Identifying points of origin is “an intentional act” that “authorizes” the construction of a synthetic account of a temporal sequence of events. To relate two moments means not only recognizing established connections, but also forging such relations between the periods, thereby recuperating aspects of the past visible only in light of the present and revealing aspects of the present visible only in relation to the past.
— Robert Slifkin / Out of Time: Philip Guston and the Reconfiguration of Postwar American Art
Nature is a petrified magic city.
— Novalis

Biography

Lisa Blas is a visual artist of Guamanian / Italian-American descent working in painting, collage, photography and installation. Based in New York, she draws from art history, nature, and current events to reflect on specific cultural and political legacies, past and present. She has taught across disciplines in Fine Art and Art History at the undergraduate and graduate level, with a special focus on the museum and historical archives. Blas has exhibited nationally and internationally, while living and working in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Lille, France and Brussels, Belgium during the years of 2001 - 2012.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2015
Photography: Nousha Salimi


Reflections

Each of my collage works on vellum or on large sheets of Arches paper begins with research in art history, nature and current events. I search for relationships between these sources and notions of time; an intersection that places a window onto the fragility of our environment and social crises, past and present. Constellations of this sort allude to Walter Benjamin’s dialectical image or the image sequencing found within Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas. This approach is also demonstrated in the weekly "Monday's image" posting of the News section of my website, where I pair a work of art with the front page of the local newspaper, addressing the printed image on that day with another image found within museum collections. Within these temporal spaces of juxtaposition, patterns of repetition and incidents of déjà-vu may occur.

Agrarian Pavements, v. 9
Postcard stock and color chips on Opalux vellum
22 x 30 inches
2012

The Instability of Nature Morte, v. 1 (reconsidering monument[ality] under the throwaway evidence of work), Digital C-print, 20 x 14 inches, 2015 - present

 

At present, the majority of my production is in collage beginning at a scale of 8.3 x 11.7 inches and expanding out to wall-size images. In 2010, I began collecting postcard stock from art institutions and paint swatches from hardware stores, as a means to build a palette with found material. I searched for areas of processed color, without image or text, to cut and re-use and have come to define this material as "color refuse". Initially, I used only color refuse in the collages and later began to incorporate large sheets of watercolor paper that I paint in varying tonalities and subtle gradations of pigment, so as to have more control over the color and size of my material. The process of cutting the material into fragments and its subsequent (re)composition into images is emblematic of my research endeavors. My supports are A4 music paper, Opalux vellum and Arches paper. The music paper, in particular, provides a structural system (via the score lines) that I work with and against to construct images or notations in sequence. Out of this process, abstractions and text works emerge that carry the residue of their referent.


Abbreviated CV

2017 / Lisa Blas is a New York based artist working in painting, photography, and installation. She draws from art history, the history of photography, and current events to reflect on specific cultural and political legacies, past and present. She has taught across disciplines in Fine Art and Art History at the undergraduate and graduate level, with a special focus on the museum and historical archives. Blas has produced an artist project for the Spring issue of Public Art Dialogue, published in May 2016.

UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS:

Social Photography V / Carriage Trade, New York, NY.
July 11 - August 12, 2017
Curator: Peter Scott

RECENT SOLO EXHIBITIONS:

2017

LISA BLAS / Monday's image, at Emily Harvey Foundation, New York, NY.
Curators: Christian Xatrec, Agustin Schang

2016

LISA BLAS / After lost space(s), at Kai Matsumiya Gallery, New York, NY.
"Don't Make A Scene" programming: February 7 - March 13, 2016.

2012-13        

LISA BLAS / Still Lifes, Sometimes Repeated, at Galerie Rossicontemporary, Brussels, Belgium.    

2011             

LISA BLAS / Meet Me At the Mason Dixon, Schmucker Art Gallery, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: Curator: Shannon Egan (Catalogue).

2011             

LISA BLAS / As if pruning a tree, after Matisse, Musée Matisse, Cateau-Cambrésis, France. Exhibition organizer: Amanda Crabtree/Art Connexion, Lille, France.

2011        

LISA BLAS / Tourner La Page. Four exhibitions at Gallery Commune, Tourcoing, France.
Curators: Undergraduate/Graduate students of “Pôle/Exposition” - Département Arts Plastiques (Catalogues).

2009        

LISA BLAS / Regarding Territories and Bodies, Salve Regina Gallery, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC. Curator: Dr. Lisa Lipinski, Faculty in Art History, Catholic University.

2008        

LISA BLAS / Meet Me At The Mason Dixon, Meat Market Gallery, Washington, DC.
Organizer: Fabian Bernal.

RECENT GROUP EXHIBITIONS:

2017

Bellingham National 2017 / Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, Washington.
Curator: Catharina Manchanda.

Americanah
2017 SPRING BREAK / ART FAIR, New York, NY.
Curator: Natasha Becker.
Press release
Press

Emergency Eyewash
(conceived by Barry Schwabsky and Carol Szymanski)

Tanja Grunert Gallery, New York, NY.
January 12 - February 18, 2017

2016

Foundation Barbin Presents: Redeux (sort of)
Kai Matsumiya Gallery, New York, NY.
January 5 - February 5, 2016
Curator: Lucky DeBellevue.

2015

Sensations That Announce The Future
Evergreen Gallery at Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington
Group exhibition organized in response to Thinking In An Emergency by Elaine Scarry
September 19 - December 2, 2015
Curator: Shaw Osha.

2014        

A Particular Kind of Solitude: An exhibition inspired by the writings of Robert Walser. The Elizabeth Street Garden, New York.
A site-specific exhibition engaging over 50 artists, writers, readers, musicians, dancers and filmmakers responding to the observations and writings of Robert Walser.
Curator: Serra Sabuncuoglu.
Audio/Video
        
2013        

Typhoon Haiyan Benefit, The Lodge Gallery, New York.
Group exhibition and artwork donation to benefit NAFCON and support those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
Curators: Rachel Fick, Aaron Johnson, Ryan Schneider, Keith Schweitzer, Jason Patrick Voegele.
Press Release

2013        

Are We What We Eat? Sustainability and Art, Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan. Group exhibition of Corcoran College of Art & Design faculty and students (catalogue).
Curators: Franco Marrocco, Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera & Lynn Sures, Corcoran College of Art & Design.
Catalogue

2012        

post-/hyper-/anti-/alter @ College Art Association – Annual Conference 2012.
Presented by the Services to Artists Committee.
Commission of video work, Expedition in gold, silver, copper and all other reflections. Group exhibition / projection, Bonaventure Hotel, Los Angeles, CA.
Curators: Cindy Smith and Ken Gonzales-Day.
Press Release

2011        

Summer Soul Sis
Emerging women artists from California: Jaus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.
Curator: Ichiro Irie, Director, Jaus Gallery.

2011    

Culturescape
Group exhibition at Addison Ripley Fine Art, Washington, DC.
Curators: Isabel Manolo, Christopher Addison.
Press

2009        

Sondheim Prize 2009/Semi-finalist exhibition
Maryland Institute College of Art, Meyerhoff Gallery, Baltimore, MD.
Curators: Ellen Harvey, Artist, Valerie Cassel Oliver/Curator: Contemporary Arts Museum Houston,
Elisabeth Sussman/Curator of Photography: Whitney Museum of American Art.

2009        

Washington Project for the Arts, Art Auction Gala 2009, American University, Katzen Center, Washington, DC.  Donation of artwork benefiting the Washington Project for the Arts.
Curators: Georgia Deal, Margaret Boozer, Mark Alice Durant, Kimberly Gladfelter Graham, Daniel Kunitz, Luis Silva, Matthew Witkovsky.

2009        

PUBLIC/PRIVATE, Arlington Arts Center, Arlington, VA, 2009.
Curator: Jeffry Cudlin, Former Director, Arlington Arts Center.
Audio discussion with Jeffry Cudlin.

2008        

Picturing Politics 2008: Artists Speak To Power. Arlington Arts Center, Arlington, VA, 2008.
Curator: Rex Weil (Catalogue).
Catalog

2008        

Mid-Atlantic New Painting 2008. University of Mary Washington Galleries, Fredericksburg, VA.
Curator: John Ravenal, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art/VMFA, Richmond, VA, (Catalogue).  
Press        

RECENT TEACHING:

Spring 2014    
Visiting Artist Studio Critiques, MFA majors, Department of Visual Art, The School of Visual Art, New York.

Fall 2012-Spring 2013
Fine Art Seminar for Junior year BFA majors, Painting: Materials and Methods for Sophomore year BFA majors, Fine Art Core Curriculum for Sophomore year BFA major, Corcoran College of Art & Design, Washington, DC.  

Fall 2011-January 2012  
Atelier Général, 1 & 2, (equivalent to Foundation and Sophomore year studies in Drawing, Painting and Sculpture), Université de Lille 3, Tourcoing, France.

Spring 2011    
Pôle Exposition (Tourner la page), graduate curatorial seminar in Photography, Université de Lille 3, Tourcoing, France.

Spring 2010
Final Critique panelist, Year 3 and 4, Atelier Dessin, La Cambre, Ecole Nationale Supérieure Des Arts Visuels,
Brussels, Belgium.
Organizers: Catherine Warmoes, Céline Gillain.

Spring 2010    
Nomadism, Site-specificity and other modes of transit, graduate seminar with l’École Supérieure d’Art Tourcoing & Université de Lille 3.
Organizer: Vèronique Goudinoux.

2004-2009     
Senior Core Thesis faculty for Senior year BFA majors, Corcoran College of Art & Design.

2007-2009   
Fine Art Core Curriculum for Junior year BFA majors, Corcoran College of Art & Design.

2004-2007    
Drawing/Painting faculty, George Washington University, Washington, DC.

RECENT TALKS AND CONFERENCES:

2016
Artist talk at Trestle Art Gallery
Brooklyn Art Space, Brooklyn
Moderator: Lauren Bierly

2015
Artist talk at Evergreen College, Olympia Washington, as part of Artist Lecture Series and in conjunction with the group exhibition, Sensations That Announce The Future.
Moderator: Shaw Osha

2015
Skype interview with undergraduate seminar at Lake Forest College, Chicago, Illinois
Moderator: Professor Miguel de Baca

2015
Skype interview with "Art Now" undergraduate class at George Washington University/Corcoran School of Art & Design, Washington, DC
Moderator: Professor Lisa Lipinski.

2013        

Artist talk at University of Virginia, Charlottesville, McIntire Department of Art.
Organizers: Sarah Betzer, Howard Singerman.

2013        

Artist talk at Museu de Arte do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Moderator: Gaudencio Fidelis, Director, Museu de Arte do Rio Grande do Sul.
Press

2013        

Artist talk at University of São Paulo, Department of Visual Arts, São Paulo, Brazil.
Moderator: Sonia Salzstein.

2012:

AAANZ conference, Together <> Apart, University of Sydney, panelist in Toxic Blooms.
Organizers: Gary Sangster, Merilyn Fairskye, Anne Ferran.

2012        

Cultural Studies Association conference, University of California, San Diego, stand-in chair and
panelist in Propaganda, Trauma, and Identity: Artists Respond to War.
Organizer: Karen Shelby, Baruch College, New York.

2012        

Artist talk at Otis College of Art & Design, Painting department, Los Angeles.  
Organizer: Holly Tempo.

2012       

College Art Association conference, production of a video work for the group exhibition
POST-HYPER-ANTI-ALTER at the Bonaventure Hotel, Los Angeles.

2011        

Gallery discussion with Miguel de Baca, Assistant Professor Art History, Lake Forest College.
Moderator: Shannon Egan, Director, Schmucker Art Gallery, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg,
Pennsylvania.

2011        

Slought Foundation, Philadelphia, artist conversation with Thierry de Duve, moderated by Jean-Michel Rabaté, on the occasion of the exhibition Meet Me at the Mason Dixon, Schmucker Art Gallery, Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania.
Audio

2011       

L’atelier en question conference (based on the book The Fall of the Studio: Artists at Work,
edited by Wouter Davidts and Kim Paice), l'ESA, Tourcoing, France.
Co-panelists: Wouter Davidts (Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art, Vrije Universiteit  
Amsterdam), Devrim Bayar (Curator, Wiels, Brussels), Valérie Boudier (Art Historian, Université
de Lille 3), Stéphane Sauzedde (Director, l'Ecole Supérieure d'Art d'Annecy, France), Thierry de Duve
(Art Historian/Université de Lille 3). 
Panel organizers: Nathalie Stefanov and Gilles Froger, Ecole Supérieure d'Art due Nord-Pas de
Calais-Dunkerque-Tourcoing.

EDUCATION:
2001         Claremont Graduate University / M.F.A., Painting, Claremont, CA.
1996         University of Southern California / B.A., Political Science, Los Angeles, CA.

FULL C.V. UPON REQUEST: