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Rochelle H. Feinstein: Pls. Reply

Online Lecture1 December 2020, 19:00online

The title of Feinstein’s lecture, Pls. Reply, is taken from her recent publication of selected writings. Glancing back over four decades of work, while actively generating new work in this moment, the imperative to be present and to reply, is a mainstay of her practice. Feinstein will discuss her projects in painting, photography, video and installation as an engagement with the conditions at hand, personal or public, local or global. The lecture will present projects reflective of the roles of demotic speech and the arcane conventions of painting as ever-present instigators and collaborators in her work. 

Born in 1947, Rochelle Feinstein is a longstanding and deeply respected member of the New York art community. Her work is informed by abstraction, while also conveying a keen sensibility to contemporary culture, particularly to our everyday use of language. Over the span of the last four decades, Feinstein has probed the relevance of the abstract painting tradition vis-a-vis a rapidly changing cultural environment. A major survey exhibition of Feinstein’s work originated at the Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva (2016) and subsequently traveled to Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich (2016), Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover (2017) and the Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York (2018-2019). Since 2017 Feinstein is Professor Emerita of Painting and Printmaking at Yale University. Among her numerous accolades, she is a recent recipient of the prestigious Rome Prize Jules Guerin Fellowship in Visual Arts, American Academy in Rome (2017-2018). Her work is part of several museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Amorepacific Museum of Art, Seoul; Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich; the Pérez Art Museum, Miami and the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, Massachusetts.

Registration (at the request of the artist, this event will be held as an online meeting with the invitation to everyone to switch on the cameras for a more personal conversation.)

The lecture will be held in English language.

Photo: Missed, 2020, right, archival digital photograph, 13 in x 18 in. Commissioned and published by the Basler Zeitung, April 30, 2020. Missed was inadvertently and serendipitously placed opposite the reportage about a virus killing birds throughout Europe.

I haven’t been in my studio for 7 weeks, yet I’ve been thinking about this image since 2018, when I took the photo in Rome. I’m working solely with the 7 colors of the prism; of Rainbows: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, colors used for digital mapping, ubiquitous emojis, rainbow flags, etc.. This  limited-yet-familiar palette saturates my works in different mediums/media. I was moved by the sentiment in “Missed”  as much as the rain-soaked inks obscuring the subject of this longing. The image came with meaning, yet for 2 years I’d been unable to find a broader context for that meaning. I didn’t know what to do with it, but it lingered. As we endure and adapt to the pandemic, I returned to the photograph, it’s “meaning” now apparent to me. What don’t we miss? The word MISSED speaks volumes to who; to what we miss;  to the missed futures we imagined, and if fortunate, to the futures we have to re-imagine. Rochelle Feinstein, April 25, 2020.

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