Who got hired? A few new painting professors

This past year, after a dearth of painting listings in 2009-11 at CAA, several colleges posted positions for painting professors.  The choices made by these three institutions indicate what skills and attributes each program values–not necessarily who were the best artists or teachers in the pool of applicants.  If you know of any other new hires for painting positions, especially women, please post them in the Comments section and I’ll add links and images. Also, if anyone interviewed this year, feel free to share stories about what the interviews were like. And, of course, congratulations and best wishes to the new hires. To those who were squeezed out, best of luck next year.

At Connecticut College: Assistant Professor Christopher Barnard. An easy choice because even the most clueless administrators could see that Barnard has traditional painting skills, but his work also has a fashionable conceptual/political angle as well. These kids better be ready to learn how to stretch canvas, draw properly, and come up with some good (but not necessarily too challenging) ideas.

Chris Barnard, Crowd Pleaser, New Mexico, oil on canvas, 2011 48 x 64 inches.

From Christopher Knight in the LATimes:

Romantic traditions of American landscape painting get apocalyptic
comeuppance from our post-nuclear era in eight new paintings by Chris
Barnard. Dubbed “Toward Trinity,” presumably after the New Mexico blast
site where the first nuclear weapon was detonated 66 years ago, the
works are a pointedly unhealthful concoction of glamour and destruction,
thrilling power and impending ruination.

Barnard shows at Luis de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles.


Mason Gross School of the Arts @ Rutgers University: Assistant Professor Marc Handelman.
I’m not familiar with Handleman’s paintings, but they are big and abstract and reference art history. He also works in film, video and book arts. Perhaps his references from Yale, Bard and SVA, where he taught previously, were impeccable. I imagine he has a erudite, academic approach to painting that comes in handy during student critiques.

Roberta wrote in a 2007 NYTimes review:

[H]is immense, swaggering, high-gloss canvases exemplify what might
be called the Big Empty. A fellow traveler is Barnaby Furnas and his
big red sea paintings. These works are essentially academic pastiches of
known motifs executed with unimaginative diligence. Surface by surface, Mr. Handelman is clearly concerned with
technique and physicality, but so far, he has a tin touch. In terms of
motif, his precedents include the military spangle of Billy Al Bengston;
the Op Art recyclings of Philip Taaffe and Ross Bleckner; and the
intergalactic hyper-realism of Jack Goldstein.

 And from the MGSA Website:

Marc Handelman (1975,
Santa Clara, CA), is an artist who works in painting, as well as across
media including film/video, installation and book arts. He received
his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design with a concentration in Art History, and was a recipient of the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship at Yale Norfolk. He received his MFA from Columbia University. He was a recent recipient of the Steeprock Arts Residency and the Awards for Artists from Printed Matter in 2011. Marc Handelman has exhibited extensively throughout the United States as well as internationally in such venues as PS1 MoMA in
Long Island City; The Studio Museum in Harlem; The Dayton Art
Institute, OH; The Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, FL; and the Royal
Academy of Art in London, UK. His work has been written about in The New
York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, Artforum, Art in America, Tema Celeste,
and Flash Art Among others. He is taught in the graduate programs at
Yale University, Bard, and the School of Visual Arts among others. He is
currently a graduate critic at Columbia University’s School of the

Handelman is represented by Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, NY; Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA; and RECEPTION, Berlin, Germany.

Marc Handelman, Dimension Stone I, 2010-11, oil on canvas, 87 x 62.5 inches.


At Brooklyn College: Assistant Professor Mike Cloud. Cloud is deeply immersed in the process,  and he engages contemporary ideas about painting. Hell yes, Brooklyn College! Great choice! Home to professors Lee Bontecou and Elizabeth Murray, this is where I’d want to study.

Mike Cloud, Body Builder Paper Quilt , 2010, altered photography book, paper, color aid, and acrylic
60 x 67 inches.

Cloud shows at Meulensteen in New York. From the website:

Mike Cloud has been featured in solo exhibitions at MoMA PS1, New York;
the Gallery at Lincoln Center, New York; and the Sheldon Memorial Art
Gallery, Omaha, Nebraska; as well as group exhibitions at The Studio
Museum, Harlem, New York; and White Columns, New York. His work can also
be found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of
Art, New York; Eileen Harris-Norton, Santa Monica; and the Sheldon
Memorial Art Gallery. Cloud earned his MFA in 2003 from Yale University
in New Haven, Connecticut, where he was awarded the Barry Schactman
Prize in Painting.


UPDATE (6 pm):

University of Maine at Farmington hired two painting professors, husband and wife team Jason Irla and Chloe Watson. In this case, according to Chloe, the search committee was looking for an artist couple (what a great idea) with both traditional and digital skills, who would contribute to, and value, the close-knot UMaine art community. Before moving to Maine for adjunct positions last year, they had been living in Baltimore–no New York gallery representation required.

 Chloe Watson, Chalkboard, 2012, acrylic on paper, 4 x 6 inches

According to Chloe’s website, she and Jason have opened an arts space called Points North that consists of a gallery in a farmhouse
and an experimental space in a retired horse barn.  The inaugural exhibition, Method of Exchange, runs from October 26-November 17, with an opening reception on Friday October 26, 7-9 pm.

 Jason Irla

More new hires: 3 new painters at SUNY Purchase (August 25, 2012)


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