November 13 – December 9, 2017
USF Contemporary Art Museum (CAM)

Renowned Pop artist James Rosenquist, who passed away earlier this year, lived and worked in the Tampa Bay area for more than four decades. Throughout his life Rosenquist maintained a very active and generous profile within the creative community of Florida’s west coast. From November 13th through December 9th, 2017, the USF Contemporary Art Museum will celebrate this creative and collaborative legacy with the exhibition James Rosenquist: Tampa. Drawn primarily from the collection at USF, the exhibition will feature editions of Rosenquist prints produced at the world-renowned print atelier Graphicstudio. Additionally, visitors to the museum will have access to privately held paintings, drawings and support materials along with prints produced at three Tampa Bay area ateliers: Flatstone Press, Pryamid Arts Limited and Topez Editions. Organized by USFCAM.

James Rosenquist
James Rosenquist -Tampa New York 1188, CAM USF Tampa


Thursday, November 16
6–8pm, USF Contemporary Art Museum
Free tour of the exhibition James Rosenquist: Tampa.

Thursday, November 30
6–8pm, USF Contemporary Art Museum
Behind the scenes Museum at Work event to learn about the various printmaking methods in the exhibition James Rosenquist: Tampa, watch a printmaking demonstration, and accept the prints challenge!

Saturday, December 2
3pm, USF Theatre II
A Memorial event celebrating the life and work of artist James Rosenquist.
The memorial is free of charge but seating is limited and an RSVP is required. To reserve your seat, please go to https://goo.gl/kwkTH1 or call (813) 974-4164.

Saturday, December 2
4pm, USF Contemporary Art Museum
A reception following the James Rosenquist memorial event.

USF Contemporary Art Museum
(813) 974-4133

Mon. to Fri. 10am–5pm
Thurs. 10am–8pm
Sat. 1–4pm

3821 USF Holly Drive, Tampa, FL 33620

Featured Artist: Claudia Ryan

Claudia Ryan is one of the major female abstracts artists in the Sarasota/Bradenton area. A 2006 graduate of USF’s MFA program and Ringling College Graduate, Ryan has shown with Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art, the Clayton Galleries, Bleu Acier Gallery, and currently lives and works in Bradenton, Florida.

Claudia Ryan is one of the major female abstracts artists in the Sarasota / Bradenton area. A 2006 graduate of USF’s MFA program and Ringling College Graduate, Ryan has shown with Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art, the Clayton Galleries, Bleu Acier Gallery, and currently lives and works in Bradenton, Florida. At 60, her grand and intense, yet personal style of painting, revels a complex and impressive voice of art today. Below is an interview with the artist.

Untitled, Watercolor on Paper, 30x44 inches

sVA: What are you currently working on?

Currently, I am working on large drawings. I feel closest to my drawings, which are really a mixture of painting and drawing. I work a lot on paper. It’s a faster release for me to work quickly in a drawing mode on a large piece of paper with a piece of charcoal or pastel, even though I use liquid media too.

I work from my imagination from the inside out, rather than from direct observation. I like drawing with the movement of my whole body. I feel that I connect faster to my unconscious that way. If I start to be too aware about what I am doing, things usuallly don’t work out. My work is an ongoing process. I just think of it as something I do.

Untitled, Etching, 14x16 inches, 2011

sVA: In your lifetime, you have experienced or been witness to many events, people, and places. Does one or some of these have more influence on your work than others?

I am fairly old I guess, I’ll be 60 on my next birthday so, yes, that’s a long time. Really it’s all like a big blob in my head. Sometimes I think there is nothing that can compare to what is happening in the present, especially the events of the last ten years, but then the present is sometimes the most unclear or scariest thing for me to focus on. I am always nervous about things, about the future, but I am trapped in the past most of the time. There are a lot of timelines in there running in me, all existing simultaneously. I mean, I carry the past with me, like everybody else, and it just follows along, but I think the sixties, and in particular the British invasion of popular culture in the US, had the biggest effect on me. The Beatles were the most exciting thing that ever happened to me, even though that seems funny to say! I started to notice art and be aware of art history at that time, between the ages of 11 and 14. Art was like this big container opening up in my life and a great discovery and I felt like this whole conversation could contain me and it was the first thing that really made sense, even though I was going through a lot of personal emotional tumult.

I wasn’t discretionary then at all between “high” and “low” art. It was that moment when everything mixed in me in this very intense visual way: the Keane girl paintings at the mall with their big eyes and Mary Quant styles, Milton Glaser/ Seymour Chwast posters all combined with Van Gogh and Francis Bacon and Bellini and Vermeer. There was the whole Pop and Op style thing with its incredibly kinetic lines and bright colors that infused fashion and music and movies, and there were all those album covers.

I was painfully shy and going through adolescence, and I remember dying inside this electric yellow plastic raincoat. It is all in my head together, everything a big mix just like now, that whole era with its terrible dark parts and light parts, sort of everything, like riding on this big wave. I remember attending the New York World’s Fair in 1964 and filing past the Pieta on a conveyer belt. They had the sculpture shipped over in this special, unsinkable container. It sounds crazy now. There was still a feeling then of everything progressing towards some modern utopian-Jetson cartoon type of paradise. But that whole narrative was really starting to seriously fall away about that time too, and the pressure of that collapsing is still an enormous influence on my outlook.

Untitled, Etching Chine-collé on buff paper, 14x22 inches

sVA: What currently inspires you to paint?

Feelings of isolation.

sVA: What do you think of when you create?

I am doubting what I am doing is any good all the time, because most of it isn’t any good, in fact I am surprised most of the time by how little I have to show for myself as an artist.

sVA: What elements do you consider most important in your work?

Lines and colors. Black is very important, I can’t seem to do without it. I try sometimes to leave it out, just to see if I can.

Untitled, Ink and Watercolor on paper, 12x18 inches, 2009

sVA: Does the Sarasota-Bradenton art scene have any influence on your work?

I am still a pretty shy person and I hole up in my studio, so I admit social interaction is never high on my list of things.

I drive up and down 41 a lot because of my job, and I am always noticing what has changed and what’s still there after the 40 some years that I’ve lived here off and on. It’s a fantasticly weird jumble of time and images that goes through my head. It’s kind of scary! My favorite thing is driving by the airport at night or very early morning.

This area – the artists mentors I’ve met here – have been nurturing to me. Almost since I came back, I was able to make prints in the shop at Ringling College, and I was helped so much and welcomed. And when I enrolled in Ringling finally to finish my degree, the friends I made and artists I met, some who live and work here still, have enriched my existence. I count my blessings. I’ve been very fortunate to live here, and that’s an understatement.

Also, when I returned in the late eighties the gallery scene here was still pretty active, like it was in many places then, and I benefited directly from that. Things seem to be pretty exciting right now with a new generation of artists and the promise of a Contemporary Art Museum in the future. I wonder what that will be like.

Untitled, Mixed media on paper, 44x52 inches, 2011

sVA: What role does history play in your work if any?

I feel like a historical invention sometimes, or that history is always inventing me somehow. I want to invent my own history.

sVA: How important are titles in your work, and if so where do they come from?

I often envy titles in others work. Titles can really complement a piece. Aso they help in an archival sense, I mean in keeping track of things. This question of titled/untitled used to really bother me!

I remember reading an artist once being interviewed about this and they said they believed the caption”Untitled” was really a title, in a bad sort of way, I mean, like a kind of dead code or a pose, or something.

Now, I dont think its so important, so I am not wasting time worrying over it. I rarely title my work.

Untitled, Pastel and Watercolor on paper, 59x78 inches, 2011

sVA: It always varies from one artist to the next. How do you know when a work of yours is complete?

I have to go away from it for a little while, and if it holds up upon my return, then, well, maybe, or I keep repeatting this action. Sometimes you can be too close and you can’t even see something you’ve done, or the opposite, you are reading too much into it and it falls empty and flat. Actually sometimes I don’t know. Sometimes if somebody else sees something and thinks its done, then I think it’s done. Sometimes I throw it out I hate it so much. I’m a wimp at decision making.

sVA: What is in the future for Claudia Ryan and her work?

Just living and keeping on working and making things I hope! I want to work on my painting and writing, and I want to work on illustrating a book of poems.

Untitled, Townscape, Ink and Marker on Mylar, 2007

Troubleshooting the obvious, a critique on Mark Dion at USF Contemporary Art Museum

Dion replicates the natural through drawings, paintings, and screen-printed images with an ease that only an artist of his caliber could create … aiming for viewer to travel throughout history in an ecologically-themed show.

Mark Dion’s Troubleshooting, located at the Contemporary Art Museum on the University of South Florida’s Tampa campus, exhibits a total of thirty-eight pieces– five of which are by John Kunkel Small and one in collaboration with Dana Sherwood. The show explores flora and fauna, the effect that humans have on nature, and the personal interest Dion has in both wunderkammern and historical explorations. Dion replicates the natural through drawings, paintings, and screen-printed images with an ease that only an artist of his caliber could create, unfortunately his instillations failed to fit-in.

Throughout the exhibition the underlying themes of the Florida’s wildlife are explored through multiple installations, the most publicized being Travels of William Bartram Reconsidered (2008) and The South Florida Wildlife Rescue Unit (2006). Travels of William Bartram Reconsidered is a wunderkammer (curiosity cabinet) filled with campy trinkets, in the form of alligators. Filled with the all-too stereotypical symbols that immediately recall Floridian lifestyle, these alligators make a connection to the wildlife William Bartram documented in the late 1800s. Being a Florida native I can attest to alligators serving an important part in a Floridian’s lifestyle: a popular design for tourists traps- at least there were no pink-flamingo or palm tree cabinets! Surprisingly, there were not more cabinets of animals around the museum space even though Dion notes in his label of Travels of William Bartram Reconsidered that alligators are one of the animals that people affect.

The Terror of Transylvania (1998), Herbarium (2010) and, Herbarium Perrine (Marine Algae) (2006) are a few of Dion’s more thought-provoking and visually entertaining pieces. The Terror of Transylvania (1998) is a silkscreen of a traditional circus poster that captures ideas of the effect humans and the art world have on wildlife through a historically relevant medium. Herbarium (2010) is a series of seven-image highly veristic, ornate hand-painted images, while Herbarium Perrine (2006) consists of two portfolios filled with individually pressed seaweed, both revealing Dion’s painstaking devotion for accuracy and allowing the viewer to see into Dion’s nostalgic mind.

Dion’s Troubleshooting aims for viewer to travel throughout history with him in an ecologically-themed show. Jane Simon, curator of USF Contemporary Art Museum, states that Dion produces, “works that focus on congested ground between the natural and the cultural, often revealing the rift between common perception and scientific theory.” After my experience with Dion’s Troubleshooting, I felt it contradicted the rift between traditional forms of art-making and the ever-demanding contemporary art world, which emphasizes monumentality over the quality of art. Unfortunately, the pieces that show Dion’s political and personal message that resonate on an intimate level are lost amongst his urge to succumb to the shock factor that is preeminent in the eye-catching truck and awkwardly creepy taxidermic animals.

Critique by USF Student Correspondent, Natalya Swanson.

The Talent Show

September 30 – December 10, 2011
This exhibit explores the competing desires of notoriety and privacy, and the evolving relationship between artists and audiences in our culture of reality television and Web-based social media.

September 30 – December 10, 2011
Contemporary Art Museum, USF Tampa Campus

The Talent Show explores the competing desires of notoriety and privacy, and the evolving relationship between artists and audiences in our culture of reality television and Web-based social media. For almost half a century, artists have modeled and exploited these desires and dramatized the complex dynamics that surround them, often engaging people to participate in their work—both with and without their knowledge.

Stanley Brouwn
Chris Burden
Sophie Calle
Peter Campus
Graciela Carnevale
Phil Collins
Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Tehching Hsieh
David Lamelas
Piero Manzoni
Adrian Piper
Amie Siegel
John Smith
Andy Warhol
Gillian Wearing
Hannah Wilke
Shizuka Yokomizo
Carey Young

The Talent Show is organized by Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and is made possible by generous support from the David Teiger Foundation and Ann M. Hatch. The exhibition is curated by Peter Eleey.