Savinio Echoes: Saya Woolfalk and Lucas Blalock in conversation


January 26, 2018

Savinio’s “pre-postmodern” paintings are eccentric, vividly colored, and widely varied, containing everything from abstract patterning to traditional landscapes to mythological figures and engaging elements of surrealism, the fantastic, and the absurd. Contemporary artists Saya Woolfalk and Lucas Blalock join art historian Lauren Rosati in a conversation on their own practices and recent projects, and also respond to the exhibition on view, offering contemporary perspectives on Savinio’s pioneering work. This discussion around inter-generational creativity will explore the role of surrealism, myth, fantasy, history, color, and hybrid forms in each of these artists’ works, revealing affinities and shared interests.

Photographer Lucas Blalock (born 1978, North Carolina) engages the ways that falseness or evident mechanics in photographs can bring both the picture and the pictured into sharper focus. He pursues this through a variety of overlapping strategies (often involving Photoshop) that alienate the “natural” view generally associated with photographic pictures. Blalock’s work employs an expanded notion of photography to consider a world that is ever more inhabited by the plasticities of the virtual.

Intermedia artist Saya Woolfalk (born 1979, Japan) uses science-fiction, mythological research, and fantasy to question cultural boundaries and reimagine contemporary life. Her ongoing project, the Empathics—which incorporates sculpture, installation, video, performance, and textiles—explores a fictional race of women who are able to alter their genetic make-up and fuse with plants. Exploring issues of colonialism, multiculturalism, and ethnography, Woolfalk’s complex narrative projects question the utopian possibilities of cultural hybridity.

Lauren Rosati is a curator and art historian whose research and projects focus on the interdisciplinary study of modernism, in particular the relation of modern art to music, sound, performance, science and technology. She was previously an Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art, an Andrew W. Mellon Museum Research Consortium Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art, Assistant Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at the National Academy Museum, and Assistant Curator at Exit Art. She is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Art History at the City University of New York, Graduate Center.

Free; RSVP required.