Maria A. Guzmán Capron, Doble, 2022; © Maria A. Guzmán Capron; photo: Graham Holoch

Artists Will Be Highlighted in SFMOMA’s SECA Exhibition This December

WHO:

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) announces the recipients of the 2022 SECA Art Award, selected from a list of 16 finalists:

  • Binta Ayofemi
  • Maria Guzmán Capron
  • Cathy Lu
  • Marcel Pardo Ariza
  • Gregory Rick

Binta Ayofemi is a multidisciplinary artist whose primary medium is the cities of Oakland and San Francisco, expressing Black and Indigenous presence, land and spatial practices and modes of Black abstraction. Through a juxtaposition of bright fabrics, bold prints and a variety of textures, Maria Guzmán Capron creates commanding icons in positions of tenderness, power, vulnerability and movement with a dynamic patchwork of hand-sewn textiles and applied paint. Cathy Lu is a ceramics-based artist who manipulates traditional Chinese art imagery and cultural references to deconstruct assumptions about Asian American identity and claims of authenticity. Marcel Pardo Ariza is a visual artist who explores the relationship between kinship and queerness through constructed photographs, color sets and site-specific installations. Gregory Rick creates vibrant, large-scale paintings that depict scenes of conflict and struggle in high contrast, cartoon-like imagery.

Detailed artist biographies, below.

WHAT:

Since 1967, the SECA (Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art) Art Award has honored Bay Area artists with an exhibition at SFMOMA and an accompanying publication.

The award distinguishes Bay Area artists whose work has not, at the time of nomination, been accorded substantial recognition from a major institution. Recipients of the SECA Art Award are chosen by SFMOMA curators after a series of studio visits attended by SECA members.

FINALISTS:

Indira Allegra

Saif Azzuz

Sydney Cain

Jeffrey Cheung

Guillermo Galindo

Dana Hemenway

Heesoo Kwon

Alison O’Daniel

Leila Weefur

Chelsea Ryoko Wong

Maryam Yousif

CURATORS:

The 2022 SECA Art Award exhibition at SFMOMA is curated by Andrea Nitsche-Krupp, assistant curator of media arts, and Jovanna Venegas, assistant curator of contemporary art.

“We could not be more excited to work with this group of artists. From wildly different practices and perspectives, these artists all create work that is bold and intimate and opens us up to experiences of our shared existence beyond art,” says Andrea Nitsche-Krupp. “After living through a period where our city was closed off for so long, and where we postponed SECA for a year, we are thrilled to reemerge with this dynamic group of artists and find ways to support their ideas and the new projects they would like to develop,” added Venegas.

WHEN/WHERE:

On view December 17, 2022, through May 29, 2023, the 2022 SECA Art Award exhibition will be presented in SFMOMA’s California galleries on Floor 2. Each artist will have a dedicated gallery.

PUBLICATION:

The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication edited by Andrea Nitsche-Krupp and Jovanna Venegas that includes essays on the five 2022 SECA Art Award winners.

SUPPORT:

illy is the Presenting Sponsor of the 2022 SECA Art Award: Binta Ayofemi, Maria Guzmán Capron, Cathy Lu, Marcel Pardo Ariza, Gregory Rick. Generous support is provided by SECA (Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art), an SFMOMA art experience group.

ABOUT THE ARTIST RECIPIENTS:

Binta Ayofemi

Binta Ayofemi, Abstract Urban Objects Series, 2022; © Binta Ayofemi

Binta Ayofemi is a visual artist whose work seeks to honor Black and Indigenous presence, land and spatial practices, and modes of Black abstraction through space, sound, and materials. Through work that activates the senses, the artist seeks to renew our relationship to physical material and immaterial systems. Abandoned or overlooked sites and storefronts are an opportunity for both a poetic and practical engagement for Ayofemi, who works in a constellation at the city edges, shoreline, and within neighborhoods, to acknowledge continuum and transformation. Ayofemi has cultivated an urban meadow, revived a wood mill, reimagined a corner store, repurposed a former music store as an urban courtyard for performance, and is currently remaking a long vacant lot into a lush green landscape for Black restoration and refreshment. The artist addresses the specific context of Oakland and San Francisco, confronting a legacy of redlining and redevelopment towards regenerative Black space. Drawing from performance, ensemble dance and music, Ayofemi’s multifaceted practice forms an urban score, asking questions about authorship, presence, power, and public and private space. Her work has been featured at the Oakland Museum of California, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Contemporary Jewish Museum, the Berkeley Art Museum, and dOCUMENTA 13. Ayofemi is the recipient of the Public Artist Award, Oakland and YBCA 10 Artist Award. She received her MFA from Stanford.

Maria Guzmán Capron

Maria A. Guzmán Capron, Doble, 2022 (detail); © Maria A. Guzmán Capron; photo: Graham Holoch

The bodily forms in Maria Guzmán Capron’s work are a dynamic patchwork of hand-sewn textiles and applied paint. Through a juxtaposition of bright fabrics, bold prints and variety of textures, Capron creates commanding icons in positions of tenderness, power, vulnerability and movement. Her original and idiosyncratic visual language relies on fabric’s role in describing and signaling identity. These bodies, which exist beyond male and female binaries, take up space. Ears, hands and other body parts are built up, extending off the wall and towards the viewer. Often selecting discarded and remnant fabrics, Capron’s clashing patchworked bodies speak of class, gender and our implicit awareness of a material hierarchy. Capron’s solo exhibitions include Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles, CA; Texas State Galleries, San Marcos, TX; and Premier Junior, San Francisco, CA. Select group exhibitions include Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco; Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA; NIAD Art Center, Richmond, CA; Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art, Buffalo, NY; and Mana Contemporary in Chicago, IL. Capron received her MFA from California College of the Arts and her BFA from the University of Houston.

Marcel Pardo Ariza

Marcel Pardo Ariza, Lu&HH, 2021; © Marcel Pardo Ariza photo: Courtesy of the artist

Marcel Pardo Ariza is a visual artist and curator who explores the relationship between queer kinship and intergenerational connection through constructed photographs, color sets and site-specific installations. Their work is rooted in close dialogue and collaboration with trans, non-binary and queer friends and peers, most of whom are performers, artists, educators, policymakers, and community organizers. Ariza’s practice celebrates pleasure, care and kink, while pushing against the boundaries of photography. Their work has recently been exhibited at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; McEvoy Foundations for the Arts; Palo Alto Art Center; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; Palm Springs Art Museum; and the Institute of Contemporary Art San José. Ariza is the recipient of the 2021 CAC Established Artists Award; the 2020 San Francisco Artadia Award; 2018-19 Alternative Exposure Grant; 2017 Tosa Studio Award; and a 2015 Murphy & Cadogan Contemporary Art Award. Ariza is a studio member at Minnesota Street Project, and the co-founder of Art Handlxrs*, an organization supporting queer, BIPOC, women, trans and non-binary folks in professional arts industry support roles. They are currently a lecturer at California College of the Arts and San Francisco State University.

Cathy Lu

Cathy Lu, Peripheral Visions, 2022; © Cathy Lu; photo: Aaron Stark and Chinese Culture Center

Cathy Lu is a ceramics-based artist who manipulates traditional Chinese art imagery and cultural references to deconstruct assumptions about Asian American identity and claims of authenticity. Her sculptures and installations take on magical and surreal qualities yet point to real life—chromed papayas, bananas, and other tropical fruits suggest the movement of people; glazed face masks-turned pillows summon the power of dreaming; and sets of crying eyes celebrate specific women and their hidden strengths. Through these works, Lu explores what it means to be both Asian and American while not embodying either fully. Her work investigates how experiences of immigration, cultural hybridity and assimilation become part of a larger identity in the United States. She has exhibited at Johansson Projects, Aggregate Space, Jessica Silverman Gallery, and the Chinese Culture Center San Francisco. Lu won a 2020 Emerging Artist Fellowship from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts and was a 2019 Asian Cultural Council/ Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation Fellow. She has participated in artist in residence programs at Root Division, Bemis Center for the Arts, Recology SF, and the Archie Bray Foundation. She received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and her BA and BFA from Tufts University. She currently teaches at California College of the Arts and Mills College.

Gregory Rick

Gregory Rick, Lazarus, 2021; © Gregory Rick; photo: Gregory Rick

Gregory Rick creates vibrant, large-scale paintings that depict scenes of conflict and struggle in high contrast, cartoon-like imagery. Rick’s frenetic canvases parallel signs of current frictions and those drawn from history. The artist’s life experiences, including his time in the 101st Airborne in Iraq, informs some of the subject matter while the anguish, loss and guilt of a soldier can also be felt in their depiction. Rick’s first artistic community was formed around making graffiti, and the gestural immediacy of that practice is present in his paintings, as is the influence of great Mexican muralists. A conflation of time occurs in many of Rick’s canvases which blend factual details of historical military conflict with Rick’s personal narratives, alongside a finely tuned historical imaginary informed by thorough research. Rick’s work has been exhibited at the Kala Art Institute; Bass and Reiner Gallery; California College of the Arts; Ever Gold Gallery; Slash/; and Rochester Art Center, among others. He has received the Yamaguchi print making award, the Nathan Oliviera fellowship, and the Jack K. and Gertrude Murphy Award for his artistic work and the Combat Infantry Badge for his military contribution. Rick received his BFA from California College of the Arts and his MFA from Stanford.

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