In this year’s graduating class, slowing down and taking note of the everyday, both as a means of artistic understanding and of viewer discovery, emerged as a central theme. Given the current sensory and intellectual overload, for this to be an aesthetic concern is critical and even radical. Otherwise, twenty seconds is the average time spent on viewing a work of art. While the eleven artists deploy different strategies, they share a broad interest in topography as a subject, be it of nature, the city, light, music, or the mind.


Playing the familiar off the strange, Leah Cooper turned a busy, twelve by six-foot corridor into a complex, three-dimensional drawing in a week. After an initial survey, she engaged in a call and response between the site and small objects she had constructed from found detritus, establishing relationships with the walls, ceiling, fixtures, shadows and cracks. The resulting Iterating the Ordinary featured a series of improvised actions, including a wall-mounted twig whose presence was magnified through dramatic lighting and monofilament extensions. In an existential flash, it became clear that no single outcome was forthcoming: the drawings not realized were as powerful as those awaiting attention. Cooper’s investigations into the minutia of the material world would only generate further entries for her object-specific “comprehensive reservoir of visual information.”