The Annual 2012

School of Visual Arts
Newsmakers

A Class Divided

“Fragmentation”

As its title suggests, “Fragmentation” was an exhibition divided. On view in September 2011 and featuring work of 33 artists who had graduated from the MFA Fine Arts Department earlier in the year, the show was spread among eight different galleries on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a spread that reflected the diverse backgrounds of the participants. “I envision this project as mirroring the condition of the artists and the gallery spaces,” said faculty member Dan Cameron, who curated the show. “They are united and separate. Nobody belongs but everyone must find a place.”

In his curatorial statement, Cameron described the “annual tradition” of organizing a postgraduate exhibition.

This rite started auspiciously, with a 10-day show at David Zwirner in June 2006. Subsequent installations took place at Perry Rubenstein Gallery (‘Plus One,’ 2010), and at spaces in Kansas City, San Antonio and New Orleans (‘MFA Road Show,’ 2007). At a precarious moment in the world economy we presented ‘A New Currency’ in a former pet shop on Delancey Street (2009), and the year before that sent the exhibition to Korea in a single suitcase. In the past, these postgraduate group shows have generated significant press and participatory responses. ‘A New Currency’ was picked up widely in blogs and magazines, and mentioned in a New York Times interview with Chuck Close on the recession’s effect on the way artists exhibit today. With ‘Fragmentation,’ whose format has not been attempted on this scale before, we expect even more conversation to ensue.

And conversation did ensue, beginning with a report by Linda Yablonsky on Artforum.com:

EXCUSE ME, but are there more galleries in New York than ever? So it seemed last week, when the fall art season got under way with nearly sixty openings in Chelsea and on the Lower East Side. This was just a prelude to the coming week, when at least forty more galleries will enter the fray uptown and down—and I’m not even counting what the museums have in store. What a bounty! Art must be soothing many a savage toad in the hole. How else to explain the surfeit when economies around the globe are stuttering? “Somehow it all keeps going,” dealer Andrew Kreps observed at one point. “And we have to keep going with it.”

So I went.

Wednesday belonged to the LES, where curator Dan Cameron had something of a monopoly, having organized group shows of SVA grads at eight different galleries. As if that hadn’t given him enough to do, he had also put together a show combining art from New Orleans and Turkey at C24, a multilevel gallery that Turkish investors were opening in Chelsea.

Fragmentation: Curatorial Statement

Going Steady