“Self-determination is the basis for any decolonial movement”: Candice Hopkins Interviewed in ArtReview about Indigenous Studies and Native Art Initiatives at Bard
Candice Hopkins (Carcross/Tagish First Nation) CCS ’03 recently joined Bard’s faculty as part of the College’s transformative initiatives in Native American and Indigenous studies, developed in partnership with Forge Project and supported by a $50 million endowment. Hopkins, CCS Bard Fellow in Indigenous Art History and Curatorial Studies and Forge Project’s executive director, speaks with Shanna Ketchum-Heap of Birds (Diné/Navajo) for ArtReview about Indigenous self-determination and the importance of this new collaboration between the Native-led arts and cultural organization Forge and Bard College. “We realized that we could attempt to enact quite radical institutional change through a partnership between Forge and Bard,” said Hopkins.
First Major U.S. Exhibition Dedicated to Brazilian Artist Erika Verzutti Surveys Artist’s Singular Practice Over 15 YearsMarking her first major institutional survey in the United States, Erika Verzutti: Oil Moon will spotlight the originality, intelligence, and material pleasure in the practice of São Paulo-based artist Erika Verzutti through over 60 sculptures and wall works from the past 15 years. The exhibition will introduce audiences to one of the most celebrated artists working in Brazil today, illuminating the many lines of inquiry—studies of art history, of being, of the natural world, and the cosmos—that converge and find new associations in Verzutti’s highly tactile creations. Curated by Lauren Cornell, Chief Curator at the Hessel Museum of Art and Director of the Graduate Program, the exhibition will be on view at CCS Bard’s Hessel Museum of Art from June 24 through October 15, 2023. Read More >>
Math Is Magic, Writes Camonghne Felix MFA ’24 in the AtlanticBard MFA student Camonghne Felix writes about how childhood trauma affected her cognition, disrupting her education and her sense of self. After seeking treatment for ADHD and bipolar disorder as an adult, she finally found her way back to her love of mathematics. “Losing my ability to learn and understand math represented the frailty of the human mind,” she writes, “but my ability to relearn it represents the mind’s innate resiliency.” The essay is adapted from Felix’s new memoir, Dyscalculia: A Love Story of Epic Miscalculation, published this month by Penguin Random House. Read More >>
Bard Graduate Programs in the News
Candice Hopkins (Carcross/Tagish First Nation) CCS ’03 recently joined Bard’s faculty as part of the College’s transformative initiatives in Native American and Indigenous studies, developed in partnership with Forge Project and supported by a $50 million endowment. Hopkins, CCS Bard Fellow in Indigenous Art History and Curatorial Studies and Forge Project’s executive director, speaks with Shanna Ketchum-Heap of Birds (Diné/Navajo) for ArtReview about Indigenous self-determination and the importance of this new collaboration between the Native-led arts and cultural organization Forge and Bard College. “We realized that we could attempt to enact quite radical institutional change through a partnership between Forge and Bard,” said Hopkins. “One of those involved naming: American Studies is now American and Indigenous Studies. There are cluster hires for faculty at all different levels, and scholarships (including living expenses) for Native students. There is also support for the recruitment of Native students, because Native students do not always know what opportunities are out there for them. And if they do not know then they are not going to apply. But if they also do not see themselves represented, people are going to feel really alienated when they come to a place.”
Hopkins notes that these College-wide initiatives, including the establishment of a Center for Indigenous Studies, were “built upon the good work that Bard was already doing with their Andrew W. Mellon grant called ‘Rethinking Place: Bard-on-Mahicantuck’. At the center of it was the question of ‘how do we make land acknowledgments actionable?’ because they have become often rote, performative and not based on real collaboration or community engagement.”
Announced in September 2022, these initiatives are having an immediate impact on Bard’s community and its undergraduate and graduate academic programs. “The intent was for this to be felt right away, and I am already seeing it happening. People are coming here; more Native folks are coming to teach and be engaged with postdoctoral students. It will be interesting to see what comes out of it and what students do, what impact that they make,” she said.
Hopkins, who currently advises and teaches at CCS Bard, will curate a major exhibition Indian Theater, opening June 24, 2023 at the Hessel Museum of Art.
Opening June 24 at CCS Bard’s Hessel Museum of Art, Erika Verzutti: Oil Moon Showcases Artist’s Distinctive Vocabulary of Recombining Dissimilar Elements to Create Hybrid Sculptural Forms
Marking her first major institutional survey in the United States, Erika Verzutti: Oil Moon will spotlight the originality, intelligence, and material pleasure in the practice of São Paulo-based artist Erika Verzutti through over 60 sculptures and wall works from the past 15 years. The exhibition will introduce audiences to one of the most celebrated artists working in Brazil today, illuminating the many lines of inquiry—studies of art history, of being, of the natural world, and the cosmos—that converge and find new associations in Verzutti’s highly tactile creations. Curated by Lauren Cornell, Chief Curator at the Hessel Museum of Art and Director of the Graduate Program, the exhibition will be on view at CCS Bard’s Hessel Museum of Art from June 24 through October 15, 2023.
The works presented reflect Verzutti’s practice of cross-pollinating organic structures with references to the art historical canon, newspaper headlines, and online phenomena, resulting in wholly new forms that evocatively coalesce figuration and abstraction. Materials such as stones, vegetables, and tropical plants from Brazil are cast and playfully recombined with allusions to Jeff Koon’s Gazing Ball series, Constantin Brâncuşi’s Endless Column, and other iconic works ranging from Picasso to Brazilian modernism to the Paleolithic. Breaking with these artistic lineages, Verzutti’s works often point to their own making by bearing the trace of the artist’s hand—sometimes even her fingertips. This physicality carries through in three-dimensional wall works that have been molded, painted, and sunken into, showcasing Verzutti’s technical skill and exploration of materials across a wide range of media.
“Continuing CCS Bard’s commitment to supporting the most experimental and inventive artistic practices, Erika Verzutti: Oil Moonspeaks to the boundless potential of cultivating an intimate conversation with the history of art,” said Tom Eccles, Executive Director of the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College. “The presentation of Erika Verzutti’s work continues CCS Bard’s innovative approach to monographic exhibitions by artists working in the international sphere.”
Cornell notes, “Taking its name from a 2020 wall relief that resembles the surface of the moon, Oil Moon reveals the creative facets of Verzutti’s practice, which can be likened to a cosmos, one that gravitationally rotates around core ideas and references—nature, culture, and art, among them—just as it explodes out into new forms and objects.”
Following a series of acclaimed solo exhibitions at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (2021), Nottingham Contemporary (2021), and at the Centre Pompidou (2019), Erika Verzutti: Oil Moon marks the first opportunity for American audiences to experience the artist’s work comprehensively in an institutional presentation. The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-color publication offering new scholarship on her practice with essays by Cornell, as well as curators Ruba Katrib (CCS Bard ‘07) and Bernardo Mosqueira (CCS Bard ‘21), and additional descriptive texts by Verzutti on individual artworks.
The exhibition opens with a selection of Verzutti’s wall reliefs, intimately scaled works that straddle between two and three dimensionality and that build upon a range of art historical references and inspirations. Highlights include Homeopatia Mondrian (2020) and Van Gogh with Eggs (2015), both of which recall the signature styles of the two iconic painters with egg-like shapes and impressions inserted, as if to nod to the fertile ground that history can provide for the creation of new work.
In the main exhibition gallery stands what the artist refers to as a “parade” of sculptures representing a cross-section of Verzutti’s practice since 2005. Cutting across various bodies or “families” of work, the installation features her small “Tarsila” bronzes that tease phallic sculptural shapes as well as stacked totems such as Egg Tower (2013) and Cocoa Tower (2021) that visualize the Modernist mandate to “cannibalize” cultural influences and precedents, a concept first articulated by Brazilian poet and polemicist Oswald de Andrade’s Anthropophagic Manifesto in 1928. Within this installation are also Verzutti’s iconic fruits and vegetables that take form as voluptuous bronze and concrete “Venuses”—reclaiming misogynistic tropes in celebration of erotic hunger.
Alongside these sculptures is a presentation of wall-reliefs from Verzutti’s cosmos series, including Oil Moon (2020), an oil on concrete work that resembles the moon’s surface as seen through a telescope, as well as Black Sun (2015), featuring an expressive white circle of wax upon a bronze background. In Marshmallow Amazonino (2019), a playful constellation of soft marshmallow-like forms hover above a bronze plane, which references in part a sculptural series by fellow Brazilian artist Ligia Pape inspired by aerial views of the Amazon.
Also on view is a special presentation of sculptures from the series “Brasilia,” marking a rare opportunity to experience multiple works from this family of work. Reflecting upon the dichotomies inherent in her home country, the series explores the violence and beauty of the capital city’s Modernist urbanization through the metaphorically sharp rind and supple interior of a spiny jackfruit.
About Erika Verzutti
Drawing upon a wide range of references, from pop culture and contemporary art to the natural world, Erika Verzutti creates highly tactile creations across media.
Verzutti’s work has been the focus of solo exhibitions at MASP – Museu de Arte de São Paulo (2021); Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham (2021); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2019); Aspen Art Museum, Aspen (2019); Pivô, São Paulo (2016); SculptureCenter, New York (2015); Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs (2014); and Centro Cultural São Paulo (2012). Select exhibitions include the 57th Venice Biennale (2017); 32nd Bienal de São Paulo (2016); 34th Panorama of Brazilian Art, Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (2015); 2013 Carnegie International, Pittsburgh (2013); 9th Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Alegre (2013); and the 11th Biennale de Lyon (2011). Her work is in the collections of Tate Modern, London; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo; and Pinacoteca do Estado, São Paulo, among others.
Verzutti was born in São Paulo in 1971, where she lives and works. She has a bachelor’s degree in industrial design from the Universidade Mackenzie (1991) and a master's degree in fine art at Goldsmiths College (London, UK, 2000). She is represented in the United States by Andrew Kreps Gallery, in Brazil by Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, in England by Alison Jacques, and in Japan by Misako and Rosen.
Ian Masters spoke with Pavlina Tcherneva, associate professor of economics at Bard College, research associate at the Levy Economics Institute, and author of The Case for a Job Guarantee (2020), on his nationally syndicated radio program Background Briefing. In the episode, “As Pundits Warn of Recession and Inflation, We Get the Best Economic News Since 1969,” Masters asks Tcherneva for her take on the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report, which added 517,000 jobs in January 2023 and stunned most economists and people who continue to harbor a doomsday mentality about the economy.
According to Tcherneva, two years after the COVID-induced crisis, such good news about low unemployment levels tells us that “public policy has tools. It can act boldly, quickly and bring jobs back.” She points out, however, that these low unemployment numbers also reflect the 5.7 million people who are not looking for work, and 4 million people who are working part-time but would like to have full-time jobs.
“Part of the anxiety still being experienced in the labor market is that the jobs are there but they are not exactly these well-paying jobs with very good benefits and good working conditions. On that front, there is more to be accomplished. Let us remember our minimum wage is still $7.25, and no one can live on $7.25 an hour,” she asserts.
Tcherneva sees the big fiscal policies implemented over the last two years by the Biden administration, which do not overly focus on the financial sector or prioritize tax cuts for the wealthy, as all good news. Still, she advocates for more economic progress. “The question for me is did we come out of the pandemic with better jobs, better conditions for working families than we had going into the pandemic?”
16 Exhibitions Organized by CCS Bard’s Graduating Class Explore the Central Influence of Memory, History, and Heritage on Artistic Practice
On view April 1 through May 28, 2023 at CCS Bard’s Hessel Museum of Art, Rising and Sinking Again debuts 16 curatorial projects that examine the transmission of personal and collective histories, cultural knowledge, and identity in the practices of over 60 artists. Distinct in theme and focus, each exhibition is independently curated by a member of CCS Bard’s graduating class and culminates in rigorous, multi-year research and collaborations with artists, writers, scholars, and other contributors.
Anchored in critic and curator Cuauhtémoc Medina’s reflections on the meaning of the ‘contemporary,’ Rising and Sinking Again brings into focus the recursive nature of the present as being shaped by and responding to the after-effects of what came before. Featuring a diversity of media, the exhibitions range from explorations into the inheritance and reinforcement of marginalized identities in pop culture; cultural practices that are passed down or interrupted; to the uncovering of past secrets toward a more equitable future.
“The students’ shared method of confronting timely issues by examining their layers of historical sediment exemplifies the mission of CCS Bard as an incubator of critical thinking and creative action,” said Lauren Cornell, Chief Curator of the Hessel Museum of Art and Director of the Graduate Program at CCS Bard. “The sensitive research and invigorating perspectives expressed in Rising and Sinking Again gives insight into key artistic practices and social issues.”
The graduate exhibition is a core component of CCS Bard’s master’s program, which grants each graduating student the opportunity to conduct original research into emerging artists’ practices and to engage with CCS Bard’s extensive archives and the Marieluise Hessel Collection. Past student-curated exhibitions have served as springboards for artists in the earliest stages of their careers, deep scholarship into historic movements and tendencies, and as the basis for ongoing curatorial investigations by CCS Bard graduates at other leading museums, galleries, and arts organizations around the world.
CCS Bard Graduate Students Curatorial Statements
The 16 exhibitions that comprise Rising and Sinking Again are organized by CCS Bard’s graduating class of 2023: Katherine C. M. Adams, Zehra Begüm Kışla, Marina Caron, María Carri, Liv Cuniberti, Leo Cocar, Rachel Horvath-Eboh, Mary Kathryn Fellios, Jiwon Geum, Abel González Fernández, Kyle Herrington, Claire Kim, Sidney Pettice, Ursula Pokorny, Olivia Rodrigues, and Calvin Wang.Exhibition descriptions follow below in alphabetical order by curator’s last name.
Full curatorial statements are linked in the exhibition titles.
Boundary Monuments Dissolve
Featured artists: Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Jia-Jen Lin, Christopher Meerdo, Naomi Nakazato, and Amina Ross
Curated by Katherine C. M. Adams
Boundary Monuments Dissolve features artists who employ digital-imaging techniques to unearth aesthetic and political turbulence within contested terrains. Registering seemingly immaterial forces across boundaries, the exhibition brings together new work by the duo Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme and recent artworks by Jia-Jen Lin, Christopher Meerdo, Naomi Nakazato, and Amina Ross.
Featured projects: Silent University and unitednationsplaza
Curated by Zehra Begüm Kışla
Extended Structures surveys the work of Silent University (SU), initiated by artist Ahmet Öğüt, and unitednationsplaza, founded by artist Anton Vidokle, through a presentation of documentary and archival materials. By pairing these two distinct education projects, the exhibition intends to frame the method of “instituent practices,” or practices that seek to confront institutions not through sharp opposition but rather through the logic of extension and negotiation.
Bettina: The Fifth Point of the Compass
Featured artist: Bettina Grossman
Curated by Marina Caron
From 1977 to 1984, artist Bettina Grossman—who went by her first name only—documented the flow of pedestrians on New York’s 23rd Street. She shot over 8,000 35mm color slides from her apartment balcony at the Chelsea Hotel, categorizing the images as “deliveries,” “joggers,” “umbrellas,” and more. Her series, The Fifth Point of the Compass, New York from A to Z, studies in random constant, demographics of 23rd street, is comprised of nearly 1,100 slides. Presented for the first time in its entirety, the series forms the exhibition’s centerpiece and is shown alongside related works and archival material.
Featured artists: Thañí weavers, Andrei Fernández, and Demóstenes Toribio García
Curated by María Carri
Silät presents a selection of new textiles produced by Thañi—an organization of Indigenous women weavers of the Wichí people from the communities of Santa Victoria Este, in the province of Salta, in Argentina. Standing as a form of collective memory, Thañí’s work emphasizes the inextricable connection between Wichís and their surrounding world and highlights how this worldview frames their sovereignty and their historical claims for their territory. The exhibition is accompanied by the first publication dedicated to the Thañí’s weavers featuring texts in various
dialects of the Wichí language with Spanish and English translations.
An Anathema Strikes the Flesh of the Laborer
Featured artist: Harry Gould Harvey IV
Curated by Leo Cocar
This solo exhibition of Harry Gould Harvey IV takes up the industrial history of Harvey’s hometown of Fall River, Massachusetts, as well as his personal spiritual leanings through a presentation of multimedia sculptures and an accompanying publication. An Anathema Strikes the Flesh of the Laborer also presents a social and historical account of Fall River, routed through archival material and ephemera, using the city to think through a larger neglected history of Christian theology and leftist politics in dialogue with Harvey’s work.
Featured artist: Sarah Rapson
Curated by Liv Cuniberti
This solo exhibition of Sarah Rapson focuses on the artist’s video works as a way to consider the many facets of Rapson’s multidisciplinary practice, which incorporates painting, sculpture, drawing, collage, works on paper, audio, and video.
Featured artists: Nina Valerie Kolowratnik and Hương Ngô
Curated by Rachel Horvath-Eboh
Open Secret exhibits the research-driven work of artist Hương Ngô and architect Nina Valerie Kolowratnik and explores theirinvestigations into secrecy as a tool to advocate for more equitable distributions of power. Collectively, the works reveal how an effective secret is not necessarily fully hidden.
Shapeshifting: Or, Synonyms for Skin
Featured artists: Anna-Sophie Berger, Nicola Costantino, Hannah Levy, Karinne Smith, and Rosemarie Trockel
Curated by Mary Kathryn Fellios
Shapeshifting: Or, Synonyms for Skin is a group exhibition that engages the deep politics of superficial play through motifs of self-adornment, looking specifically at the socialization of meaning that occurs at the physical meeting of clothing and its carrier. Processes and products of ornamentation take on, in the featured artists’ bodies of work, skins of their own.
Right to Mother
Featured artists: 업체eobchae, Kyuri Jeon, Hyojae Kim, and TZUSOO
Curated by Jiwon Geum
To what degree do women and nonbinary people have control over their bodies and their futures? This question takes on a particular inflection in South Korea, a nation whose government has made combating declining birthrates a national priority. Right to Mother features digitally inflected imaginations by three artists and one collective that expand and challenge traditional ideas around reproduction and birth.
Ya nada es como antes
Featured artists: Kevin Ávila, Bad Bunny, Liz Cohen, David Cordero, Luis Gispert, Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, and Joiri Minaya
Curated by Abel González Fernández
The works in Ya nada es como antes (Nothing is as it used to be) explores depictions of the Latinx experience through hypercommodified symbols like cars, the sexualized body, and adornment such as jewelry. Revolving around the figure of reggaeton star Bad Bunny, the exhibition illuminates the complex interchanges between artistic practice and pop culture in a postcolonial context.
Meet Me in the Middle of Nowhere
Featured artists: Tom Burr, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Jordan Ramsey Ismaiel, Jacolby Satterwhite, and Keioui Keijaun Thomas
Curated by Kyle Herrington
Meet Me in the Middle of Nowhere foregrounds the concept of “nowhere” as spaces of queer refuge and world-building. In presenting artworks that interpret, engage, and construct these sites, this exhibition situates “nowhere” as a conduit for poignant explorations of queer possibility and futurity.
Featured artists and poets: Natalie Diaz, Jasmine Gibson, Laurie Kang, Jeneen Frei Njootli, Esteban Ramón Pérez, and Jennif(f)er Tamayo
Curated by Claire Kim
Focusing on labor practices that are passed down between generations, Memory Work explores the ways that artists call on familial materials to forge connections with ancestral memory, land, and work. The exhibition features works by Laurie Kang, Jeneen Frei Njootli, and Esteban Ramón Pérez, shown alongside poetry by Natalie Diaz, Jasmine Gibson, and Jennif(f)er Tamayo.
Gorgeous, Thrilling, Spectacle
Featured artists: LaKela Brown, Ayanna Nayo, and Polo Silk
Curated by Sidney Pettice
Gorgeous, Thrilling, Spectacle analyzes the ways in which Black self-expression is deeply connected to aspects of care, glamor, camp, congregation, and resistance to surveillance. The exhibition addresses these dynamic relationships through the act of adornment and ornamentation, highlighting the ways that the practice of decorating one’s space and body is done with profound intention, borne out of an awareness of the spectral gaze that the Black body is subject to within public space.
Featured artists: Carmen Barradas, Roma Cortina, Proyecto Deatres, Lucas Scandinavia, Gabriel Sierra, Probject (Manuel Raeder, Rodolfo Samperio), and Joaquín Torres-García
Curated by Ursula Pokorny
Some 20th-century artist homes and studios that have opened to the public hold a tension between preserving the historical space and presenting the daily life once lived there, in all its peculiarity. Fuga explores how the experience of such spaces can be translated into an exhibition by bringing together diverse contributions from Latin American artists, designers, and educators such as Carmen Barradas, Gabriel Sierra, Probject (Manuel Raeder, Rodolfo Samperio), Proyecto Deatres, and Joaquín Torres-García.
No Jokes Allowed
Featured artists: Alex Forrest, Rachel Harrison, Tala Madani, Lisi Raskin, Elaine Sturtevant, Alex Tatarsky, Ikechukwu Ufomadu,and Ry Rocklen
Curated by Olivia Rodrigues
No Jokes Allowed examines humorlessness and uncanny comedy as a tactic in art across sculpture, painting, and performance. Featuring works from the Marieluise Hessel Collection by Rachel Harrison, Tala Madani, Lisi Raskin, Elaine Sturtevant, and Ry Rocklen alongside performance by Ikechukwu Ufomadu, Alex Forrest, and Alex Tatarsky, the project calls attention to unsteady power relationships between institution, performer, and audience.
The Hoarder of Things
Featured artists: Yuji Agematsu, Nobutaka Aozaki, and Mimi Park
Curated by Calvin Wang
A can of corn purchased repeatedly, a stack of corresponding receipts, a map of smaller maps. A dirty Q-tip, a fishbone, the plastic wrapper from a pack of cigarettes. A button, a piece of string, a small robot. The Hoarder of Things investigates artistic practices that involve acts of collecting and accumulating quotidian materials.
Opening on February 11, renowned opera singer and recitalist Stephanie Blythe has dual upcoming roles in “The Puccini Duo,” San Diego Opera’s production of two one-act operas by Puccini. Blythe, a mezzo-soprano, will first sing a deeper contralto as the Principessa in Suor Angelica. She will then step into the title role of Gianni Schicchi in the baritone range traditionally assigned to a male singer. “I’m attracted to projects that allow me to explore different passions and transitions in my life. I think ‘transition’ is one of the most important words for any artist,” said Blythe in her interview with Broadway World. “Voices change from the moment you start singing. It’s never the same—from one day, one year, one decade to the next. It’s part of the body, and so affected by intellectual, physical, and spiritual change. And that has to be accepted.”
Blythe is artistic director of Bard’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program, an appointment she adores. “I feel like my soul is fed every day I work with students and young artists, and especially the singers and pianists. They are so enterprising and have so many interests,” she said. “They don’t want to play concerts just to check academic boxes. There’s a thought-out reason based on who they are and what they want to say, and I think that’s marvelous.”
Bard College Assistant Professor of Dance Souleymane Badolo and MFA alum in Music/Sound and American and Indigenous Studies Program faculty member Kite (aka Suzanne Kite MFA ’18) have won 2023 Creative Capital “Wild Futures: Art, Culture, Impact” Awards, which will fund the creation of experimental, risk-taking projects that push boundaries formally and thematically, venturing into wild, out-there, never-before-seen concepts, and future universes real or imagined.
Creative Capital awarded 50 groundbreaking projects—comprising 66 individual artists—focused on Technology, Performing Arts, and Literature, as well as Multidisciplinary and Socially Engaged forms. Souleymane Badolo (with Jacob Bamogo) won an award in Dance. Kite won an award in Technology. Awardees will receive varying amounts up to $50,000 in direct funding to help finance their projects and build thriving artistic careers. The award provides a range of grant services from industry connections and financial planning to peer mentorship and community-building opportunities. Grant funding is unrestricted and may be used for any purpose to advance the project, including, but not limited to, studio space, housing, groceries, staffing, childcare, equipment, computers, and travel. The combined value of the 2023 Creative Capital Awards totals more than $2.5 million in artist support.
“The 2023 Creative Capital cohort reaffirms the unpredictable and radical range of ideas alive in the arts today—from artists working in Burkina Faso to Cambodia and across the United States. We continue to see our democratic, open-call grantmaking process catalyze visionary projects that will influence our communities, our culture, and our environment,” said Christine Kuan, Creative Capital President Executive Director.
The Creative Capital grant is administered through a national open call, a democratic process involving external review of thousands of applications by international industry experts, arts administrators, curators, scholars, and artists. The 2023 grantee cohort comprises 75% BIPOC artists, representing Asian, Black or African American, Latinx, Native American or Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and Middle Eastern-identified artists; 10% of artists identify as having a disability; and 59% of artists identify as women, gender nonconforming, or nonbinary. The cohort includes emerging, mid-career, and established artists between the ages of 25 and 69. The artists are affiliated with all regions of the United States and its territories, as well as artists based in Cambodia, Burkina Faso, Germany, and Japan.
Kite also won a 2023 United States Artists Fellowship in Media. The award honors her creative accomplishments and supports her ongoing artistic and professional development. Kite is one of 45 USA Fellows across 10 creative disciplines who will receive unrestricted $50,000 cash awards. USA Fellowships are awarded to artists at all stages of their careers and from all areas of the country through a rigorous nomination and panel selection process. Fellowships are awarded in the following disciplines: Architecture & Design, Craft, Dance, Film, Media, Music, Theater & Performance, Traditional Arts, Visual Art, and Writing. Learn more about USA Fellowships here.
Souleymane ‘Solo’ Badolo is a Brooklyn-based dancer, choreographer, and founder of the Burkina Faso–based troupe Kongo Ba Téria, which fuses traditional African dance with Western contemporary dance. A native of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Badolo began his professional career with the African dance company DAMA. He has also performed with Salia nï Seydou and the National Ballet of Burkina Faso, and worked with French choreographers Elsa Wolliaston and Mathilde Monnier. Badolo and Kongo Ba Téria are featured in the documentary Movement (R)evolution Africa. He appeared in the 2015 BAM Next Wave Festival; has created solo projects for Danspace, New York Live Arts, Dance New Amsterdam, Harlem Stage, the 92nd Street Y, and New York’s River to River Festival; and was commissioned to create a dance for Philadanco as part of James Brown: Get on the Good Foot, which was produced by the Apollo Theater and toured nationally and internationally. He was nominated for a Bessie Award in 2011 as outstanding emerging choreographer, received the Juried Bessie Award in 2012, and a 2016 Bessie for Outstanding Production for his piece Yimbégré, which “gloriously communicated the clash and reconciliation of the different traditions held within one’s life, one’s body.” The Suitcase Fund of New York Live Arts has supported Badolo’s ongoing research in Africa. He graduated with an MFA from Bennington in June 2013. He has been on the Bard College faculty since 2017 and previously taught at the New School, Denison University, and Bennington College.
Kite aka Suzanne Kite is an Oglála Lakȟóta performance artist, visual artist, and composer raised in Southern California, with a BFA from CalArts in music composition, an MFA from Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School, and is a PhD candidate at Concordia University for the forthcoming dissertation, sound and video work, and interactive installation Hél čhaŋkú kiŋ ȟpáye (There lies the road). Kite’s scholarship and practice explores contemporary Lakota ontology through research-creation, computational media, and performance. Kite often works in collaboration, especially with family and community members. Her art practice includes developing Machine Learning and compositional systems for body interface movement performances, interactive and static sculpture, immersive video and sound installations, poetry and experimental lectures, experimental video, as well as co-running the experimental electronic imprint, Unheard Records. Her work has been featured in various publications, including the American Indian Culture and Research Journal, the Journal of Design and Science (MIT Press), with the award-winning article, “Making Kin with Machines”, and the sculpture Ínyan Iyé (Telling Rock) (2019) was featured on the cover of Canadian Art.
Mezzo-soprano, and Bard Graduate Vocal Arts Program Alumna, Sun-Ly Pierce VAP ’19, whose upcoming roles include Laurene Powell Jobs in Calgary Opera’s production of “The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs” and Arsamene in Handel’s “Xerxes” at Detroit Opera, is featured as this month's Sound Bite in Opera News. “I love Handel. I love early music. I really love contemporary opera,” says Pierce. “I love the challenge of making a new work as immediate as possible for people who've never heard it before. I love the idea of being able to put my fingerprint on it.” Opera News’ Sound Bites series spotlights up-and-coming singers and conductors in the world of opera.
Season Opens with Exhibitions Curated by CCS Bard’s Graduating ClassThe Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (CCS Bard) today unveiled its 2023 spring and summer exhibition lineup at the Hessel Museum of Art, highlighting the work of the next generation of curatorial practitioners advancing the field; the first large-scale presentation dedicated to the role of performance in contemporary Native American art; and a thought-provoking study of Erika Verzutti’s form-defying sculptural practice. Acclaimed for its experimental contemporary art programming, the Hessel Museum of Art is a critical platform for CCS Bard curatorial staff, faculty, students, and visiting scholars to contribute new narratives and approaches to exhibition-making.
The 2023 exhibitions span genre, geography, and art histories, reflecting the diverse scope and depth of curatorial inquiry that defines CCS Bard’s graduate program. The forthcoming season features a series of 16 graduate exhibitions independently curated by the graduating members of CCS Bard’s master’s program. It also inaugurates a major initiative in partnership with Forge Project to bring greater focus to Indigenous art scholarship and exhibition histories. Indian Theater (working title) posits a new origin for contemporary Native art, one rooted in 1960s experimental performance practices and featuring works by more than 30 artists, including new commissions. Opening in conjunction is Erika Verzutti: Oil Moon, which traverses the artist’s practice over a 15-year period of melding traditional and vernacular materials to create sculptural forms with rich associations spanning the historical to the philosophical.
“From performance activations in the galleries, to in-depth examinations of a single artist’s practice, the spring and summer season engages audiences with the role of contemporary art making in responding to our current moment through the lens of personal identity, history, and society,” said Tom Eccles, Executive Director, CCS Bard. “Building on our mission of cultivating curatorial thought leadership that breaks new ground, our goal is for the underrepresented narratives and new scholarship presented at the Hessel Museum to continue to have a life beyond its walls.”
More information on each exhibition follows below.
CCS Bard Class of 2023 Graduate Exhibitions
April 1 – May 28, 2023
A capstone of CCS Bard’s master’s program, the 2023 graduating class will present 16 exhibitions featuring new commissions, original narratives, and fresh readings on works and themes represented in the Hessel Collection. Each exhibition is independently curated by a member of CCS Bard’s graduating class, who began their study in Fall 2021, and is developed through the graduate program.
The exhibitions are organized by Katherine Adams, María Carri, Marina Caron, Leo Cocar, Liv Cuniberti, Rachel Eboh, Mary Fellios, Jiwon Geum, Abel Gonzalez, Kyle Herrington, Claire Kim, Zehra Begüm Kışla, Sidney Pettice, Ursula Pokorny, Olivia Rodrigues, and Calvin Wang. They are made possible with support from the Rebecca and Martin Eisenberg Student Exhibition Fund; the Mitzi and Warren Eisenberg Family Foundation; the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation; the Board of Governors of the Center for Curatorial Studies; the CCS Bard Exhibition Circle; and by the Center’s patrons, supporters, and friends. Additional support is provided by the OSUN Center for Human Rights & the Arts at Bard for select exhibitions.
Indian Theater (working title)
June 24 – November 26, 2023
Indian Theater (working title) inaugurates Bard College’s Center for Indigenous Studies and will explore Native North American art through the framework of performance, abstraction, and material experimentation that emerged from the Institute of American Indian Arts’ theatre department in the late 1960s. The first large-scale exhibition of its kind to center performance as the origin point for contemporary Indigenous practice, Indian Theater (working title) will feature over 100 works that engage notions of sound and instrumentation, dress and adornment, and the body and its absence by artists representing a range of geographies and cultural viewpoints, including Dana Claxton (Lakota), Ishi Glinsky (Tohono O’odham), Jeneen Frei Njootli (Vuntut Gwitchin), and James Luna (Payómkawichum, Ipai, and Mexican), among many others. The exhibition features key selections from Forge Project’s lending collection, archival materials, and newly commissioned activations by Rebecca Belmore (Anishinaabe) and Eric-Paul Riege (Diné).
Curated by Candice Hopkins (Carcross/Tagish First Nation), Forge Project’s Executive Director and CCS Bard Fellow in Indigenous Art History and Curatorial Studies, this major exhibition celebrates the partnership established in 2022 with Forge Project to provide dedicated programming on key topics and methods in Native American and Indigenous studies throughout the Bard network. Indian Theater (working title) will be accompanied in the fall by the release of the first publication dedicated to the evolution of Native North American performance in contemporary art over the past 60 years, with newly commissioned essays and reprints of critical texts by leading Indigenous scholars and artists.
Indian Theater (working title) is made possible by the Teiger Foundation and The Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation. The exhibition is also made possible through the Bard College’s American and Indigenous Studies endowment, generously supported by the Gochman Family Foundation, George Soros, and the Open Society Foundations.
Erika Verzutti: Oil Moon
June 24 – October 15, 2023
This solo exhibition will spotlight the originality, intelligence, and material pleasure in the singular practice of Brazilian artist Erika Verzutti through a survey of sculpture and wall works from over the past 15 years.
Many lines of inquiry—studies of art history, of being, of the natural world, and the cosmos—underlie Verzutti’s practice. Dissimilar elements are often combined in her works which hang evocatively between figuration and abstraction. Allusions to human, animal, and plant life merge with references to architects and artists such as painter Tarsila do Amaral, landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx, and sculptor Constantin Brâncuşi, among many more. Yet, unlike the fixed lineages and styles she references, Verzutti’s distinctive forms often point to their own making by revealing the trace of her hand—sometimes even her fingerprints. Presented alongside a new book, Verzutti’s featured works open paths to consider the material possibilities for art’s form while broaching questions related to process, history, and “the indiscipline of sculpture.”
Erika Verzutti was born in São Paulo in 1971, where she lives and works. She has a bachelor’s degree in industrial design from the Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie (1991) and a master's degree in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College (London, UK, 2000). She has had solo exhibitions at MASP – Museu de Arte de São Paulo (2021); Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham (2021); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2019); Aspen Art Museum, Aspen (2019); Pivô, São Paulo (2016); SculptureCenter, New York (2015); Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs (2014); and Centro Cultural São Paulo (2012). Select exhibitions include the 57th Venice Biennale (2017); 32nd Bienal de São Paulo (2016); 34th Panorama of Brazilian Art, Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (2015); 2013 Carnegie International, Pittsburgh (2013); 9th Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Alegre (2013); and the 11th Biennale de Lyon (2011). Her work is in the collections of Tate Modern, London; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo; and Pinacoteca do Estado, São Paulo, among others.
The exhibition is curated by Lauren Cornell, Chief Curator of the Hessel Museum of Art and Director of the Graduate Program at CCS Bard.
2023 Spring and Summer Season Organization
Exhibitions at CCS Bard and the Hessel Museum of Art are made possible with generous support from Lonti Ebers, the Marieluise Hessel Foundation, the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, the Board of Governors of the Center for Curatorial Studies, the CCS Bard Exhibition Circle, and the Center’s Patrons, Supporters, and Friends.
American classical singer Julia Bullock VAP ’11 released Walking in the Dark, her debut solo album, on December 9, 2022, on Nonesuch Records. NPR named the album one of the “10 Best Classical Albums of 2022" and listed it as number 14 on the “Top 50 Albums of 2022.” “Soprano Julia Bullock's affecting solo debut, with its breathtaking spin on a deep cut by the enigmatic Connie Converse and a sublime rendition of Samuel Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915, traces the tenuous connections individuals share with one another and their own senses of purpose on earth,” writes NPR Music producer Tom Huizenga.
Deepening its partnership with Central European University (CEU), Bard College is pleased to announce a new option for graduate study. Students pursuing an MA in Global Studies will now have the option of receiving two degrees, one from Bard and one from CEU, through a unified course of study. This new collaboration between Bard College and CEU will allow for student mobility and distinct specialization opportunities. The program, which will initiate teaching during the fall of academic year 2023–24, is now accepting applications for its first class of students with a deadline of February 1, 2023.
“One aspect of the Bard/CEU collaboration that I find especially exciting is the genuinely global nature of this program, which I think sets it apart from others and creates fertile ground from which our students will generate new ideas and perspectives on international relations,” says Michelle Murray, associate professor of politics, chair of the Division of Social Studies, and faculty director of Bard’s MA in Global Studies.
On the occasion of the program’s launch, Murray adds, “Our close connection to the Open Society University Network will ensure we are able to recruit a diverse student body that brings a range of perspectives and experiences to the table. Taken all together, this really is a program intentionally designed to prepare students to respond to the twenty-first century’s most challenging global problems with creativity and rigor.”
Students pursuing an MA in Global Studies through Bard may choose to begin in Vienna, studying international relations at CEU. For the spring term, students move to Bard’s program in New York City, where they complete coursework and an internship with an organization working on global affairs. At the program’s conclusion, students submit a capstone project. The program’s curriculum places at its center the theory-practice nexus, equipping students with a sophisticated set of theoretical and conceptual tools and practical experiences. Students interested in this track must submit applications to both CEU’s one-year program in international relations and Bard’s MA in Global Studies.
For more information and to apply, please visit bard.edu/ma-global-studies or register for an informational webinar on December 20 at 9:00 am EST.
New York Times art critic Roberta Smith reviews the Bard Graduate Center’s current exhibit, Threads of Power: Lace From the Textilmuseum St. Gallen, as a critic’s pick. “In the galleries and its exemplary catalog, Threads of Power examines this textile’s development and technologies, its economic inequities and its role as status symbol among secular and ecclesiastical elites, as well as its seductive beauty,” writes Smith. “Accompanied by portraits of lace-wearing notables, it ranges from the early 1600s forward, starting with samplers, borders and collars, through the opulence of Spanish and French court dress to a phalanx of 21st-century haute couture.” Threads of Power: Lace From the Textilmuseum St. Gallen is on view at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery in New York City until January 1, 2023.
Dean of Bard Conservatory Tan Dun has been appointed Hong Kong’s ambassador for cultural promotion. As the ambassador, Tan will initiate large-scale art projects and invite local artists to promote international cultural exchanges. “To me, Hong Kong is one of the most multicultural cities,” says Tan. “The exchange of different kinds of culture is flourishing in this metropolis, where East meets West.” His five-year appointment begins on January 1, 2023.
The Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (CCS Bard) announced today that Adriano Pedrosa, Artistic Director of Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (MASP), will receive the 2023 Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence. The award, which is accompanied by a $25,000 prize, recognizes the achievements of a distinguished curator whose innovative thinking, bold vision, and dedicated service has made a significant contribution to the landscape of exhibition-making today.
The curatorial achievements of this year’s awardee cover multiple continents and span over two decades of practice. Since joining MASP, Pedrosa has redefined the institution’s program with groundbreaking exhibitions that reexamine Brazilian art histories. His inventive curatorial approach has catalyzed thought-provoking, layered narratives that put the past in dialogue with contemporary issues.
Pedrosa will be honored at CCS Bard’s spring 2023 gala celebration and dinner on Monday, April 3, 2023. The event, which is chaired by the CCS Bard Board of Governors, will be held in New York City at The Lighthouse at Pier 61.
“As embodied in his trailblazing Histórias exhibition series, Adriano Pedrosa’s commitment to amplifying and recontextualizing works that address pressing themes of our time has engaged new audiences in São Paulo’s critical arts dialogue. His work fosters the highest social and civic values of the visual arts, contributing new perspectives that propel the entire field forward,” said Tom Eccles, Executive Director, CCS Bard.
“It is an honor to receive this award, undoubtedly the most prestigious one in the curatorial field,” said Pedrosa. “I am grateful for those who have supported me and those from which I’ve learned over the years throughout many projects and conversations, particularly at MASP, as well as those who have challenged me to rethink my work—artists, curators, and other colleagues and friends. I am happy and humbled to be alongside so many esteemed colleagues, especially as the first South American and the first curator based in the Southern Hemisphere.”
About Adriano Pedrosa
Adriano Pedrosa has served as the Artistic Director of Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (MASP) since 2014. His arrival marked a significant shift in the museum’s curatorial program and the revival of architect Lina Bo Bardi’s original 1968 exhibition design. Mining the museum’s holdings of 17th-, 18th-, and 19th-century artworks, Pedrosa reinstalled the permanent collection using updated versions of Bo Bardi’s glass and concrete easels. Being able to approach these works at any angle has encouraged visitors to chart their own path through the galleries, opening up pluralistic meanings and connections that are often obscured by traditional, chronological displays. The reinstallation provided the foundation for Pedrosa’s pioneering exhibition series Histórias, which launched in 2016, under the theme of childhood, and went on to explore sexuality (2017), Afro-Atlantic histories (2018), women (2019), dance (2020), and Brazilian histories (2022).
Prior to MASP, Pedrosa was the curator in charge of exhibitions and collections at Pampulha Art Museum, Belo Horizonte (2000–03). He has curated numerous exhibitions including InSite_05, an initiative by the San Diego Museum of Art and the Tijuana Cultural Center (2005), the 31st Panorama of Brazilian Art at the Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo (2009), the 2011 Istanbul Biennial, and the São Paulo pavilion at the 9th Shanghai Biennale (2012). Pedrosa has served on the curatorial team for the 1998 and 2006 editions of the São Paulo Biennial. He was the artistic director of the 2nd Poly/Graphic Triennial of San Juan (2009).
Pedrosa has a degree in Law from the Rio de Janeiro State University, and a master's degree in Art and Critical Writing from the California Institute of the Arts. His work has been published in Artforum (New York), ArtNexus (Bogotá), Flash Art (Milan), Frieze (London), Mousse (Milan), and Parkett (Zurich), among others.
The growing field of sports sustainability is only about 15 years old, writes Bret McCormick for Sports Business Journal, and professionals find their way into those jobs from dozens of entry points. Aly Criscuolo, who graduated from Bard’s MBA in Sustainability program in 2019, is currently sustainability and corporate social responsibility director for New York Road Runners (NYRR), a running nonprofit that organizes several activities and races, including the New York City marathon since 1970. Criscuolo’s capstone project for Bard focused on making triathlons more sustainable, and now she leads NYRR’s efforts to make their races, as well as its internal functioning, more environmentally sustainable. “If I had walked into my role at New York Road Runners without that MBA experience, I would not have known what to do on my first day,” she said. “The education, the hands-on experience, walking in on Day One, I knew exactly where to begin, what my first six months would look like. I had the confidence as well, which I would not have had without the MBA.” As sustainability becomes more of a priority in the business world, higher education will need to meet the demand for more graduates with training and expertise in the field.
“Everybody loves a Toni Morrison, an Audre Lorde, a James Baldwin,” Bard alumna Xaviera Simmons ’05 said to the New York Times. “Books are fabulous, but you can’t stay in a book club or a reading circle or a listening stance and expect things to miraculously change.” Simmons’s new exhibition, Crisis Makes a Book Club, puts the question of the efficacy of reading groups as a means of accomplishing systemic change at the fore. At the center of the exhibition is “Align” (2022), a “40-foot-long wooden shedlike structure with phrases gradually coming into focus: ‘unlearning and undoing,’ ‘white-structured disasters,’ ‘commitment to transformation.’” The work, “both humorous and wholly serious,” was created in response to “a group of very wealthy, very influential and very seasoned white women in the arts, philanthropy, and academia” whom Simmons knew. Presented alongside “Align” are other works by Simmons, as well as the first solo museum show by Charisse Pearlina Weston, whose work also engages in themes of racial justice. Crisis Makes a Book Club is on display now through March 5, 2023, at Queens Museum.
Artist, publisher, and Bard College alumnus Paul Chan MFA ’03 has been named a 2022 MacArthur Fellow. "He draws on a wealth of cultural touchstones—from classical philosophy to modern literature, critical theory, and hip-hop culture—to produce works that respond to our current political and social realities,” the MacArthur Foundation says, “making those realities more immediately available to the mind for contemplation and critical reflection.” Chan’s work, which “[strives] to express humanity’s complexities and contradictions through an artistic practice that moves across media,” has been exhibited in the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Walker Art Center, the Guggenheim Museum, and others. Chan received the Bard College Alumni/ae Association’s Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters in 2021.
The MacArthur Fellowship is a no-strings-attached award to extraordinarily talented and creative individuals as an investment in their potential. There are three criteria for selection of MacArthur Fellows: exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishments, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work. Recipients may be writers, scientists, artists, social scientists, humanists, teachers, entrepreneurs, or those in other fields, with or without institutional affiliations. Although nominees are reviewed for their achievements, the fellowship is not a lifetime achievement award, but rather an investment in a person’s originality, insight, and potential.
MacArthur Fellows receive $800,000 stipends that are bestowed with no conditions; recipients may use the money as they see fit. Nominated anonymously by leaders in their respective fields and considered by an anonymous selection committee, recipients learn of their selection only when they receive a call from the MacArthur Foundation just before the public announcement.
Paul Chan received a BFA (1996) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA (2003) from Bard College. His work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at such national and international venues as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Drawing Center, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Schaulager, Basel. He is also the founder and publisher of Badlands Unlimited (established 2010). He received the Bard College Alumni/ae Association’s Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters in 2021.
Further ReadingBard Professor Sky Hopinka Named 2022 MacArthur Fellow
More about Paul Chan's Award from the MacArthur Foundation