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An International Perspective

By Fran Siegel

Overland 14, an art piece from 2012 hanging in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

I joined CSULB’s School of Art faculty in 2002 and relocated to San Pedro from New York City. I earned an MFA in Painting from Yale University School of Art and a BFA from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and Rome.

Overland 16 detail up close, an art piece from 2013 hanging in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

My monumental form of collage drawing is an investigation of site-locations. Information is researched and reconstructed with multiple sources, viewpoints and mediums. Recent drawings have been acquired by LACMA, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Yale University Art Gallery.

I have exhibited internationally; representing the United States in the IX International Biennial of Cuenca, Ecuador, the Center for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv, Muzeum Stzuki in Lodz, Poland, Nuova Icona in Venice, Italy, and in New York at The Museum of Art and Design, Dorsky Curatorial Projects and Lesley Heller Workspace. Last year I completed “Through” a site-specific permanent commission with US Art in Embassies for the new Ecuadorian consulate, and “Translocation and Overlay” a solo project at the Art, Design and Architecture Museum at UC Santa Barbara which consisted of 50 drawings depicting environmental and population changes along its “utopic” California coastline.

Overland 14, an art piece from 2012 hanging in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Subsequently I have been invited by the Fowler Museum to develop a drawing exhibition based on an object from their collection. After months of searching, an Afro-Brazilian Egungun ensemble sparked my curiosity. The unique symmetry and material usage of mirrors, shells, layers of patterned fabric, reveals its sacred roots from the Yoruba people whom I studied with Robert Farris Thompson at Yale, while the Brazilian diaspora adds a complex dimension.

Overland 14, an art piece from 2012 hanging in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

The Fulbright Social Sciences and Humanities Core award to Brazil that I have been awarded combines research for this project with teaching at the Instituto de Artes of the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro for Fall 2015. I will give a series of lectures about contemporary drawing and work with students in the Art Department.

My research for this project is in partnership with Museu Afro in São Paulo. Learning how the Egungun is portrayed within its own culture will help me conceptualize this project with deeper sensitivity. I am especially interested in the Egungun’s continued spiritual vibrancy within Brazil’s contemporary metropolis. My resulting layered drawing installation will take into account a process of alienation, ritual, discovery and transformation.

Previous awards include a Getty grant from the California Community Foundation, the OC Contemporary Collectors Award, and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (C.O.L.A.) Grant. Published reviews of my work include Art in America, Art News, Asian Art News, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Art New England, Art Critical, The Brooklyn Rail, ArtWeek, LA Weekly, Arts, and Sculpture. Two recent feature articles that discuss my anthropological approach to drawing were published in the Los Angeles Times and Xtra Contemporary Art Quarterly.

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