Maria Stabio- MFA AIR - 2012-2013
Doha Flatware Series is a series made while on a teaching artist residency at Virginia Commonwealth University in Doha, Qatar.
The series inspiration is a set of flatware plastic packaging, painted from life. The paintings oscillate between ancient archaeological dig site and futuristic technology yet to be invented. They are low relief sculptural carving and one dimensional flat packed Ikea. They are a description of banal household objects which trespass into the territory of the monumental. They describe the absence of the presence of the object.
All paintings are oil on panel.
During my time at VCUQ, I primarily worked on a series of paintings which I call the Doha Flatware Series, and a series of VanDyke Prints called the Niche/VanDyke Series. These paintings were included at a solo exhibition called “Carthage Site" at the Katara Art Center, and at the end of the year exhibition in the Education City Student Center. My description for the show is as follows:
Carthage Site was two exhibitions coexisting in one space. Each painting had a pair, its opposite side of a piece of plastic flatware packaging. When seen from one side of the gallery, all of the "front" sides of the packaging could be viewed, but the "backs" remained hidden. From the opposite side of the gallery, the "backs" could be seen, but not the "fronts" The Niche/VanDyke series bookended the gallery.
My statement for the show:
“Carthage Site” examines the impetus to rebuild cultural tradition through the recycling of ancient and contemporary elements. The exhibition is set on a previous sacred site represented by tumbling niche forms in an obsolete photographic medium. Subject to destruction by natural elements and humankind, the site has been toppled to create space for a new order. Monumental constructions are built from abject flatware packaging, both rescuing and honoring the domestic space as the new sacred site. However, the paintings reveal their true nature as unreliable signs. Represented as both convex and concave, they operate in two realities. Which is the the real site, the pure cultural tradition?
I also worked on a series of prints for the Msheireb Arts Center using their archive/collection of artifacts collected from one of the oldest neighborhoods in Doha, Qatar. The neighborhood is quickly being demolished and replaced by new construction. Much of Msheireb has been vacated by its original residents, many of whom represent the working class population in Doha.
The material for the prints was sourced from the MAC archive. I used a combination of scanned receipt book pages and carbon paper receipt printouts. These layered elements imitated the high density of the Msheireb neighborhood.
I also taught three classes in the Painting and Printmaking department: Basic Drawing, Intermediate Drawing, and a special topics course called Contemporary Painting Practices.
After completing my residency at VCUQ, I returned to Brooklyn, NY where I continue to paint and work for Alexandre Gallery in Midtown Manhattan.
I have participated in group exhibitions at Torrance Shipman Gallery (Brooklyn), Louis B. James (Manhattan), and most recently at Pen and Brush (Manhattan). I also curated and performed in an evening of performances called Anxiously Attached at Essex Flowers (Manhattan).
In 2015, I began 2MF with fellow artist Sonya Derman. 2MF is a series of monthly community meetings focused on open and participatory experiences. Collaborating each month with selected New York City thinkers, 2MF aims to encourage pro-emotive and ante-academic conversation among artists in New York City. All meetings are free and open to the public. Post-meeting discussion is aired and archived at Clocktower Radio, broadcast from Pioneer Works in Redhook, Brooklyn.
I have completed two residencies, one at the Hinge Arts Program in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and at the Rensing Center, in Pickens, South Carolina.