Susie Allen, Director of External Affairs
This year, I am selecting Frances Stark. Since it is truly impossible to choose one favorite, I look at this assignment as a chance to walk through the galleries and reflect on the connections between the Student Loan Program and our exhibition program. Seeing work by artists we have exhibited at the List is like visiting an old friend in a new home.
I was excited to see Frances Stark, Untitled, 2012 silkscreen. In 2010, the List presented Frances Stark: This could become a gimick [sic] or an honest articulation of the workings of the mind, the first U.S. museum survey of the work of Los Angeles artist and writer. Now, the MFA is presenting a major retrospective exhibition of her work, UH-OH: Frances Stark 1991–2015, a show that originated at the Hammer Museum in L.A. I am excited to see her retrospective exhibition and excited to see an artist move from the List Center to the MFA.
Alejandra Bandala, Registrar’s Assistant
One of my favorite artworks from SLAP is B.K.I., 2004 by Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco. I grew up in Mexico and for me this work is very powerful, intriguing, and it makes me feel connected to my culture in a way that is different from tradition. MIT staff cannot borrow artwork from SLAP but my husband is an ACT graduate student. Together we picked five artworks for the lottery last year but this work was my main pick, and the one we got!
Allie Cornell, Educator
I love the colors in this - the multi-tone medium gray and soft primary colors somehow manage to be soothing and vibrant at the same time! The same goes for the contrast between the looping, gestural yellow and straight and clean red and blue. Everything is in balance.
Cai Diluvio, Curatorial Intern
Fisher’s multilayered composition of seemingly disparate images and text binds one into a moment of fictional story telling. Compared to my other ‘love at first sight’ pieces in the collection, this print holds its own as lust after a long pause. A desire to weave together the threads offered by Fisher burned vehemently brighter the longer I sat with it. This bewildering print is one of my favorites and it will surely demand a strong presence hung up on a dorm wall.
Henriette Huldisch, Curator
It’s hard to overstate Cindy Sherman’s influence on contemporary art–her Film Stills, selfies avant la lettre, are canonical–but the range of her transformations still amazes me. I’ve particularly admired her more recent series of aging socialites, matrons, and movie stars. The excessively tanned and contoured woman in this photograph is at once completely familiar and delightfully strange. And more importantly, to me it’s also a touching reminder of anyone’s inevitable aging and our delusional efforts to stop the process.
Mark Linga, PR, Marketing, and Social Media Coordinator
There is much to appreciate in Mexican artist José León Cerrillo’s work. This untitled print from 2008 makes great use of abstraction and pushes the boundaries between content and form. The juxtaposition of a photographic image and his use of striking colors and graphic elements, choreographed against an open space, sets the tone for an intriguing visual experience.
Amy Patacchiola, Administrative Assistant
I attended the Massachusetts College of Art and Design with Clint Fulkerson. When I started working at the List Center last September, I was excited to see that we owned a Clint Fulkerson original. Clint has a great Instagram that I follow https://www.instagram.com/clintfulkerson/ where he posts time-lapse videos of his process and all the various commissions and shows he is working on. For each piece he creates, Clint sets up a set of rules that limit the forms that develop. I find the process so enjoyable to watch.
I’ve been really interested in Richard Tuttle lately, as I think his brain is inherently different from mine. Logic, reason, linear thought—these have a different kind of home in a Tuttle piece. Why do they work so well? What makes them hang together in ways that are so compelling, beautiful, provocative? I love these questions and this piece. It is elegant and subtle, but still feels bold. I envy the MIT student who gets to live with it.
Yuri Stone, Curatorial Fellow
I have a lot of favorites in the SLAP collection, but I like this one especially because of the artist’s background and its context, being in the SLAP collection and potentially on a dorm room wall.
First, the artist. Richard Prince has been producing appropriation art since the 1970s, pushing the limitations of ideas around authorship, always with an eye for americana imagery. I love this piece because as opposed to his controversial Brooke Shields piece or his Untitled (Girlfriends) series of ”biker chicks sprawl provocatively across customized motorcycle”, in Sunshine and Health, Prince opts for the anti-sexy. Appropriating images from an issue of the 1940s nudist magazine Sunshine & Health, Prince remains consistent with his subject (the nude female) though sidesteps his proclivity for seduction for the serious business of nudity only found in a nudist community. Prince is self-aware, and here, he understands the irony posed in relation to his previous work.
Second, I love this piece because of its place in the SLAP collection. The fact that it is for students to borrow and hang on their dorm room wall adds another layer of irony and humor, whether Prince knows it or not. Taking the place of the cliched dorm room pin-up centerfold, this piece reminds the student that nudity doesn’t necessarily equal sexy.
Betsy Willett, Marketing and Development Associate
This year, I am choosing a collage by Eva Kot’átková. I fell in love with her collages when she had an exhibition at the List last spring. Eva’s work subtly rails against structure, both physical and imagined. I feel drawn into her meticulous, dark, surreal world when I look at her work, a space I find curious to inhabit.
Another important factor for me in choosing a work from the collection is its ability to spark conversation. While true of many of the pieces in the collection, I could talk endlessly about Kot’átková’s work in particular, which makes it a perfect candidate for me to take home and share with guests and visitors.