Michael Ashkin: Work — New and Ongoing
Michael Ashkin, associate professor and chair in the Department of Art, opened one of two parts of his latest solo exhibition titled Dismal Dreaming at Cathouse FUNeral in Brooklyn, New York, on March 23. The opening reception for the second portion of the show was April 22 at Cathouse Proper in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.
Ashkin's work is transdisciplinary and takes many forms. Although he began as an instructor of sculpture at Cornell and continues to teach the medium, his attention has shifted to media that is photographic at its core even if it presents otherwise. Dismal Dreaming at Cathouse FUNeral is primarily a series of what Ashkin refers to as constructed photographic paintings made of corrugated cardboard and spray paint.
The Cathouse Proper portion of the show includes more than 1,000 black and white, 4" x 5" portrait photographs of the barren Southern California desert landscape. The work is installed in a staggered grid to fill the space with both repetitive visual language and subtle differences across a changing scene. This dual gallery show has largely been coordinated by alumnus David Dixon (M.F.A. '10), who directs both spaces.
Additionally, Ashkin was recently awarded a prestigious and highly competitive MacDowell Colony Residency Fellowship and will spend a month this summer to continue to edit, sequence, and otherwise refine works in progress. When asked about the value of the residency to his creative practice, Ashkin commented, "It's necessary concerted time to get a head of steam. It's like a slingshot." This will be Ashkin's fourth MacDowell Colony Residency Fellowship since 2011.
By Edith Fikes