The Zilkha Gallery held its second senior Art Studio thesis reception on Wednesday, April 12, showcasing the works of seniors Cam Arkin, Jiaqi Maria Ma, Silas Newman, Sarah Prickett, and Lydia Tonkonow. This week’s projects demonstrated an even wider variety of genre, concept, scope, and execution than last week’s group, spanning from a towering four-towered structure to intricately detailed paintings.
Cam Arkin’s “Potential Action” featured a series of contemporary-style gradient paintings that consisted of overlapping geometric shapes. The piece is captivating, drawing viewers in through playful colors and a dynamism that emanate from the canvases.
Jiaqi Maria Ma chose to reexamine her home city of Beijing in an eponymously named series of paintings, a group of large-scale works that featured scenes of the city, ranging from small intimate alleyways to broader views of Beijing.
“I’m from Beijing, and most of my time spent here in the States hasn’t allowed me to reflect on the changes that have been taking place there,” Ma said. “Pursuing this project was an opportunity to relive my time in the city and also explore those changes.”
Ma also toys with the implementation of red outlined figures overlaid on top of the background scenery, which according to her, are intended to bring out the spatial structure of the paintings as entire images.
“A Succession of Little Things,” Silas Newman’s sculpture piece, takes up the most three-dimensional space in the back of the room. The freestanding sculpture comprises four structures made from stacked tubes that resemble paper towel rolls. Viewers can stand behind one of these structures and obtain a partially occluded perspective of the room, as well as the remaining three structures.
In the most open-ended of pieces, Sarah Prickett’s “Breach” contains a series of large drawings and sculptures that leave interpretation up to the viewers. The individual pieces, which all take on a black-and-white marble composition, are each an exploration of the relationship between abstraction and movement.
“It’s about the balance between the giving and denial of information,” noted Prickett. “It’s meant to be absorbed more than fully explained.”
Lydia Tonkonow’s “REMAINS” engages with the notion of the title as both a noun and verb—how “remains” can refer to things left behind and those which persist. Her paintings superimpose her own scenes of relic-related objects with those appropriated from well-known works in the field of art history.
“There’s something both fleeting and more permanent about these images, with the goal of inviting the viewer to travel into them,” said Tonkonow.
The works of all five artists will remain on view at Zilkha during regular hours of operation from April 11 to April 16, when the space will be gearing up for next week’s penultimate exhibition of senior art theses.
Next week’s reception, which will be held on April 19, will celebrate the works of four more senior art studio majors: Dylan Beckman, Harrison Carter, Elinor Case-Pethica, and Caren Ye.