Paris Studio Residencies 2019-20

Isaac Howell, Twin's House, 2017. Wood, steel, plumbing piping, faucet, rubber bearings, 6 x 5 x 6.25 ft.

Posted by Sam Fox School July 17, 2018


The Sam Fox School has selected the next group of artists and designers for residencies at the College & Graduate School of Art's Paris studio at the Cité Internationale des Arts.

For more than two decades, the Paris studio residencies have provided alumni, faculty, and students of the College & Graduate School of Art a place to focus on the development of their work, while broadening their international network and immersing themselves in French culture.

Alumni Isaac Howell, Addoley Dzegede, Ericka Beckman, David Johnson, and Cecilia Bien, along with Michael Byron, the Kenneth E. Hudson Professor of Art, have each been awarded a residency for at least two months during the span from January 2019 through August 2020. Excerpts from each of their proposals are listed below.

The School issues a biannual call for applications for the residencies, and recipients are selected by a small committee composed of previous recipients.

January-April 2019: Isaac Howell, BFA15

Isaac Howell’s work as a painter and interdisciplinary artist engages in questions of subjectivity, infrastructure building, and globalization. During his residency, he will research documents and artwork created by the early Situationists International (SI), an international avant-garde organization formed in 1957, as well as protest artwork made by students during the 1960s. He will study how art and writing from this decade informed the Mai ’68 Revolution and provided broader social critiques. He intends to balance his time at the Cité between exploring the archives and making paintings and drawing influenced by this research.

Image credit: Isaac Howell, Man in Tree (Blue Cocoon), 2017. Acrylic on canvas, 53 x 69 in.

May-June 2019: Michael Byron, Kenneth E. Hudson Professor of Art

Since 1994, Michael Byron’s studio practice has included collage as a central strategy in the production of his work, often employing digital technology and advanced commercial printing techniques. Collage has a rich history of political engagement, and though the genre is not viewed as primary form of visual art, the form has anticipated the dense stacking of contemporary visual experience. He intends to use his time in residence to create more intimately scaled, traditional collage as means to engage in the current social and political milieu that has arisen in the political climate we are experiencing.

Image credit: Michael Byron, Wheel of Fortune (detail), 2018. Tire chain ring, 47" diam.

July-August 2019: Addoley Dzegede, MFA15

Addoley Dzegede’s work explores notions of belonging, home, migration and location, and hybrid identities. Most recently, she has been working within fiber practices—weaving, dyeing, batik, knotting, netting, sewing, and printing—to create symbolism and build narrative in her work. During her residency, she will create a new body of work influenced by the textile collections of museums in Paris, especially the Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac. She is particularly interested in their Ashanti kente cloths from Ghana and Togo, Yoruba adire and other indigo-dyed cloths from Nigeria, as well the batiks and other resist-dyed cloth collections.

Image credit: Addoley Dzegede, Obama Oloba, 2017. Batik and indigo on cotton sateen.

January-April 2020: Ericka Beckman, BFA74

Ericka Beckman is currently working on a new film installation titled STALK, which is funded in part by the Sam Fox School’s Stone & DeGuire Contemporary Art Award. The work will premiere in 2019 at her survey exhibition at the MIT List Visual Arts Center. During her residency, she will complete a photographic edition commissioned by California Institute of the Arts called 50 Years/50 Artists, comprising large format C-prints with integrated light and sound that depict scenes from her rendition of Jack and the Beanstalk. She will also use this opportunity to meet with curators and institutions in Europe she is in correspondence with.

Image credit: Ericka Beckman, You the Better.

May-June 2020: David Johnson, MFA07

David Johnson’s photography examines the intersection of society, architecture, and the individual. He investigates how space affects individuals and how individuals impact the environments they occupy, even if momentarily. During his residency at the Cité, he will explore how individuals occupy and use public green spaces in Paris’ hundreds of parks and gardens. These environments provide a setting for leisure and escapism, but they also become sites for refugee camps, political rallies, and impromptu celebrations. He intends to create a new body of work that considers the political and cultural implications of urban design and usage of these spaces.

Image credit: David Johnson, Metzler Park, Frankfurt. Archival pigment print.

July-August 2020: Cecilia Bien, BFA05

Cecilia Bien will devote her time at the Cité to engage the possibilities for fashion to exist as a social project in a larger realm. Drawing upon her professional experience and evolving fashion practice, she will form a curatorial proposal to be realized at the Cité or elsewhere that examines fashion as a language for diaspora. She will travel to Paris’ banlieues to engage with communities there, using photography and journalism to document rituals and customs pertaining to dress, with the intention of connecting migrant influence to the fringe culture that ultimately inspires “fashion” in market terms.

Image credit: Cecilia Bien, Recycled Textile Uniform, 2015. Found silk fabric, acid dye.

About the Cité

Since its opening in 1965, the Cité Internationale des Arts has accommodated more than 18,000 artists from all over the world. The foundation has partnerships with a vast network of associates, and its founders include a large number of states, schools, institutes, universities, and ministries from close to 50 countries.

Residents may practice their artistic discipline and develop their creative techniques for the duration of their stay at the Cité Internationale des Arts. The residence also houses an exhibition area where artists can display their works and an auditorium where they can perform concerts.