, during her period in Italy, broader than the Christian tradition owing to her intention to speak to a more universal level. Subjects such as mother and child—and themes about relationships based on caring and love—have been the field of investigation in her painting practice.

Fadi Daoud – In Six Faces, by mixing colors on the surface of the paper, the artist came to realize that accident is what determined the form of this piece. The strong dialogue between the artist and his paint strokes led Fadi Daoud to study the relationships between colors and spaces, then to build each face. In the large acrylic painting Building Spirit, straight lines, compactly engineered in different colors and grades, come together in a musical and dynamic relationship. Borrowed from Sufi Islamic philosophy where God created everything, the final rendering of the face is based on the foundations of engineering, geometry, and mathematics. This painting is a blend between the Islamic philosophy of creation and creature.

Linda Kay Papadakis – This work is inspired by Michelangelo Merisi de Caravaggio’s St. John the Baptist, 1602, Museo Capitolini, Rome. It is the result of what began with a rather naïve assumption that copying the original masterwork, research and imitation, would enhance the painting skills of the artist. It became a personal journey into the psychological re-imagining of Caravaggio on a visceral and empathetic level that informed her capabilities of interpretation and rendition yet exposed her psychological vulnerabilities toward self-acceptance and validation. On a technical level, the three paintings emulate the methodology and materials of Caravaggio from stretching the linen to transferring the original image onto a new substrate: spolvero (tracing the original), quadrettatura (using a grid), and freehand drawing. Genuine pigments, when available, were used.

Ana Lía Orézzoli – We don’t want to forget, but we inevitably do. Our memory filters the past into fragments and, in between them, there is always space for oblivion. This video is an exercise about not forgetting a house where the artist grew up, a song that she learned to sing, a game that she used to play during breaks at school, the courtyard with the two little chickens, and the always intense smell of the sea. Memories, like these from childhood, are fragile and unreliable. We gather the parts of what we remember and try to piece together what remains.

Rebecca J. Morris – Becky’s World is an installation that tries to find the human element in connection with the animal kingdom. The artist uses textiles and everyday objects, and transforms their original nature into a lively, colorful, whimsical, sculptural world that welcomes humans. Since the dawn of time, humans have had a special relationship with animals. We hunted them, took them into our homes, and even worshiped them as gods. We have become so integrated with animals that we use them as metaphors on how to live: “Don’t eat like a pig. Be as strong as a bull. Be as clever as a fox.” This project gives a reality to those metaphors and lets the human element interplay and break down our perceptions of the animal world.

Photos by Leon Jones and Naomi Muirhead.

Fondazione Biagiotti Progetto Arte

Fondazione Biagiotti Progetto Arte
Via delle Belle Donne 39r FIRENZE
Open Tuesday-Friday 3-7pm or by appointment and Friday, April 22, 10am-2pm
T. +39 335316349 / +39 055 214757

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About SACI

SACI is a US non-profit College of Art and Design in Florence, Italy, for undergraduate and graduate students seeking accredited instruction in studio art, design, conservation, art history, and Italian language and culture. Founded in 1975, SACI offers the following programs: Academic Semester/Year Abroad, Summer Studies, Venice Summer Program, Post-Bac in Conservation, MFA in Studio Art, MA in Art History.

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