William Powhida: The Artist-as-Critic

Why Artists Are Terrible
Work by William Powhida.
William Powhida lecture
William Powhida with art department chair Michael Ashkin before Powhida's lecture in the Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium. William Staffeld / AAP
William Powhida lecture
William Powhida lecturing in the Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium. William Staffeld / AAP
William Powhida lecture
William Powhida shared examples of his work during his lecture. William Staffeld / AAP
Work by William Powhida. William Powhida with art department chair Michael Ashkin before Powhida's lecture in the Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium. William Staffeld / AAP William Powhida lecturing in the Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium. William Staffeld / AAP William Powhida shared examples of his work during his lecture. William Staffeld / AAP

William Powhida makes fun of the art world to highlight the paradoxes and absurdities of economic and social value systems that keep the sphere of visual art afloat on a tide of wealth inequality. His work relies on research and participation to diagram, list, perform, and critique the forces that shape perceptions of value. He is responsible or partly responsible for exhibitions including MONTH2MONTH, Overculture at Postmasters Gallery, Bill by Bill at Charlie James Gallery, POWHIDA at Marlborough Gallery, and #class at Winkleman Gallery.

Powhida is also an infrequent contributor to ArtFCity, Hyperallergic, The Art Newspaper, and Creative Time Reports on issues that alarm him, and a participating member of the Artist Studio Affordability Project. His complicit criticism of the art market has been rewarded with gallery representation, numerous exhibitions, and critical debate.

Born in 1976 in upstate New York, Powhida still lives and works in New York City despite the rising costs. He received his B.F.A. from Syracuse University and his M.F.A. from Hunter College in New York City. His work has been exhibited widely at the Wattis Institute, Abrons Art Center, Boston University, MAC Dallas, CAM St. Louis, Dublin Contemporary, Kendall College of Art and Design, The Weatherspoon Art Museum, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, and The Sun Valley Art Center, among others.

Powhida's work has been reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, the New York Times, the Village Voice, and the L.A. Times among others. He has been awarded artist residencies at John Michael Kohler Art Center, The Lower East Side Printshop, Headlands Center for the Arts, Casa Maaud in Mexico City, and The Wassaic Project Artist Edition. Recent exhibitions include Mediations at Charlie James Gallery and a collaborative public art project, MONTH2MONTH, with artist Jennifer Dalton. He is working on a solo booth for Art on Paper Brussels and his first museum show for the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in 2017.