Starling Receives Annual Hartell Award for Art

A person standing in an empty room looking at a long, draped canvas with black spots painted on it.

Installation view of Sophia Starling in Rand Hall with her 2017 work, Continuous Painting. William Staffeld / AAP

November 30, 2018

Sophia Starling (M.F.A. '19) is the recipient of the 2018 John Hartell Graduate Award for Art and Architecture in recognition of graduate student excellence in studio practice.

Starling works primarily across painting and sculpture to construct objects that range in scale from that of the body to the space of a large room.

"Using material, scale, and ideas of perceived weight I explore power, visual connotations, signifiers, and phenomenology in search of the uncanny and unspecified," says Starling on her investigative art practice and the intent of her work. "My process is circumstantial and conditional rather than universal and permanent, characterized by restretching, remaking, revealing, off-setting, unveiling, inflating, distorting, and misplacing."

As an undergraduate, Starling attended the Chelsea College of Art and Design and the Camberwell College of Arts at the University of the Arts in London, graduating in 2011. Recent group exhibitions of her work include UK/RAINE at Saatchi Gallery in London, and Corporeality, Objects and Other Stuff at FOLD in London in 2015; as well as Time to Hit the Road at Leila Heller Gallery in New York in 2014. Horatio Jr. gallery in London hosted her solo show titled A Better Door than a Window in 2015.

In addition to the Hartell award, Starling was also awarded a Cornell Council for the Arts Grant and Cornell Research Travel Grant in 2018, and she attended the Painting and Structure Kennington Residency in London in 2017

Members of Hartell's family, friends, and former students established the John Hartell Graduate Award for Art and Architecture in his memory after his death in 1995 at the age of 93. Hartell joined the architecture faculty in 1930 and the art faculty in 1940, serving as chair of the art department from 1940 until 1959. A monetary prize is part of the award.

By Edith Fikes

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