Curator’s Note


The twenty-seven miscellaneous practices that converge in the Parsons 2023 MFA thesis exhibition—by far the largest in recent years—defy a single rubric, and yet, here together, manifest more than the sum of their parts. Returning to their studios and to each other’s company as the pandemic’s restrictions have slowly receded, many artists in this cohort approach space and presence, whether physical or virtual, with new urgency. A surplus of sculpture and installation animates two storefront galleries and their surrounds with blued steel, whorled paper, fired clay, lathed wood, cascading cable, rhinestones, textiles, twine—even a 1969 Lincoln Continental. And, of course, electronic and projected light. 

Sight lines within and alongside the galleries, as well as through their windows on 13th Street and Fifth Avenue, yield a mutating object theater. Forms give way to overlapping subject matter, from personal and cultural memory; to translation, linguistic or technological; to idle time, economic abstractions, and ecological fragility. Circumstantial though their assembly may be, these works and their makers play to the contradictions between them as much as they conjure momentary coalitions.