April 16, 2014


Parsons School of Design at The New School

Photo: Mark John Smith.

Parsons the New School for Design is pleased to announce Before, the 2014 Parsons Fine Arts MFA Thesis Show curated by Niels Van Tomme.

The exhibition features new works in a wide variety of media and artistic approaches by Hala Alhomoud, David Connolly, Lilly Handley, John Lee, Kai Margarida-Ramirez, Cara Nahaul, Angela Pulido Zorro, Rujuta Rao, Luka Rayski, Becca Jane Rubinfeld, María Margarita Sánchez U., Mark John Smith, Alona Weiss, Matt Whitman, Jian Yi, and Alejandro Yoshii.

Presenting a reflection on a moment rather than a well structured, overarching curatorial statement, Before explores a state of perpetual yet-to-come and fragile anticipation. The exhibition playfully negotiates Jimmie Durham’s statement that the artist always works “before tomorrow,” before the crux of formation and before the advent of history, while laying out a provisional display of artistic gestures. Ranging from traces of transcendent encounters to explorations of social and individual memory, as well as the emergence of narrative structures and the breakdown of identity, the works featured in the exhibition reject official narratives in favor of a more open and exploratory approach to artistic processes. Taken together, they form temporal clusters that complicate a straightforward conceptualization of linearity and purpose. In doing so, Before suggests the continuous and multifaceted interplay between past, present, and future, as well as exemplifies the challenges and promises associated with graduating from an art academy in New York City.

For more information about the thesis exhibition at the Kitchen, please visit or contact [email protected].


Please also join us for the Parsons Fine Arts Thesis Symposium on Wednesday May 14 from 6 to 11pm at Kellen Auditorium, 65 5th Avenue. Tina Satter (Artistic Director of the theater company Half Straddle) and Gregory Sholette (artist & writer) will respond to performative presentations of Graduate MFA candidate’s thesis essays in the following panels: “Otherwise Known as Spirituality,” “Poetic Strategies,” “Cultural Memories,” and “Text or Information.”


The MFA at Parsons Fine Arts is a two-year, cross-disciplinary program committed to the formal, intellectual and conceptual dimensions of emerging artists’ work. Our proudly diverse learning community is aimed to support students in studio-based research and scholarship to extend the boundaries of contemporary cultural expression and to develop a global understanding of the arts. The curriculum centers around studio visits and group critique, seminars to foster critical thinking, writing and research for studio practice, as well as professional practices seminars. The program additionally offers media-specific advanced practice electives with topics including video, painting, eco-literacy, the body, performance and installation. A Transdisciplinary Seminar reaches into the larger New School community with themes such as Art&Science, Art&Feminism and Afrofuturism. Parsons Fine Arts is situated within the School of Art Media and Technology at Parsons The New School for Design. Students have the opportunity to take electives across Parsons and the internationally recognized New School for Social Research. Our international faculty has been exhibited at the 2014 Whitney Biennial, Museum of Modern Art, dOCUMENTA and the Sydney Biennale. Students interact with high-profile visiting artists and critics. This year’s guests include Rashaad Newsome, Karin Sander, Ashley Hunt, Trevor Paglen, Anoka Faruqee, Sam Durant and Jill Magid.

For more information, please visit and/or contact Simone Douglas.


About Parsons The New School for Design
Parsons is one of the premier institutions for art and design education. Founded in 1896, it has served as a pioneer in the field for more than a century. Based in New York and internationally active, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of design disciplines. Critical thinking, research and collaboration are at the heart of a Parsons education. Parsons offers rigorous training that allows for interdisciplinary collaboration across five thematic schools. An integral part of The New School, Parsons builds on the university’s legacy of progressive ideals, scholarship, and pedagogy. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century.


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