July 2020

2020 MFA in Visual Art First-Year Exhibition

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis

Jessica Bremehr, I think I’ll just stay home tonight, 2020. Acrylic and gouache on wood panel, 14 x 14”.

Jessica Bremehr, In Our Shadows, 2020. Acrylic and gouache on wood panel, 9 x 12”.

Jessica Bremehr, Warped Identity, 2020. Acrylic and gouache on wood panel,  9 x 12”.

Jessica Bremehr, Blowin’ in the Wind, 2020. Collage and acrylic on digital inkjet print, 11 x 14”.

Ryan Erickson, No Rules (side 2), 2020. Laser-cut wood, 32 x 6”.

Ryan Erickson, Untitled, 2020. Collage on paper, 5 x 10”.

Ryan Erickson, Sign Depicting Itself, 2020. Vinyl print on sign, 3 x 2 x 2.5’.

Ryan Erickson, The Void in My Room, 2020. Marker, 4 x 4’.

Adrian Gonzalez, Zip/Zilch/Nada, 2020. Acrylic, enamel, copper wire, confetti, oil, and dye-based ink on Mylar on wood frame, 36 x 28 x 2”.

Adrian Gonzalez, Me Masajeen El Cuello, 2020. Acrylic, enamel, colored pencil, oil, and dye-based ink on Mylar on panel, 36 x 28 x 2”.

Adrian Gonzalez, Mirona, 2020. Acrylic, crayon, gouache, envelope, ink, and colored pencil on paper, 30 x 22”.

Adrian Gonzalez, Apoyarse en Otra Pierna, 2020. Acrylic, enamel, and dye-based ink on Mylar, paper, canvas, and wood, 76 x 68 x 6”.

Maddie Grotewiel, exposed, 2020. Metal wire, gauze, polyfill, organza, artist’s great aunt’s thread, acrylic, gouache, watercolor, glue, bandage, infant blanket yarn, tape, and nails, 62 x 49 x 73”.

Maddie Grotewiel, early in the morning that autumn, 2020. Latex, unwashed bedsheets, found bedsheets, found satin nightgown, found satin pillowcase, cheesecloth, nylon, muslin, artist’s great aunt’s thread, polyfill, organza, found pillow stuffing, wood glue, artist’s great aunt’s yarn, cotton rope, gouache, watercolor, felt, enamel, spray paint, household hook, artist’s great grandmother’s hand-spun wool, house paint, screws, and joint compound, 82 x 62 x 70”.

Maddie Grotewiel, body diary, 2020. Used dryer sheets and liquid latex, 6 x 9”.

Maddie Grotewiel, ooze (detail), 2020. Inherited antique dresser, liquid latex, essential oils, artist’s great grandmother’s hand-spun wool, leftover candle wax, spray paint, nail polish, acrylic gloss medium, artist’s great aunt’s string, faux plants, nylon, elastic non-slip rug pad, cheesecloth, beeswax, infant blanket yarn, artificially dyed wool, and thread, 21 x 26 x 50”.

Younser (Seri) Lee, Take Care of Me (ongoing performing project), 2020. Soap and fragrance. 8 x 4 x 2”.

Younser (Seri) Lee, Timeless Pot, 2020. Digital print, 20 x 16”.

Younser (Seri) Lee, The Bowl of Memory (installation view), 2020. Soap, water, and found objects, 8 x 11 x 4”.

Younser (Seri) Lee, The Bowl of Memory (installation view), 2020. Soap, water, and found objects, 8 x 11 x 4”.

Richard Pan, Warning, 2020. Digital image, 19 x 13”.

Richard Pan, Bunny on The Edge, 2020. Digital image, 11 x 14”.

Richard Pan, Abyss, 2020. Digital image, 19 x 13”.

Richard Pan, Blooming Night, 2020. Digital image, 19 x 13”.

Takura Suzuki, Now They See You, 2020. Inkjet print, 23.3 x 14.6”.

Takura Suzuki, Stolen Memories #1, 2020. Inkjet print, 23.3 x 14.6”.

Takura Suzuki, Behave Yourself, 2020. Inkjet print, 23.3 x 14.6”.

Takura Suzuki, Fukushima Flowers (English), 2020. Inkjet print, 24 x 14”.

Alexa Velez, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, 2020. Archival inkjet prints, 30 x 25.5”.

Alexa Velez, From Below (digital photographic quadriptych), 2020. Archival inkjet prints. 30 x 17”.

Alexa Velez, Darkness, 2020. Film stills.

Alexa Velez, Darkness, 2020. Film stills.

Curatorial Statement

During fall 2019, first-year MFA in Visual Art candidates conducted extensive experiments in their newly built studios in Weil Hall, simultaneously engaging in group critiques and collaborations with students and faculty in the school’s graduate programs in architecture and illustration and visual culture. Despite global conditions of isolation caused by the pandemic, in spring 2020 the artists continued to make strong work from home, thus entering the field of contemporary art at a historically unprecedented time.

The works of Jessica Bremehr and Alexa Velez depict gendered bodies involved in imaginary events and psychological states. In Bremehr’s colorful, tragicomic paintings, the figure portrayed is a human being who happens to be a woman, a condition with serious side effects. In Velez’s carefully edited video and sound works, the artist performs dance and movement depicting inner states of psychological distress, staged in anonymous domestic and urban spaces. A different take on the body is seen in the interdisciplinary work of Younser (Seri) Lee, whose sculptures, performances, and installations convey a deep preoccupation with the passage of time and the ephemerality of all beings. Takura Suzuki, Adrian Gonzalez, and Richard Pan treat images as battlegrounds of memory, imagination, and trace. Gonzalez’s inspiration comes from the accidental images caught on a cellphone, which the artist transforms into often large-scale paintings. Suzuki’s digital renderings point directly at the relationships between power and seeing, asking us to consider difficult questions about the future of humanity. Pan’s atmospheric digital photographs of urban spaces at night offer a glimpse into reality that is both sensual and ominous, cinematic and architectural. These works contrast with the mixed-media sculptures created by Maddie Grotewiel, who merges the abundance of the sensorial with post-apocalyptic connotations, offering poetic investigations of private memories. Finally, Ryan Erickson’s installations, drawings, and word-based works offer humorous, yet existential and phenomenological, questions about the historical and empirical conditions of our time.

—Monika Weiss, associate professor

Participating Artists

Jessica Bremehr
Ryan Erickson
Adrian Gonzalez
Maddie Grotewiel
Younser (Seri) Lee
Richard Pan
Takura Suzuki
Alexa Velez

The MFA in Visual Art program at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts educates artists who will define and change the future of their disciplines—in small, medium, and extra-large ways. It instills students with the agency and resiliency that will be essential to the next generation of artists. Led by professor and newly appointed chair Lisa Bulawsky, the program is home to an inclusive, close-knit community of renegade makers and thinkers, and offers students a site of rigorous inquiry, humanity, and intellectual generosity. The Sam Fox School has abundant resources, with expansive facilities and studios that serve as a think tank for intellectual and material experimentation. The program is located within a tier-one research institution and is proud of its location in St. Louis, which serves as both an extension of the studio and site of engagement for art and artists. The MFA in Visual Art professionally prepares students for a diversified approach to the field of contemporary art that nurtures sustained, lifelong engagement while recognizing multiple pathways and definitions for a career in the arts and culture.

The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis is a leader in architecture, art, and design education. We are advancing our fields through innovative research and creative practice, excellence in teaching, a world-class university art museum, and a deep commitment to addressing the social and environmental challenges of our time. Through the work of our students, faculty, and alumni, we are striving to create a more just, sustainable, humane, and beautiful world.

Thank you!

An email with a confirmation link has been sent to the email address you entered. To complete your subscription, click this link.