March 31, 2017

2018 Presidential Visiting Fellow in Fine Arts: A.L. Steiner

Yale School of Art

Photo: Matthew Leifheit.

The Yale School of Art announces the appointment of A.L. Steiner as the 2018 Presidential Visiting Fellow in Fine Arts within the department of Photography. A.L. Steiner’s approach to pedagogy emphasizes a fundamental way of being a cultural producer. A lesbian-feminist identified artist and activist, her work spans photography, video, installation, collage, performance, lectures, writing and curating to address social, economic and environmental positions.

Marta Kuzma, Dean of Yale’s School of Art, notes the significance of A.L. Steiner’s appointment: “Steiner will contribute to fostering the necessary conversations around what may be at stake for the practicing artist who grapples with a complex and regressive social, political and economic landscape. She will undoubtedly create substantive pedagogical exchanges, unraveling what she has referred to as the ‘interconnected and dependent conditions which lead to decision-making processes’.” Professor Gregory Crewdson, Director of the SoA’s Department of Photography joins with his support: “I’m very pleased Steiner has accepted this appointment and will be joining us in the coming year. She has already been in the fold for some time as a visiting critic and artist—she brings a powerful point of view and unique voice, particularly in the areas of gender, sexual politics, radicalism and agency. Her art and sensibility crosses mediums and genres and defies expectations. We are very lucky to have her on board. She’s an amazing asset for the students.”

Steiner’s practice explores the relationship to archival forms, authenticating experiences through photographic documents and addressing what is inherent to subjectivity, feminism and queer history. In her work, personal biography meets the lives of others, telling stories through the constructions, fragilities, temporalities and ambiguities of image-worlds.

In a heightened political climate for art, artists, students, and faculty, Steiner’s past and current practice will offer graduate students the level of engagement and discussion that is increasingly necessary within MFA programs nationwide—echoing Steiner’s call, in a recent issue of Aperture: On Feminism, to ensure schools continue to be places of study and to resist technocratic educational models and analytical matrices. Steiner has actively contributed to the reformulation of the relationship between artists and institutions in the US through a working method that fundamentally involves collaborations with others from diverse fields of practice, including writers, performers, designers, publishers, activists, pedagogues and other artists. Concern and commitment to artistic communities is reflected within projects such as Community Action Center, co-produced with A.K. Burns in 2010 as an exploration of the erotics of queer sexuality, the co-founding of Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.) in 2008, and as a collective member of Chicks on Speed since 2003. Reflecting on her 2014 work More Real Than Reality Itself for the Whitney Biennial, she stated “I’m interested in the efforts my subjects made to effect change while grappling with the notion of radical—whether as a self-identification or an imposed moniker, or both—and the mutations of radicalism, justice, activism and ethics that took place. I’m curious about the actuality of familial constructions in determining one’s socio-psychic desires and sense of agency.”

Aperture: On Feminism Community Action CenterMore Real Than Reality Itself

A.L. Steiner’s academic appointments include Bard College, Columbia University, Otis College of Art & Design, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, School of Visual Arts, University of California/Los Angeles and Virginia Commonwealth University. As an artist, she has been celebrated with awards such as the 2015 Tiffany Foundation Biennial Award, the 2015–16 Berlin Prize and Foundation for Contemporary Arts 2017 Grants to Artists Award. Her artistic production has been recognized through inclusion in permanent collections at The Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Hammer Museum, Marieluise Hessel Collection of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, as well as exhibitions in galleries and institutions worldwide.

About the Yale School of Art
Yale School of Art provides students with intellectually informed, hands-on instruction in the practice of an array of visual arts media. Promoting a studio-based education within the broad pedagogical framework of a liberal arts university, the Yale School of Art has a long and distinguished history of training artists of the highest caliber. A full-time faculty of working artists and a diverse cross-section of accomplished visiting artists collaborate to design the program and foster an environment where the unique talents and perspectives of individual students can emerge and flourish.

About the Yale School of Art

The school currently offers graduate degrees and undergraduate majors in the areas of graphic design, painting/printmaking, photography, and sculpture.

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