2015-16 Freund Teaching Fellow

Nightmare, 2011-14, 16' x 20', video LED event screen, tugboat, and barge (video still).

Posted by Liam Otten September 3, 2015


The Saint Louis Art Museum and the Sam Fox School have selected Andréa Stanislav as the 2015-16 Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Teaching Fellow.

An associate professor of sculpture at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Stanislav is known for creating ambitious, monumentally scaled multimedia installations that explore the relationship between site and community, and between artist and audience.

For example, the video intervention Nightmare (2011/14)—originally launched on the Mississippi River and later reprised on the Neva River in St. Petersburg, Russia—creates the illusion of a ghostly white horse galloping for miles upon the surface of the water. River To Infinity—The Vanishing Points (2008) is an immersive landscape built primarily from mirrors but also incorporating video images of mirrored obelisks that Stanislav created, and later exploded, on the Great Salt Flats of Utah.

"I consider the work completed when the viewer/participant is immersed within it, both intellectually and physically," she writes in an artist’s statement. "This immersion is amplified by a literal 'physicality of ideas,' whereby the metaphors and ideas within the work produce a visceral experience for the spectator/viewer, transforming them into participants."

Other recent projects range from Broken Obelisks (2013), in which a holographic skin creates the illusion of movement, to a series of sculptures combining taxidermied animals with bright reflective materials such as mirror, glass, steel, crystal, and rhinestone—a juxtaposition the artist describes as "anchored in a collision of beauty and horror."

"We're excited to have Andréa join us this year as our latest addition to the Freund Teaching Fellowship program," said Patricia Olynyk, the Florence and Frank Bush Professor and director of the Graduate School of Art, who led the selection committee with Simon Kelly, curator of modern and contemporary art for the Saint Louis Art Museum.

"While her projects will inspire the students to consider new conceptual strategies and modes of production and display in their own work, Andréa's practice overall will expand discourse on American exceptionalism, affect behavior, and situated practices in the MFA program and in St. Louis," Olynyk said.

Supported by the Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Endowment Fund, Freund Teaching Fellowships promote the exhibition and acquisition of contemporary art at the Saint Louis Art Museum, as well as the teaching of contemporary art principles in the Sam Fox School. Each fellowship consists of two monthlong residencies, during which recipients teach in the Sam Fox School and prepare an exhibition for the museum's Currents series.

"Andréa's work has a strong poetic as well as conceptual element, and stood out in the selection process," Kelly said. "Her ambitious engagement with a wide range of media, including sculpture, new media, painting, and performance, is also impressive. We are very much looking forward to her Currents exhibition at the Saint Louis Art Museum in spring 2016."

To learn more about Stanislav's work, check out her portfolio page on the Sam Fox School website.

Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Visiting Artist Lecture

The 2015-16 academic year also will see the launch of the newly endowed Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Visiting Artist Lecture, which will take place each semester as part of the Sam Fox School's Public Lecture Series.

Award-winning designer Natasha Jen will present the inaugural lecture September 28. A partner at the international design firm Pentagram, Jen was recently named one of nine "Designers Who Matter" by Wired magazine. Her work is recognized for its inventive use of graphic, digital, and spatial interventions that challenge conventional notions of media and cultural contexts.

Conceptual artist Mark Dion will present the spring Freund Visiting Artist Lecture February 29, 2016. Dion's work examines the ways in which dominant ideologies and public institutions shape our understanding of history, knowledge, and the natural world. The job of the artist, he said, is to go against the grain of dominant culture, to challenge perception and convention.