Observed Ratios

AUG 14, 2013 | 12:00 PM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue


1200: James Art Gallery


August 14, 2013: 12:00 PM





Center for the Humanities


What do the visual principles of modernism look like today in the hands of contemporary artists? Observed Ratios presents three contemporary New York artists Shoshana Dentz, Caitlin Masley, and Seher Shah, whose practices are grounded in drawing but extend to diverse media of painting, drawing, installation, sculpture, and photography. Their engagement with modernist forms and visual vocabulary, inflected with their own individual histories and interests, produce invigorated and updated responses to modern inquiries.

Mark-making in dialogue with structures and systems are prevalent throughout the oeuvres of all three artists. Dentz focuses intently on the artistic process of observation as she investigates enclosures and containers from uncertain viewpoints. Caitlin Masley and Seher Shah expand beyond the current fascination with modern architecture, crafting their own personal preoccupation with the rigor of brutalist forms and imagination of different futures. Masley uncovers basic forms in modernist architectural and urban schemes and registers them in skewed perspectives and layer upon layer of drawing and paint that do not remain true to these purportedly “inhuman” structures. Shah proposes visual adaptations to urban forms on macro and micro levels by working with scale and proportion, two elements of spatial language that modernism weighed in on so heavily.

In the exhibition Observed Ratios, whether positioned inside or outside at eye level, hovering above something much larger or smaller than oneself, or enveloped in relation to an indeterminate perspective, the artists’ and the viewers’ attention becomes focused on the act of looking in real space.

Exhibition Reception: Thu, Sept 5, 5-7pm
Followed by ICI Curator’s Perspective: Aneta Szylak at 7pm