Join us for this special program in conjunction with our exhibition Sara Cwynar: Gilded Age, organized by Amy Smith-Stewart, Senior Curator.
As both artists and formally trained designers, Sara Cwynar will be joined by Silas Munro in conversation on color and how it is leveraged to influence us through media and marketing as a perception steeped in bias and co-opted by industries.
Sara Cwynar will be signing purchased exhibition catalogues after the talk. Sara Cwynar: Gilded Age will be available for purchase in The Museum Shop.
Sara Cwynar (b. 1985, Vancouver, BC) currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. With a background in graphic design and a practice steeped in conceptual art, informed by artists before her such as Sherrie Levine and Sarah Charlesworth, Cwynar’s studio methodology is centered on an exploration of the internalized power dynamics dwelling inside designed images. The works selected for this exhibition specifically interrogate what constitutes a pretty picture. Appropriating imagery that ranges from art history to advertising, Cwynar collapses time and circumstance, appraising the standardization of beauty in subjects (muses and models), objects (flowers and products), and locales (historical ruins) across centuries and platforms—what persists and what is on the wane. She holds an MFA from Yale University, New Haven, CT; a Bachelor of Design from York University, Toronto, ON; and studied English Literature at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC. Cwynar’s works are in the permanent collections of Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Minneapolis Institute of Art; Dallas Museum of Art; Milwaukee Art Museum; Fondazione Prada, Milan; Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco; Zabludowicz Collection, London; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City; Foam Photography Museum, Amsterdam.
Silas Munro engages multi-modal practices that inspire people to elevate themselves and improve society. Munro’s design studio Poly-Mode has designed identities and publications for exhibitions of Jacob Lawrence at MoMA, Mark Bradford at the Venice Biennale, and future commissions, Great Force for the ICA at VCU in 2019 and Willi Smith: Street Couture for Cooper Hewitt in 2020. Munro’s writing appears in Slanted, the Walker Reader, and the book W. E. B. Du Bois’s Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America. He is particularly interested in the often unaddressed post-colonial relationship between design and marginalized communities. Munro has shown in juried group shows at CalArts and RISD. He has served as a critic at CalArts, MICA, VCU, and Yale. Munro is Assistant Professor at Otis College of Art and Design and Advisor and Chair Emeritus at Vermont College of Fine Arts. He has earned a Design fellowship at the Walker Art Center, been a Designer-in-Residence at NC State, and Design Director at Housing Works.