Pratt in Venice inaugurated its celebrations in honor of the 35th year of the program with the exhibition, Infinite Jest.
Unveiling the work of Pratt in Venice alumnae Monique Rollins, Hyewon Hahn, and painting faculty Michael Brennan, the event on June 13th was a whirlwind of celebration and excitement for the Pratt in Venice program. The opening reception was crowded and bustling with attendees, including current Pratt in Venice 2019 participants; Pratt Institute Chair of Fine Arts Jane South; Venetian colleagues and collaborators, including from Università Internazionale dell’Arte and Scuola Internazionale di Grafica; American colleages and scholars; and numerous alumni/ae of the Pratt in Venice program from its beginning years.
Pratt in Venice additionally organized a panel for Art Night 2019 – the annual “White Night” festival held in Venice, in which over one-hundred cultural institutions, museums, and galleries open with special exhibitions, performances, and cultural activities. Pratt’s Infinite Jest panel included exhibiting artists Monique Rollins, Michael Brennan, curator Martina Cavallarin, and Pratt in Venice Director Diana Gisolfi, speaking about their creative process, the response as artists to the environment of Venice, ideas present in the exhibition, and 35 years of the Pratt in Venice program.
Presented at the gallery of the Società Dante Alighieri – Comitato di Venezia, the exhibition was on view from May 3–July 28, 2019. A full-color catalogue was published in conjunction with the exhibition, with essays by Martina Cavallarin and Diana Gisolfi.
The Infinite Jest exhibition was the first in a series of events celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Pratt in Venice program. The celebrations will continue in New York in the fall, especially with the Pratt in Venice 35th Alumni Exhibition featuring work and research by alumni since the program’s beginning in 1984.
Michael Brennan is a Brooklyn-based abstract painter. He is represented by Minus Space, and has worked with Lucas Schoormans, Anthony Meier Fine Art, Yoshii Gallery, and Thatcher Projects. He has exhibited internationally in cities including Brussels, Cologne, Mexico City, Paris, Shanghai, and Sydney. Brennan's group exhibitions include at MoMA PS1, CCNOA, and Industry City. His work in in the collections of the National Gallery of Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the San José Museum of Art, as well as General Dynamics, American Express, and other private collections. His work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Art in America, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. He has written numerous reviews for Artnet (Painters Journal), The Brooklyn Rail, as well as catalogue essays. He earned a BA in Classics from the University of Florida; a MFA in Painting, and a MS in Theory, Criticism and History of Art from Pratt Institute in 1992. He has been teaching at Pratt Institute since 1998, and is currently Adjunct Associate Professor and Graduate Painting Coordinator. He has also taught at Hunter College, Cooper Union, and SVA. He has been a faculty member of Pratt in Venice since 2018.
Born and raised in Seoul, Korea, Hyewon Hahn received a BFA in Painting, with a minor in Art History in 2007, and a MFA in Fine Arts in 2009 from Pratt Institute. During her graduate study, she also attended Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, studying contemporary art. She has held a solo exhibition at Thomas Square Park Gallery, New York; and group shows include Broome Street Gallery; Lucky Gallery; SOHO 20 Chelsea Gallery; Pratt Institute Manhattan Gallery in New York; and Monroe Gallery in Hoboken, New Jersey. Her portfolio consists of acrylic and oil sticks on paper. Her working practice involves painting by overlapping lines on top of each other. Each work is a contemplation of her emotion, journey, and thought. She participated in the Pratt in Venice program in 2006.
Monique Rollins has exhibited her painting internationally for over a decade. In 2018, she featured solo exhibitions at Metroquadro Gallery in Turin, Italy; the Dante Alighieri Society in Venice, Italy; and earlier in the year, the Delaware Contemporary traveled her exhibition, Eastern Poesia, to the Zhu Naizheng Research Center for Art and the American Center, in Beijing, China. Other solo exhibitions include at the Delaware Contemporary in Wilmington, Delaware; the Shevchenko National Museum in Kiev, Ukraine; Andre Zarre Gallery in New York City; CONTEXT Art Miami 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013 editions; the American Embassy in Rome’s Tri Mission Art Gallery; Art Central Hong Kong; and Denise Bibro Fine Art in New York City, to name a few. Born in 1980 in Wilmington, Delaware, she received a BFA from Syracuse University in 2002, and an MFA in Painting, an MS in Theory, Criticism and History of Art, and a Museum Studies Certificate in 2006 from Pratt Institute. She participated in the Pratt in Venice program in 2006, and was the on-site Program Assistant in 2007.
Curator Martina Cavallarin, born in Venice in 1966, is an art critic, essayist, curator, and writer. She has organized international exhibitions and published books and catalogs distributed in Italy and abroad. Her research focuses on the investigation of relational and social systems through artistic and educational projects that involve contemporary culture and the human sphere. In 2009, she founded scatolabianca, an association dedicated to contemporary visual art, serving as president and director. She participates in juries and scientific committees in private and public institutions, and has held training workshops at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, Venice, as well as in private associations and galleries. Her scholarship and curatorial practice is focused on emerging artists, critics, and curators, working on the methods of insertion and growth within the contemporary art system. Recent select publications include MODUS. Tecniche, poetiche, materiali nell'arte contemporanea for the 2017 Biennale di Venezia; L'abbandono. Pratiche di relazione nell'arte contemporanea (2014); Annalù - Works 1994-2014 (2014); and Undici allunaggi possibili (2012). In January 2019, she founded her professional studio in Venice, a laboratory of curatorial practices and exhibition space.