This year’s annual Wendy Sussman Memorial Prize in Painting features the work of undergraduate Art Practice majors Erik Bender, Jerome Rivera Pansa, and Weston Smith, selected for their outstanding achievement in painting.
Erik Bender, SORRY JOHNNY, 2017. Oil, Acrylic, Pigment and Joint Compound on Panel. 24″ x 24″.
Erik Bender intersects drawing, painting and sculpture to depict figures in tense situations. Influenced by graffiti and cartooning, he makes marks using decisive gestures that simplify things into bold shapes, and repetition of specific forms and subjects to create a dialogue between works. Figures are compressed by the spaces they inhabit, with body parts and objects indistinguishably overlapped into tightly packed compositions. Bender’s work confronts structures of sociopolitical power and their effects. Dynamics of authority and oppression, toxic masculinity and threats of violence from the big, bad men with guns are undermined and ridiculed through an uncanny and often humorous personal visual language. Born and raised in the Bay Area, Bender has exhibited work at various local spaces and is currently attaining his BA in Art Practice at UC Berkeley.
Jerome Rivera Pansa, Intersection, 2016. Oil on canvas and collected materials, 67.5″ x 95″, installation components variable.
Jerome Rivera Pansa creates works in painting and sculpture facilitating/curating material agency of objects and subjects. Working with collected materials, and sourced imagery, he opens a platform for intersecting conversations and connection potential by arranging objects in lieu of one another.
Weston Smith, In a different room, 2017. Oil on canvas, 9″ x 12″.
Weston Smith is a California based artist working primarily in painting. He is interested in the role of objects and the subject through extended process and what exists alongside the place and moment of possibility, where they all intermingle.
Please join us for an Opening Reception on Wednesday, March 8th from 4 – 7 pm at the Worth Ryder Art Gallery!
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The Wendy Sussman Prize in Painting is awarded to outstanding undergraduate painters in memory of figurative painter and inspirational professor Wendy Sussman who taught at Berkeley from 1989 until her untimely death in 2001.
Wednesday, March 8th – Thursday, March 23rd, 2017
Opening Reception: Wednesday, March 8th, 4 – 7 pm **
Worth Ryder Art Gallery, 116 Kroeber Hall, UC Berkeley Campus
Gallery Hours: Monday through Thursday, 12 – 5 pm
Free, Accessible, and Open to the Public
Carpet Matches Drapes
Installation by : Hannah Clevenger, Hannah de Vries, Nicki Green, Joseph Fajnor, Kristen Fantozzi , Taylor Harvey, Jacqueline Holben, Alicia Lemus, Linden Julien-Lehr, Isabella Manfredi, Stefanie McGinnis, nahkoura , Mel Nothern, Lauren Ouye, Jerome Pansa, Alexandra Pink, Katie Revilla, Lucy Stark
Second Hand Linoleum
Actions by: Yiran Chen, Belinda Cortez, Emmanuel Flores, Sunwoo Kim, Amanda Kachadoorian, Xiao Li, Laura Lim, Kenneth Liu, Natalie Madden, A.J. Parry, Christopher Sauceda, Yukun Zhang, Marisa Zuk
** Performances during the Opening Reception on Wednesday 3/8 will start at 4:30pm. There will be additional performances at 1:30pm on Thursday 3/9. Tuesday 3/14, Thursday 3/16, Tuesday 3/21, and Thursday 3/23.
There’s much talk in the air from both sides of the political spectrum about “revolution.” In the Department of Art Practice, we are examining what it means for artists to “revolve” around a complex of ideas and practices, how we change and act upon these, and how these “small revolutions” extend outwards. Each lecture this semester will visit some of these urgent questions of how to think, be, and act in the contemporary world.
Monday, March 13, 6:30pm
BAMPFA (Berkeley Art Museum)
jackie sumell is a New Orleans-based multidisciplinary artist and activist whose work interrogates the abuses of the American criminal justice system. She is best known for her collaborative project with Angola 3 member Herman Wallace entitled Herman’s House/The House that Herman Built (2006–present), a multifaceted project that uses architectural drawings, digital and built models, text, photographs, correspondence, and lectures to explore the practice of solitary confinement in US prisons. She has produced numerous public installations engaging questions of social justice, community, and race, including her recent Solitary Gardens project. She is a recipient of numerous fellowships and awards including, in 2013, the Soros Justice Fellowship and, in 2016, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Artist as Activist Award.
This talk is co-sponsored by The Black Room, the English Department, and the Townsend Center for the Humanities at UC Berkeley.
Mark Brest Van Kempen
Monday, April 10, 7pm
20 Barrows Hall
Oakland, California-based visual artist Mark Brest van Kempen’s award-winning public art projects, exhibitions and performances recreate and reveal our complex relationship with the landscape. His “Free Speech Monument” is a public artwork located at UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza in which a six inch column of land and airspace are legally rede ned as not being a part of any nation, state or city therefore no laws are applicable within the small space. This challenging artwork has been activated for gatherings and public protests alike, becoming a living memorial for a concept frought with negotiation and contestation.
Monday, April 17, 7pm
20 Barrows Hall
Artist and activist Ashley Hunt uses video, photography, mapping and writing to engage social movements, modes of learning and public discourse. Among his interests are structures that allow people to accumulate power and those which keep others from getting power, while learning from the ways people come to know, respond to and conceive of themselves within these structures. This has included investigations into the prison system, the demise of welfare state institutions, war and disaster capitalism, documentary representations and political activism. He is the Director of the Program in Photography and New Media at CalArts.
Jose Joaquin Figueroa
Awardee of the Sam Francis Fellowship for the 2016 Headlands Residency
Monday, April 24, 7pm
20 Barrows Hall
Caracas-born multi-disciplinary artist Jose Joaquin Figueroa states, “My work systematically chronicles my complex identity, with the goal of deconstructing basic epistemological categories that separate the aesthetic from the everyday, the sacred from the profane. I look at the repetitive gestures embedded in folklore, religion and ideology through various means of expression from painting, ceramics, photography, video and performance to interviews, collaborations, texts, relics and ready-mades. I position myself as a shaman who seeks to unveil the masks of history.” He received his MFA in Art Practice from UC Berkeley in 2016.
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Since 1998, The UC Berkeley Department of Art Practice Wiesenfeld Visiting Artist Lecture Series has provided an opportunity for students and members of the community to learn about the work of renowned contemporary artists from the local, national, and international arts community.