Sam Lewitt Named Cornell University Teiger Mentor in the Arts

Black reflective abstract artwork with blue border and reflection of person taking a photograph

Material for Fluid Employment (2016). photo / Sam Lewitt

January 9, 2018

The Department of Art at Cornell University has named Sam Lewitt as the Teiger Mentor in the Arts for the spring 2018 semester. Lewitt is a New York City–based artist who creates site-responsive artworks with industrial materials and infrastructural conditions that he selects for their specific physical qualities, as well as their original contexts or typical applications.

"Sam Lewitt's art is predicated on carefully elaborated, complex propositions that respond to abstract art historical concepts like site specificity and equally abstract operational systems like heating or distribution," commented Linda Norden, visiting critic at the Department of Art. "And yet you experience his art imaginatively, like good sci-fi, or something yet to be figured out."

Lewitt has exhibited widely throughout the U.S. and internationally. His sculptural installations were recently shown in a solo exhibition titled FILLER at Galerie Buchholz in Berlin, and as part of the 2017 Venice Biennale’s Corderie Dell'Arsenale. Other solo exhibitions include the Swiss Institute’s Sam Lewitt: Less Light Warm Words, in New York City and More Heat Than Light at both Kunsthalle Basel in 2016 and The Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art in San Francisco in 2015. Lewitt's recent group exhibitions include A Slow Succession with Many Interruptions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco in 2016, Nature after Nature at Fridericianum in Kassel, Germany, in 2014, and the Whitney Biennial in 2012. His writings have appeared in publications including Artforum, Collapse, CURA, Kunstforum International, October, and Texte zur Kunst.

As Teiger Mentor, Lewitt will visit campus multiple times during the spring semester, and spend several days of each visit meeting and working with graduate and undergraduate students in the Department of Art. "It's exciting that Sam will be at Cornell this spring," added Norden. "He's a much-loved teacher and speaker, and it will be terrific to have him share his intensive questioning of received ideas and nefarious networks — as well as his uncanny feel for the liquid, solid, and sticky stuff, in the studio — firsthand."

The Teiger Mentor in the Arts Program was created with a gift from David Teiger '51, a graduate of the School of Hotel Administration. Teiger, who died in December 2014, was a management consultant who lived in Bernardsville, New Jersey. Teiger was a contemporary art collector and patron of curatorial projects and exhibitions throughout the U.S. and Europe. Lewitt is the 10th Teiger Mentor to date. Previous mentors were Dana Hoey, Sean Landers, Craig Kalpakjian, Sam Durant, Sharon Hayes, Leslie Hewitt, Alejandro Cesarco, Shannon Ebner, and Josiah McElheny.

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