Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture and the Skowhegan Alumni Alliance are excited to announce the fourth exhibition in CONFERENCE CALL: a series of five 2-person exhibitions featuring the work of Skowhegan alumni. Opening on September 8, the exhibition Worldbuilding will feature the work of Pallavi Singh (she/her) and Jing (Ellen) Xu (she/her), and is curated by Alliance members Danny Greenberg (they/them) and Eleanor Kipping (she/they). The show will have an opening reception on September 15 from 6:00–8:00PM and take place at the Skowhegan Office in Chelsea, New York.
First generation Chinese visual artist Jing (Ellen) Xu negotiates shared urban spaces through works on paper, wall drawings, and installations that evoke maps and cartographic landscapes in which bodies and public transport overlap. Based in Queens NY, Xu gathers source material while in transit through observation that she later draws from memory. Xu complicates the typical map used for navigation, creating mazes in which subjects are surveilled, tucked away in hidden corridors, advertised to, and become buildings themselves in a world of media, technology, and broadcast. In Xu’s sculpted paintings made from modeling clay, the macro and micro merge, shifting from overhead views and cellular structures as another play on public and private.
New Delhi-based visual artist Pallavi Singh employs drawing, painting, and sculpture as a means to explore culturally informed perceptions of gender and femininity in India. As an observation of a shift in the grooming and beauty practices of men living and working in metropolitan environments, Singh interrogates assumptions of gender and femininity associated with grooming and beauty rituals, and the politicization of public and private pampering practices. Her figurative works place bodies in sparse landscapes and reference traditional Indian painting though a contemporary lens of fashion, beauty, ritual, and consumerism.
About Pallavi Singh
Pallavi Singh (b. 1988) completed her Master’s in Fine Art (Painting) from College of Art, Delhi in 2011. Singh’s work focuses on social constructs and challenges to gender stereotypes, an exploration of sexuality, personal care and grooming behaviours, and corporate spectacles. Singh has been the recipient of several awards including the Vermont Studio Center Artist Opportunity Fellowship, USA (2019), the Inlaks Scholarship at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, USA (2015) and the 10th Sovereign Asian Art Prize, Hong Kong (2013-14), and most recently, being shortlisted for the TAF Emerging Artist Award South Asia, London (2021). Singh is represented by Art Heritage, New Delhi, India. Founded in 1977, Art Heritage is committed to promoting an awareness and appreciation of modern and contemporary Indian art. The gallery has held over 600 exhibitions, and published more than 450 books and catalogues celebrating the work of both distinguished artists, as well as new and emerging talent from India and abroad. Its dual mandate of commerce and education provides audiences an opportunity to learn about art through curated exhibitions and illustrated talks, as well as acquire works that resonate with them.
About Jing (Ellen) Xu
Jing (Ellen) Xu is a multidisciplinary artist born and raised in Inner Mongolia, China and is currently based in Queens, NY. She received a B.A. in Sculpture from Xiamen University, China and an MFA from the University of Washington in Seattle. Xu has participated in residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Wassaic Residency, Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts and Vermont Studio Center. Xu has received a BRIC Media Arts Fellowship and the Artist Fellowship from Hamiltonian Gallery.
CONFERENCE CALL | Exhibition Series 2022 aims to place work by artists from different Skowhegan cohorts in conversation with each other, and with the labor of operating a residency. It will feature the works of Skowhegan alumni: Pío Galbis A ’82, ’21 and Buster Graybill A ’07; Gwendolyn Kerber A ’79 and Rocío Olivares A ’18; Baxter Koziol A ’17 and Molly Springfield A 06; Pallavi Singh A ’15 and Jing (Ellen) Xu A ’16; Hetty Baiz A ’69 and Jordan Seaberry A ’15 . Each pairing is curated by one or two members of the Alumni Alliance: Jesus Benavente A ’12, Annette Cyr A ’76, ’21 and Rebecca Shippee A ’18, Michael Scoggins A ’03, Danny Greenberg A ’18 and Eleanor Kipping A ’18, and Paige Laino (Alumni & Archives Coordinator). Additional information about upcoming exhibitions in this series is forthcoming. The Skowhegan Alliance is a group of alumni who generate off-campus programming for the international alumni community.
Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture is one of the country’s foremost educational experiences for artists. Located on a 350-acre campus in Maine, the nine-week program provides 65 emerging artists and 11 faculty artists with a collaborative and rigorous environment that is shaped by risk-taking, mentorship, and peer-to-peer exchange. Founded in 1946 by artists, for artists, Skowhegan provides an atmosphere that is intentionally responsive and adaptive in its programmatic model to encourage participants to occupy a space in contrast to market or academic expectations. For further information on Skowhegan, visit skowheganart.org.