Marissa Bluestone

I am writing a line, it is a signature it slices through space from edge to edge, it is my line my approval a point that signifies this at least.

 

I am drawing a line, it is the edge of her face or where I perceive the end of it and where the rest of the world begins, and then she is gone at the edge of herself. She disappears.

I am speaking this line which is rehearsed, recording its sound reverberating in my body, it binds me to my sitter, sitter to place, place to time, time to moment.

We bend between the lines, squeezing through the composition, between annotated words that give structure to our exchange.

Bodies or beings leave their stain on the canvas, a thin membrane of oil paint that fills the frame, a possibility of their particular existence.

I work from memory. The future is also a memory. Living bodies carry these “memories” at the perimeter of us, in the corners of the rooms, on the tips of our noses at the end of a breath. I am painting in the area between what can be seen or comprehended and where that defined moment unravels and redefines itself with imagined relationships to space, color, and form.

This is why I create work out of memories rather than direct observation.  I’m interested in the fog that nestles itself over the pictures of these realities. The scenes/people presented here reach through to me through this mist.

Fog is for homos. Fog makes rainbows. Fog breaks up the light revealing the spectrum

I allow myself to believe wholeheartedly that each part of the painting has a relationship to observable truth. Each part of the painting begets the next so each truth of the work is dependent on the parts that support it, turning a contingent web into a reality.

In this way, I am saying representation is false and we all know it’s false because we have always known that a picture is always false and yet there is a tension between where that truth  begins and ends.

People places things inhabit these works and they are described to a certain degree before they lose their total sense of “believability”, they occupy the interstitial realm of their identity and embody the malleability of those prescribed definitions. My paintings play with how we are asked to perform the particularities of these truths in everyday parlance.

A line

a brush stroke

the space where two forms meet performs an action in the service of representing

a face

a body

a place

an encounter,

but these bodies wilt and fail become abject through the liquidity of the paint that creates them.

These forms hold the vibrato of their inability to be fully formed, they are held by environments that give structure to their tenuous existence.

My tennis ball hugs the edge of an orange landscape in Love-15. Is the ball rising up to be met by the tennis player depicted here? Or is it a return shot? Time has been extended in order to let this scene develop. Tennis is a game without a clock. The time of the game is structured by the action of the players. We accept this uncertainty of time place because this is a painting, a fiction. Systems of power are insidiously woven in the fabric of our lives to the veins of our corporealities. In an image-saturated world where all surface is equally a lie and a truth, my paintings attempt descent and personal authority.

Mortality always enters the scene, the flesh is a reminder of this inevitability.

Painting flesh is touch. Like the current when two living things come into contact with each other.  The sweat of a palm as it rests in my own, the beat of a pulse keeping time.

When I pull my size 40, 20, 6, or 2 brush across the canvas it becomes my prosthetic for touching this other as they emerge from the film of paint. Light sprinkles through this emulsion creating space–distance from my initial performed gesture. The way my hand might caress a thigh, I mimic this movement when I paint. Inside this vibration, my figures appear boneless, as they are unwilling to be stuck within the confines of a definitive mass. Flesh, here, is malleable to the moment as it shifts, bends, twists around the periphery of each engagement. Representation creates limits around forms. The lines of these limitations are made to be expanded upon, the boundary is the portal.

 

Education

 

2001 Bard College, Annandale, NY. B.A

2014 Hunter College, New York, NY. MFA

 

 

Solo and Two Person Exhibitions

 

2019 Critter Sitters, La Mama Gallery, New York, NY

2018 An Instant’s Compass,  Elaine L. Jacob Gallery, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI

2017 Action Paintings, Larrie Project Space (Curated by Ashton Cooper), New York, NY

 

Group Exhibitions

 

2019 Mona Lisa Must Have Had The Highway Blues, (Curated by JJ Manford), Underdonk, Brooklyn, NY

2018 Cast of Characters, (Curated by Liz Collins), Bureau of General Services-Queer Division, New York, NY

2018 Wanderings and Wonderings, performance at Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, NY

2018 Drawings (Curated by Jason Fox), Frieze Art Fair; Canada Gallery, Randall’s Island NY

2017 Other Romances Rachel Uffner, Curated by Em Rooney Gallery New York , NY

2017 The Exhibition of Work by Newly Elected Members and Recipients of Honors and Awards, The Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY 

2017 Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts, Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY

2017 Spread, Left Field Gallery, San Luis Obispo, CA

2016 Syntagma,, Eugene Lang at The New School, New York, NY

2016 Verb List, Etay Gallery, New York, NY

2016 Wild Seeds, Temporary Agency, Brooklyn, NY

2015 Bacon Friday, Performance with Amanda Pohan (curated by Irvin Morazon), Present Company,

New York, NY

2015 Her(e) & Now, (curated by Judy Pfaff), N.A.W.A, New York, NY

2015 Alliance Biennial, (curated by Kat Griefan), St. Nicks Alliance, Brooklyn NY

2014 And What Where These Terrors?, Thesis Exhibition, Hunter College, NY

2014 Portraits in Convex Mirrors, Bannerette, (Curated by Em Rooney) Brooklyn, NY

2014 Art Not Without _________, Amos Eno Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2014 The Whitney Houston Biennial: I’m Every Woman, Brooklyn, NY

2012 PS1 Summer School Exhibition with Genesis P Orridge: MOMA PS1, Queens, NY

2011 Intersecting Identities: Women Artists of New York, LGBT Center, New York, NY.

2011 Landscape Show, Jeffrey Leder Gallery, Queens, NY.

2009 Trains and Trips from Cement to Cemetery, Heist Gallery, New York, NY.

2005 Folly and Flowers, Fringe Gallery, New York, NY.

2004 Funny Pictures, Tribe Gallery, New York, NY.

 

Awards/Residencies/Lectures

 

2018 Basil Alkazzi Detroit Residency, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York, NY

2017 Resident at The Shandanken Project at Storm King

2017 John Koch Award, Academy of Arts and Letters

2017 Panelist at No Man’s Land Panel Discussion, Temporary Agency, Brooklyn, NY

2015 Finalist The Basil H. Alkazzi Award for Excellence in Painting

2014 Resident at Vermont Studio Center

1999 Jane Yaconda Scholarship in the Arts

 

 

Publications

2018 Hoosac Journal #2, Dear Lover in writing

2018 Maake Magazine, Conversation with Mark Epstein

2016 Ginger Zine Volume IV.

2012 Exit Strada print volume II

2007 Art world Digest, “Index” An Exhibition within a magazine.

2006 Ins and Outs. LIC artist review.

2005 You are I am. Book collaboration with the Chicago based collective You Are Beautiful.

 

Teaching Experience 

2018-Present Professor of Art at Hunter College, NY

2018 Visiting Artist, Wayne State University, Detroit MI

2015-Present The Whitney New York, NY, Freelance Educator School and Access Programs

2014-25 MoMA, New York, NY Facilitator for Beyond The Cut-Out MoMa Studio

2014 MoMA, New York, NY, Facilitator for Pop-Up Activity Space

2013-17 Terrance Cardinal Cooke Nursing Home, New York, NY, Teaching Artist

2012-17 Bellevue Hospital (Cancer Center), New York, NY, Teaching Artist