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. Her weekly blog, "Monday's image", is a meditation on the front pages of newspapers and works of art from museum collections. Statement on Monday’s Image.
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Each of my collage works on vellum or on large sheets of Arches paper begins with forming relationships between art history, nature and current events. I search for the diachronic, whereby I place a window onto the fragility of our environment, the effects of technology and social crises, past and present. Constellations of this sort allude to Walter Benjamin’s dialectical image or visual adjacencies in Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas. This approach is also demonstrated in the weekly "Monday's image" blog under News, where I pair a work of art with the front page of the local newspaper, addressing the digital printed image(s) 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.
At present, the majority of my production is in painting and collage beginning at a scale of 8.3 x 11.7 inches and expanding out to wall-size images. When I moved to Brussels in early 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". I 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. The leftover cuttings are then re-purposed into still lives that I photograph in my studio and produce as digital C-prints. 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 typographical fields emerge that carry the residue of their referent.
2018 / 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. Such research led to the creation of a weekly blog in 2015, Monday’s image, that pairs the front pages of newspapers with works of art from museum collections. Blas 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. She is currently teaching Senior Studio / Professional Practice, at The College of New Jersey, in Ewing Township. Blas produced an artist project for the Spring issue of Public Art Dialogue, published in May 2016, and has written an article in the upcoming volume, Monumental Troubles: Rethinking What Monuments Mean Today, to be published in January 2019, through The Snite Museum of Art / University of Notre Dame, Indiana.
Under/erasure | Group exhibition
Pierogi Gallery, New York, NY.
Curators: Raphael + Heather Rubenstein
Spine | Group exhibition
Ortega y Gasset Projects, Brooklyn, NY.
Curators: Elizaveta Meksin, Suzanne McClelland
The Drawing Center | Fall 2018 Benefit Auction Exhibition, New York, NY.
Curators: Claire Gilman, Alison Hyland
Make The Wave | Artist Print Sale to benefit Swing Left
Organizers: Betsy Seder, Kim Schoen
The November 2018 midterms are almost here and a blue wave is not going to happen on its own.
That’s why a group of amazingly talented artists have banded together to offer work for the Make the Wave print sale. We’re supporting Swing Left because they are an organization dedicated to taking back the House— by connecting Americans to their nearest Swing District and providing them with ways to make a difference in the 2018 midterms. Limited Edition prints available online: June 15 - July 15, 2018
RECENT SOLO EXHIBITIONS:
LISA BLAS / Monday's image, at Emily Harvey Foundation, New York, NY.
Curators: Christian Xatrec, Agustin Schang
LISA BLAS / After lost space(s), at Kai Matsumiya Gallery, New York, NY.
"Don't Make A Scene" programming: February 7 - March 13, 2016.
LISA BLAS / Still Lifes, Sometimes Repeated, at Galerie Rossicontemporary, Brussels, Belgium.
LISA BLAS / Meet Me At the Mason Dixon, Schmucker Art Gallery, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: Curator: Shannon Egan (Catalogue).
LISA BLAS / As if pruning a tree, after Matisse, Musée Matisse, Cateau-Cambrésis, France. Exhibition organizer: Amanda Crabtree/Art Connexion, Lille, France.
LISA BLAS / Tourner La Page. Four exhibitions at Gallery Commune, Tourcoing, France.
Curators: Undergraduate/Graduate students of “Pôle/Exposition” - Département Arts Plastiques (Catalogues).
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.
LISA BLAS / Meet Me At The Mason Dixon, Meat Market Gallery, Washington, DC.
Organizer: Fabian Bernal.
RECENT GROUP EXHIBITIONS:
Social Photography VI | Carriage Trade, New York, NY.
Opening: July 10, 2018
July 10 - August 26, 2018
Curator: Peter Scott
VALEDICTION / Ejecta Projects, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Curators: Shannon Egan, Anthony Cervino
Social Photography V / Carriage Trade, New York, NY.
July 11 - August 12, 2017
Curator: Peter Scott
Bellingham National 2017 / Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, Washington.
Curator: Catharina Manchanda.
2017 SPRING BREAK / ART FAIR, New York, NY.
Curator: Natasha Becker.
Curators: Barry Schwabsky and Carol Szymanski
Tanja Grunert Gallery, New York, NY.
January 12 - February 18, 2017
Foundation Barbin Presents: Redeux (sort of)
Kai Matsumiya Gallery, New York, NY.
January 5 - February 5, 2016
Curator: Lucky DeBellevue.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Summer Soul Sis
Emerging women artists from California: Jaus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.
Curator: Ichiro Irie, Director, Jaus Gallery.
Group exhibition at Addison Ripley Fine Art, Washington, DC.
Curators: Isabel Manolo, Christopher Addison.
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.
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.
PUBLIC/PRIVATE, Arlington Arts Center, Arlington, VA, 2009.
Curator: Jeffry Cudlin, Former Director, Arlington Arts Center.
Audio discussion with Jeffry Cudlin.
Picturing Politics 2008: Artists Speak To Power. Arlington Arts Center, Arlington, VA, 2008.
Curator: Rex Weil (Catalogue).
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).
RECENT TALKS, INTERVIEWS AND CONFERENCES:
Monumental Troubles 2: Rethinking What Monuments Mean Today
Midwest Art History Society conference / Indianapolis, IN
April 7, 2018
Chair: Erika Doss, University of Notre Dame
Lisa Blas / Watching modern avalanches, while blossoms drift across night.
Visiting Artist talk at KMD, University of Bergen, Norway.
Moderator: Thomas Pihl
Interview with Brainard Carey / September 7, 2017
Artist talk at Trestle Art Gallery
Brooklyn Art Space, Brooklyn
Moderator: Lauren Bierly
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
Skype interview with undergraduate seminar at Lake Forest College, Chicago, Illinois
Moderator: Professor Miguel de Baca
Skype interview with "Art Now" undergraduate class at George Washington University/Corcoran School of Art & Design, Washington, DC
Moderator: Professor Lisa Lipinski.
Artist talk at University of Virginia, Charlottesville, McIntire Department of Art.
Organizers: Sarah Betzer, Howard Singerman.
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.
Artist talk at University of São Paulo, Department of Visual Arts, São Paulo, Brazil.
Moderator: Sonia Salzstein.
AAANZ conference, Together <> Apart, University of Sydney, panelist in Toxic Blooms.
Organizers: Gary Sangster, Merilyn Fairskye, Anne Ferran.
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.
Artist talk at Otis College of Art & Design, Painting department, Los Angeles.
Organizer: Holly Tempo.
College Art Association conference, production of a video work for the group exhibition
POST-HYPER-ANTI-ALTER at the Bonaventure Hotel, Los Angeles.
Gallery discussion with Miguel de Baca, Assistant Professor Art History, Lake Forest College.
Moderator: Shannon Egan, Director, Schmucker Art Gallery, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg,
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.
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
Adjunct Professor / Senior Studio: Professional Practice seminar, The College of New Jersey, Ewing Township, New Jersey.
Visiting Artist / Individual tutorials and group seminar, KMD, University of Norway, Bergen
Group seminar: You are here, after Paul Thek.
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.
Pôle Exposition (Tourner la page), graduate curatorial seminar in Photography, Université de Lille 3, Tourcoing, France.
Final Critique panelist, Year 3 and 4, Atelier Dessin, La Cambre, Ecole Nationale Supérieure Des Arts Visuels,
Organizers: Catherine Warmoes, Céline Gillain.
Nomadism, Site-specificity and other modes of transit, graduate seminar with l’École Supérieure d’Art Tourcoing & Université de Lille 3.
Organizer: Vèronique Goudinoux.
Senior Core Thesis faculty for Senior year BFA majors, Corcoran College of Art & Design.
Fine Art Core Curriculum for Junior year BFA majors, Corcoran College of Art & Design.
Drawing/Painting faculty, George Washington University, Washington, DC.
2001 Claremont Graduate University / M.F.A., Painting, Claremont, CA.
1996 University of Southern California / B.A., Political Science, Los Angeles, CA.