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MFA Thesis Exhibition
January 17-29, 2006
Tisch and Koppelman Galleries


This exhibition is the second of four in an ongoing series of MFA thesis exhibitions shown annually at the Tufts University Art Gallery as part of the joint graduate degree program of Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

About the artists:

CANDICE IVY
"Places, places are still there. If a house burns down, it's gone, but the place — the picture of it — stays and not just in my rememory, but out there, in the world."  -Toni Morrison, Beloved
The subject of the installation, Murmur, is my grandmother, the history that created who she became in her life. It is not only her personal history, but an entire way of living inherited from the history of Southern culture, and established well before her time. By filming her subtle movements and gestures, I try to understand the whole of this history through one individual. In this installation, my great-grandmother's abandoned home, seen with time-lapse film, moves with the changing light throughout the course of the day. The experience is further enhanced by familiar sounds: conversations, the hum of the railroad, and birds.
Murrnur, 2005, dimensions variable, installation

 

HUGUETTE DESPAULT MAY
With this body of work I explore the twin issues of dominance and vulnerability. I have chosen imagery of knotted or twisted ropes to help me describe the felt but unarticulated visceral world of someone bound in the tension and power struggle that are the inevitable outgrowth of overwhelmingly imbalanced relationships. I use strategies such as distortion, exaggerated scale, a lexicon of marks, tones, and compositional placement to evoke the feelings of unease while simultaneously enticing the viewer to linger with the sensual qualities of surface and medium.
Impend, 2005, 96 x 100 inches, charcoal on paper
 

CHRISTOPHER MORGAN
My current artwork deals with the fundamental questions of existence, identity, and spiritual completeness. Rather than just focusing on the positive aspects, I'm making an attempt to widen the spectrum of what spiritual practice is, by acknowledging the role of frustrations, emotions, and delusions.
Untitled, 2005, 24 x 36 inches, monotype

   

GERALD ROJEK
My objective is to turn the formalist paradigm inside out so that decoration, texture, and plasticity can be figuratively emphasized in an attempt to make viewers more self-aware of the differential between self and object.
And so, I create paintings that come out of my historical interest in the struggle between the figure/ground relationships and a unified paint field. The paintings relate to a popular, contemporary vernacular through a tension of texture and surface. Whereas most late modernist works revel in discreteness via a totalizing edge-based paint field, in my work I allow the figure to pull off the surface in an attempt to emphasize the "brutality of fact." This phrase, used by the late painter Francis Bacon, points to the problem of overcoming the illustration of the human body and offers the possibility of "bringing the figurative thing up onto the nervous system." The duality forces the viewer into accepting the given physical qualities of the work while exploring the "imaginary" space without cognition.
The Placid Casual 2005, 38 x 48 inches, acrylic and gouached on primed jute

   

KAREN SCHIFF
My large-scale rubbings of the floor and ceiling of the Tufts gallery space reveal the conditions in which we look at art. The "white cube" — which began as an "empty" container — emerges full of geometries, subtle markings and lines of sight. These images also invite viewers to take a fresh look at the very space in which they stand.
Floor (study), 2005, 19 x 24 inches, graphite stick