August 20 – September 4, 2020

Rhode Island School of Design 2020 MFA Photography Show

Opening reception:
Thursday, August 20, 2020
2:00 – 7:00 p.m.

ClampArt is pleased to present an exhibition of the work created by the 2020 graduates of the RISD MFA Photography Program: Keavy-Handley Byrne, Lily Colman, Charlott Isobel Dazan, Jessina Leonard, Thomas Wilder, and Han Seok You.

The exhibition title is derived from the title of a photograph of a sleeping foal by artist Jessina Leonard. Most of Leonard’s images in the current show are from a convent in rural Germany, Kloster Helfta, where several women had spiritual visions in the late 13th century. The image of the young horse with the title is actually a photograph taken by the current prioress of the convent, Sister Christiane. As a child, she tried over and over again to take a picture of a sleeping horse—“an impossible task,” she explained, because horses always wake up when you get close to them. She finally thought she had done it and developed the print in her father’s darkroom, only to discover that the left ear of the sleeping foal was propped up, as if it had actually heard her and knew she was there all along. The title, “When I See the Left Ear I Think He Had Heard Me,” is the subject line of the email Sister Christiane sent to Leonard with a scan of the photograph.

The odd, awkward wording encapsulates the confusing, unsure times in which these 2020 graduates are landing. Yet, there is a glimmer of hope in the title as well, pointing toward the potential of art and artistic production in the realization of positive social change.

All of these artists have been guided in critiques and thesis committee meetings by a rich and diverse group of faculty and guests. Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa and Brian Ulrich have led the graduate group critique. Students benefited from individual and guest critiques from artists Nandita Raman, Paul Graham, and Will Wilson, among others; critics Ariel Goldberg, Whitney Hubbs, and Sharon Harper; and gallerist Brian Paul Clamp (ClampArt).

All graduates have completed a digital monograph and a portfolio of prints—now part of the RISD photo archive, which includes work by such former graduates as Bill Burke, Talia Chetrit, Jim Dow, Linda Connor, Emmet Gowin, David Benjamin Sherry, and Francesca Woodman, among many others.

Summer gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

This exhibition has been generously supported by Legion Paper, which supplied their Canson Baryta Prestige paper.

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