• Forgiven: MFA Thesis - Painting

      Bennett, Michelle (2014-05)
      My work reflects an effort to channel memories and experiences onto the canvas. I paint about pain and internalized struggle where language is often inadequate to describe these effects. I am interested in creating psychological spaces with figures whose unease is uttered through their exposure and isolation. Innocence warped by experience. The process becomes a personal and painterly emotional rollercoaster reflecting life’s weight and struggles.
    • Heart Math: MFA Thesis - Painting

      Pacione, Andrea (2017-05)
      Pacione is a Hudson Valley native artist best known for oil paintings described as Abstract-Surrealism, or Surrealist-Abstraction, as well as surrealist and stream-of-consciousness poetry performance. Internal landscapes inspired by trance and dream states begin with large blocks of color coming together to form a rough composition, reflecting mood and memory. Paint is sculpted into form, undergoing many layers of transformation until what was originally present is changed into something completely new. Inspired by research into transcendental meditation, anthropology, biology, and the Occult, this process is a postmodern version of the sympathetic magic theorized to have been practiced by our prehistoric ancestors, such as the Neolithic cave paintings discovered in France. This theory is tied together with the philosophy of modern Expressionists who pioneered the use of paint as a medium of emotional intent. Wassily Kandinsky wrote in his Concerning the Spiritual in Art, “[C]olour is a power which directly influences the soul. Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.” With the aide of these influences and a new intent, brush and pen strokes inspire into higher frequencies. By using the template of physical landscape, the painting acts as quantum physics experiment, whose outcome is affect by the viewer, evolving into an ever-expanding, co-created dreamscape. This work signifies a step beyond the stream-of-consciousness, parable-poetry that first housed her voice; The future recalling a time before semiotics and language took over the mind.
    • Life on the Hudson, A Shad's-Eye View: MFA Thesis - Painting and Drawing

      Miller, Edward Bear (2016-05)
      The four canvases in the thesis exhibition interweave my notions of river life and human consciousness. They demonstrate a love for oil painting and the history of art while calling into question aesthetic conventions and conceptual assumptions regarding the divisions between nature and culture. I employ images of the Beacon Bridge, a rowboat, ancient Greco-Roman sculpture, river deities, swimming human forms, shad, sturgeon, and pigeons. Brought together, they carry the viewer from the river’s bottom (where sturgeon dwell), up the bridge’s piling, pier, and trussing. Transitions between the fish realm underwater and human realm on land are fluid. History, memory, fantasy, and projections of the future comingle in a mash-up of ancient, archetypal obsessions and urgent contemporary concerns.