2020 Tyler MFA Painting: Austen Camille, Julia Clift, Jay Hartmann, Kathryn Mecca, Alexandria Nazar, Chris Riddle, Olivia Sherman, Riley Strom, Warith Taha
Massey Klein Gallery and The Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University are pleased to announce 2020 Tyler MFA Painting, an exhibition featuring the work of Tyler's MFA graduates: Austen Camille, Julia Clift, Jay Hartmann, Kathryn Mecca, Alexandria Nazar, Chris Riddle, Olivia Sherman, Riley Strom, and Warith Taha. Surveying the strength and versatility of these nine artists, the exhibition presents a series of works that range from traditional canvases to processed-based art that converse with sculpture. The works are imbued with a strong sense of art history and build on the dialogue of contemporary painting. The exhibition will be on view from August 17th until August 31st. Please email email@example.com or visit the gallery’s website to schedule an in-person viewing.
Austen Camille is an artist, curator, and arts organizer currently based in Alvin, TX, and Philadelphia, PA. Her practice attempts to reconcile her own itinerant state as it relates to land ecology, and is engaged with teasing out the complicated pieces of rural ideologies. Camille is currently participating in a long-term collaborative residency with Australian artist, Anna Dakin, through the Arts Territory Exchange, (aTE). The artist recently received the Dean’s Grant through Tyler to work on current project and publication I Brought My Own Mountains / I Brought My Own Rivers, concerned with the underlying geology and ecosystems of urban Philadelphia. Camille received her MFA in painting at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University, in 2020.
Julia Clift is a Philadelphia-based artist, educator, and writer. Her paintings and drawings mine the territory between abstraction and representation to analyze contemporary American space. Clift’s recent, large-scale paintings are influenced by the artist's experiences living and traveling throughout United States. The paintings reflect Clift’s understanding of America today as both a beloved homeland and a deeply fragmented, disorienting space. The artist’s work has been exhibited in numerous locations, including Arnot Art Museum, Gross McCleaf Gallery, and Fleisher Art Memorial, and is held in the permanent collection of Wythe Hotel (Brooklyn, NY). She received her BFA from Washington University in St. Louis in 2009 and studied under the painter Odd Nerdrum from 2009-2010. Clift received her MFA from Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, in 2020.
Jay Hartmann is a painter currently examining how surface and paint interact with form. His paintings, on hand-sculpted ceramic forms, become dynamic, semi-reflective experiential objects. The interactions between artwork and viewer generate subjective moments specific to the viewer and environment. In addition to the experiential nature of the work, the artist also questions the traditional practice of paint on canvas. Through his use of clay as substrate, Hartmann incorporates a history of touch and memory into each surface. The fired and glazed clay is then painted, creating a surface that both absorbs light through the paint, and a glassy surface that reflects it. Hartmann received his MFA from Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.
Kathryn Mecca is a painter based in Philadelphia, PA. Her paintings capture the human figure as a vehicle to express ideas of presence, intimacy, and perception. Influenced by her time in Europe studying art history with an emphasis on Fascism and Medieval Italian Art, Mecca utilizes traditional and labor-intensive oil painting methods that blend with the artist’s unique language as a contemporary painter. Her forms dance across the canvas, giving movement to uniquely quiet and nuanced moments. In 2010, she received her BA in Visual Art and Sociology from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, where she received the Ruth Crockett Prize award for excellence in art. In 2020, she received her MFA from Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.
Alexandria Nazar is a painter and maker from San Francisco, CA who currently resides in Philadelphia, PA. Her work explores how cooking and food preparation can act as a space of self-definition and connection. Using the role of a caretaker and an observer of traditions, Nazar contemplates the gendered expectations inherited while being in these domestic spaces and repurposes them as tools for understanding. Residencies include MASS MOCA in North Adams, MA and the Chautauqua School of Art in Chautauqua, NY. Nazar received her BA in Fine Arts and History from UC Davis in Davis, CA and her MFA from Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.
Chris Riddle is an artist working to examine the limits of visual and conceptual systems. Employing a range of making which includes photorealist and process-based painting, found object alteration, expressionist abstraction, and minimalist approaches, Riddle poses new possibilities for what can coexist and be in dialogue, questioning prescribed notions of meaning. The artist’s current project, ‘Hedge’, is a series of drop-ceiling tiles, in diptychs and four part groupings displayed on shelves. This series of painted objects aims to merge broad methods of production into a succinct format, allowing for conversation and interconnection within this framework. Riddle received his MFA from Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. He is currently a resident of the Byrdcliffe Artist Colony in Woodstock, NY.
Olivia Sherman is a painter born in New York City, NY and currently living in Philadelphia, PA. Informed by years of studying and researching Greek and Roman literature, the artist sources inspiration from mythology, fresco, and storytelling. Sherman’s current practice explores themes of youthful growth, the subjectivity of memory, time, and relationships, and the nervous, unfulfilled energy that saturates American youth culture. In 2020, the artist completed her MFA from Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.
Riley Strom is a painter based in Philadelphia, PA. Her practice investigates the relationship between image and lived experience by means of figuration and abstraction. The artist’s most recent work references mythological and art historical archetypes: Bellow’s boxer, Gericault’s Raft of the Medusa, Adam and Eve, as well as Jungian Symbolism, and the artist’s dreams. While Strom’s paintings capture nostalgia, they simultaneously speak to timeless experiential themes including voyage, violence, love, and deception. Strom received her BFA from Sarah Lawrence College, New York, NY and an MFA from Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.
Warith Taha creates autobiographical work that addresses his Black queer relationship to time, space, and material. Taha’s practice draws from a diverse field of research ranging from abstraction to 90’s Black Inches Magazines, family photos to found domestic objects, self-portraiture to autobiography. These points of interest become anchors in his ongoing exploration of Black queer bodily visibility and absence. Central to Taha’s work is an imagining into how painting can be used as a tool of resistance against historical erasure and inaccuracy. The artist received his MFA from Tyler School of Art and Architecture in Philadelphia, PA. Taha is the 2020 awardee of Headland Center for the Art’s Tournesol Award.
For additional information regarding the exhibition, including works available, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Massey Klein Gallery is located at 124 Forsyth St. New York, NY 10002. Gallery hours are by appointment only. To book an appointment, please visit our scheduling assistant here.
For press inquiries or questions about works available, please contact email@example.com or call +1.917.261.4657.