Tonsfeldt Named Teiger Mentor in the Arts

random objects on a white wall

O, N, Ocean and Flowers (2019), scrap steel, copper tubing, vines, EPDM rubber, Hydrocal, pigmented epoxy, found fabrics, fiberglass, carbon fiber, wire, zip ties, dimensions variable.

January 31, 2020

The Department of Art has named New York City–based artist Josh Tonsfeldt as the Teiger Mentor in the Arts for the spring 2020 semester. Tonsfeldt's work is image-based, yet edges toward sculpture and integrates collage as a means of calling image sources and familiar meanings into question.

"Like the rest of the faculty and M.F.A. students, I'm particularly excited that Josh Tonsfeldt has agreed to serve as our 14th Teiger Mentor in the Arts this semester," says associate professor of art and director of graduate studies Carl Ostendarp. "His use of multiple mediums — video, photography, drawing and installation — and his engagement with a wide range of imaging technologies cause his often ephemeral imagery to produce an experience where our consideration of their meanings and allusions transforms into an almost Proustian meditation on the nature of thought itself. We are left constantly reconsidering the relation between the carrier or medium and its message, asking, "Is this an image or an object; a photo or a sculpture; a documentation; or an autographic gesture?"

Tonsfeldt's work has been shown widely in the U.S. and Europe, most recently at international institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the DeCordova Museum, Boston; Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams; Gamec in Bergamo, Italy; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto. His work is in the collection of public and private institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Thoma Foundation, the Parrish Museum, and the Perez Museum in Miami.

Tonsfeldt received an M.F.A. from Columbia University in 2007 and a B.A. from Purchase College in 2004.

As Teiger Mentor, Tonsfeldt 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. He will deliver a public artist talk on February 3 at 5:30 p.m. in the Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium in Milstein Hall.

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. Tonsfeldt is the 14th Teiger Mentor to date. Previous mentors were Wendy White, Chitra Ganesh, Paul Pfeiffer, Sam Lewitt, Dana Hoey, Sean Landers, Craig Kalpakjian, Sam Durant, Sharon Hayes, Leslie Hewitt, Alejandro Cesarco, Shannon Ebner, and Josiah McElheny.

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