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What We Can Live With: The 39th Annual University of California, Berkeley Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition
Aaron Maietta: Study for fountain installation, 2009; ink, pencil, and watercolor on paper; 24 x 36 in.; courtesy of the artist. Aaron Maietta documents elusive tensions within overlooked landscapes.
BERKELEY, CA.- The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive presents What We Can Live With: The 39th Annual University of California, Berkeley Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition, on view from May 15 through June 21, 2009. This exhibition is part of a tradition that has continued for nearly forty years, in which M.F.A. graduates in art practice have the opportunity to present their work in the museum galleries and, in the process, gain valuable experience working in a professional museum setting. 

This year, six graduating artists have created works that challenge our desire to identify with predetermined visual models. The featured artists in this exhibition are Sara Bright, Lydia Greer, Laura Britt Greig, Farley Gwazda, Aaron Maietta, and Ginger Wolfe-Suárez.

“The MFA graduates at UC Berkeley have access to leading thought in rhetoric, film studies, science, and literature,” says Dena Beard, MATRIX Curatorial Assistant. “The influence of this campus-wide discourse is evidenced in the quality of the 2009 MFA exhibition. A program of this size and rigor necessarily produces critically engaging work—that alone speaks volumes about their artistic potential.”

Sara Bright’s paintings convey the Kafkaesque confusion of a waking dream, while Lydia Greer’s spare retellings of her family stories belie their own complexity, employing video footage and simple objects to enact narratives about consumption, youth, and political upheaval. Laura Britt Greig’s robots often exhibit surprising behavior while performing routine tasks and Farley Gwazda’s graphic strategies distill visual data down to reveal a primary signifying impulse: personal choice. Investigating the interstices between natural and artificial organization, Aaron Maietta documents elusive tensions within overlooked landscapes; critical to his projects are works in absentia. Ginger Wolfe-Suárez mines records of nonviolent activism to create objects that help trigger historical memory.

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What We Can Live With: The 39th Annual University of California, Berkeley Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition

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