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Abstract Strategies

  • Ox-Bow 3435 Rupprecht Way Saugatuck, MI, 49453 (map)

PAINTING 646 001, 2 weeks, 3 credit hours

Abstract Strategies is an interdisciplinary painting course where students will investigate ways artworks accrue meaning. The course will begin with an examination of shifting attitudes towards painting in the wake of Abstract Expressionism; with particular emphasis on the ways paint—a fluid and visceral substance—came to evoke the artist’s body. Students will consider the referential, performative and loaded connotations of their materials. From paint’s ability to index the movement of the artist’s body in the studio to its capacity for metaphor, students will learn that abstraction is far from empty; instead it is full of allusion and reference to the world outside itself.

In addition to material experimentation, this course will also involve a series of performative studio exercises designed to develop language to articulate both the “Why” and “How” of our individual studio practice. We will employ technical strategies of subtraction, repetition, collaborative naming, inversion and transparency as means to meld form, theory, and practice. Throughout all of this, we will return to the value of going astray, and what can be found there.

LONG GONE, acrylic and enamel on canvas, 20" x 16", 2016

LONG GONE, acrylic and enamel on canvas, 20" x 16", 2016


E.E. Ikeler received a BFA from The Cooper Union and an MFA from Yale University. She’s had solo exhibitions at Kent Place Gallery in Summit, NJ, Jeff Bailey Gallery in Hudson, NY, and at the project space In Limbo, in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been exhibited at Yve Yang Gallery in Boston, MA, Mulherin, New York and Abrons Art Center, New York. She received a Leroy Neiman Foundation Summer Fellowship at Ox-bow School of Art in 2016; a Yale FLAGS Award, a Helen Watson Winternitz Award and a Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library Research Fellowship (all Yale University, 2015). She is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Painting at Indiana University.

Things I Like , silkscreen and marker on cardboard, 18” x 24”, 2014

Things I Like, silkscreen and marker on cardboard, 18” x 24”, 2014

Emmy Bright works with drawing, print and performance, inspired by ongoing research into pedagogy, psychology, comedy and art history. Recent exhibitions have been at David Klein Gallery in Detroit, MI; Ditch Projects in Springfield, OR; Yve Yang Gallery in Boston, MA; deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, MA; and she has a project in Headmaster Magazine, No. 8. She received her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, an M.Ed from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a BA from University of Chicago. She has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, City College New York, Bryant University and at the RISD Museum. She is currently living and working in Detroit where she is represented by David Klein Gallery.

Earlier Event: June 18
Image and Word
Later Event: June 18
Communicating Through Form