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Judith Zabar Visiting Artist Program


In November 2007, Hunter College received a generous commitment to establish the

Judith Zabar Visiting Artist Program Fund

The Zabar Visiting Artist Fund has allowed Hunter to bring a series of artists to campus to work directly with MFA students in the art studio and to interact with students studying art and art history at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Through a series of public lectures the Zabar Visiting Artist also reaches Hunter’s broader student and faculty community as well as the public.

The Zabar Visiting Artist Program is facilitated by a faculty committee made up of art historians and studio professors. Every semester the committee organizes a series of top artists to act as Zabar Artists and be in residency on Hunter’s campus for a minimum of one week each. While at Hunter Zabar Artists work directly with students in master classes, critical seminars and private tutorials providing students with the unique opportunity to interact with top practitioners in the field.  Each Zabar Artist also presents a public lecture where they discuss their work, engage in conversation with a member of Hunter’s faculty and attendees.

Since its inception, sixteen artists have participated in the Zabar Visiting Artist series.


Zabar Visiting Artists Spring 2008 – Spring 2011

Spring 2011

Inigo Manglano-Ovalle

Inigo Manglano-Ovalle lectured and led graduate level critiques in April 2011. In collaboration with astrophysicists, meteorologists, and medical ethicists, Manglano-Ovalle harnesses extraterrestrial radio signals, weather patterns, and biological code, transforming pure data into digital video projections and sculptures realized through computer rendering. His strategy of representing nature through information leads to an investigation of the underlying forces that shape the planet as well as points of human interaction and interference with the environment.

Wangechi Mutu

Wangechi Mutu lectured at Hunter in May 2011. Kenyan-born Wangechi Mutu has trained as both a sculptor and anthropologist. Her work explores the contradictions of female and cultural identity and makes reference to colonial history, contemporary African politics and the international fashion industry. Drawing from the aesthetics of traditional crafts, science fiction and funkadelia, Mutu’s works document the contemporary myth making of endangered cultural heritage.

Fall 2010

Peter Doig

Hunter welcomed Peter Doig as a Zabar Visting Artist from September 17 through 21. Doig is a painter who draws inspiration from found photographs to create abstract landscapes that depict tranquil moments in uneasy settings. Born in Scotland and spending much of his life in Trinidad and then Canada, Doig received formal training in London where he attended St Martin’s School of Art and the Chelsea School of Art. The subject of exhibitions at the Saatchi Gallery, Tate Britain and the Paris Museum of Modern Art in 2007, Doig’s painting “White Canoe” sold at Sotheby’s for 11.3 million, a record for a living European artist.

Vito Acconci

Hunter welcomed Vito Acconci in November 2010. Acconci taught the theory of art in schools of the visual arts in New York, wrote short novels and stories, which he published in magazines (Olympia Magazine, Paris) before devoting himself entirely to poetry. The context of conceptual art and the network of galleries enabled Vito Acconci to move from poetry to the visual arts. His preoccupations were now orientated towards "real space" (for example, the physical space, the social space, the cultural space, the day-to-day, time) which he explored using various media. Acconci, known for his performance and video work of the early 1970s, began in the 1980s to concern himself with private domestic spaces and public spaces for interaction. His many projects include parks, playgrounds, and "anti-monuments".

Spring 2010

Joan Jonas

In May 2010 Hunter welcomed Joan Jonas, a pioneer in the field of video and performance art as a Zabar Visiting Artist. Jonas's work was the subject of a recent individual exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art. Trained as a sculptor, in the late 1960’s Jonas began experimenting in video—incorporating the use of props and imagery into performance pieces. Her work is widely considered to have influenced the development of contemporary art.

Jonas’s work has also been the subject of exhibitions at the Queens Museum of Art, the Stedelik Museum, and Dia: Beacon where she created a site-specific five-channel work The Shape, the Scent, the Feel of Things.

In addition to seminars, critiques and the public lecture, Jonas conducted a special discussion on her exhibition Drawing/Performance/Video for students at Location One. Her visit to Hunter had a great impact both on students and the artist: Jonas invited several of the students to participate in her exhibition at the Guggenheim in June.

Nari Ward

In May, Hunter professor Nari Ward presented a special lecture as part of the Zabar Visiting Artist Series. Ward spoke with students about his work which was the subject of an exhibition at Lehman Maupin Gallery. Ward, who is a Hunter alum has also exhibited in the 2006 Whitney Biennial, Documenta XI and the New Museum of Contemporary Art.

Fall 2009

Sharon Lockhart

Sharon Lockhart is a photographer and filmmaker whose work often explores the quiet moments of everyday life. She visited Hunter as the Zabar Visiting Artist in late September 2009.

Lockhart’s photographic work is often viewed as influenced by structurist film and her early films such as Goshogoaka Girls Basketball Team and Teatro Amazones demonstrate the influence of 1970’s art cinema. At Hunter, Lockhart discussed her most recent films, Lunch Break and Exit in which she purposely slowed the speed of the film down to a pace where the viewer becomes engaged in the intimate details of the shipyard where the documentary film was shot but also in the details of each character.

In her public conversation at Hunter, Lockhart shared her inspirations  and creative process with students during an in-depth conversation moderated by Hunter professor Reiner Leist. Attendees left the lecture with deep insight into Lockhart’s work in film and photography.

Paul Pfeiffer

Hunter alum, Paul Pfeiffer is a video artist and photographer who creates works that focus on contemporary culture while drawing inspiration from his upbringing in the Philippines. In earlier video works that focus on professional sports events, players’ heads are removed from the image forcing the viewer to focus their attention on the audience, equipment, or movement while the artwork serves as a commentary on the manner in which mass media impacts opinion.

While at Hunter Pfeiffer offered students the opportunity to participate in an intense workshop made up of four weekend sessions held in Pfeiffer’s studio as well as readings and field trips. Students including recent graduates Ellie Krakow and Ryan McNamara participated.

Spring 2009

Fred Tomaselli

Fred Tomaselli is a painter who is best known for his highly detailed collage works created on wood panels. Influenced by his upbringing in southern California where he was surrounded by manufactured communities and amusement parks as well as the Los Angeles drug counterculture Tomaselli’s paintings depict allegorical figures with images of pills, birds, butterflies and plants to create a hallucinatory universe for the viewer. A graduate of California State, Fullerton, Tomaselli was one of the first visual artists to join the Downtown LA art scene of the early 1980’s.

During his Zabar Artist residency in April 2009 Tomaselli worked with students in Tom Weaver’s Combined Media seminar and participated in a lecture moderated by Katy Siegel. He also worked with students in individual tutorials and participated in a special seminar where a panel that included Tomasselli, Ken Johnson of the New York Times and Joachim Pissarro critiqued student work.

Alfredo Jaar

Alfredo Jaar is a photographer, architect and filmmaker who creates large installations often focused on socio-political issues and war – the best known being the 6-year long The Rwanda Project about the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Jaar, who was born in Santiago, Chile has been featured in individual exhibitions at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago as well as at Documenta in Kassel Germany. Jaar has been both a Guggenheim and MacArthur fellow.

Jaar was the Zabar Visiting Artist in May 2009, he participated in a lecture moderated by Joachim Pissarro as well as seminars with professor Jeffrey Mongrain and Constance DeJong.

Fall 2008

Christian Marclay

Christian Marclay’s work explores the connections between sound, photography, film and video. In much of his work, Marclay seeks to create a “sound college” by combining photographs, video, film and gramophone records on turntables to create musical compositions.

Trained as a sculptor, Marclay was heavily influenced by the Fluxus art movement and over the years has collaborated with composers such as John Zorn, Shelley Hirsch and the band Sonic Youth. Currently, Marclay’s work is the subject of a one person show at the Whitney Museum of Art.

At Hunter, Marclay lectured in Constance DeJong’s combined media seminar and participated in a public lecture that was popular among students across arts disciplines.

Kerry James Marshall

Kerry James Marshall is a painter and sculptor know for his large scale paintings and installations inspired by African American culture as well as historical references from his upbringing in Birmingham Alabama and South Central Los Angeles. Born in 1955, Marshall studied at the Otis Art Institute in LA where he earned his BFA. Marshall’s work is included in the collections of the Corcoran Gallery, the Walker Art Center and the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 1997 Marshall was the recipient of a prestigious MacArthur genius award. He visited Hunter as a Zabar Visiting Artist in late October 2008.

At Hunter, Marshall met with students including Orit Ben-Shitrit and Rachel Stokoe for individual tutorials, participated in Lisa Corinne Davis’s Critical Perspectives seminar and the 2-D seminar with professors Joel Carreiro, Susan Crile and Juan Sanchez. Katy Siegel moderated the public lecture.

Spring 2008

Tracey Moffatt

Inaugural Zabar Artist, Tracey Moffatt, an Australian photographer and video artist visited Hunter during the first week of April in 2008.

Moffatt first gained critical acclaim for her short film Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy which was selected for the 1990 Cannes Film Festival. Since that time, she has made documentary films and music videos while simultaneously pursuing her practice in photography.

Moffat is represented in the collections of the Tate Britain, the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles and the National Gallery of Art in Australia. While at Hunter, Moffat led seminar classes with Hunter professors Andrea Blum and Constance DeJong, she met individually with students and participated in a public lecture moderated by DeJong.

Carrie Mae Weems

Carrie Mae Weems, a well-known photographer whose work is represented in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art followed as a Zabar Artist in mid April 2008.

Weems' work employs photographs, text, fabric, audio, digital images, installation and video, and aims to investigate family relationships, gender roles and the histories of racism. Weems typically creates a series of photographs in which storytelling is a fundamental aspect. Beginning with Family Pictures and Stories (1978-1984) over time, Weems' work has grown increasingly complex and layered—as seen in Ain’t Jokin’ (1987-1988), Colored People (1989-1990) and the Kitchen Table series (1990). Weems often takes a central role in her photographs acting as subject/model.

At Hunter, Weems worked with students in professor Brian Wood’s photography seminar and painting professor Joel Carreiro’s collage seminar. She also participated in a lecture moderated by Reiner Leist and in tutorial sessions with MFA candidates including recent graduates Julio Grinblatt and Patryce Bak.

William Pope L.

William Pope L. is a prominent multidisciplinary artist known for his conceptual, often performance-based art practice, which actively confronts issues of race, sex, power, consumerism, and social class. As the self-proclaimed “friendliest black artist in America,” Pope L. invites dialogue through provocative performances, installations, and art objects. He is best known for a series of more than 40 “crawls” staged since 1978 as part of his larger eRacism project, in which he inched his way through busy city streets on his belly, back, hands, and knees in an attempt to draw attention to the plight of those members of society who are least empowered.

During his visit to campus in late April 2008, Joachim Pissarro moderated the lecture with Pope L. and he worked with students in Art Department Chair, Tom Weaver’s painting seminar as well as students studying combined media. 

Shahzia Sikander

Shahzia Sikander was the final Zabar Artist in April 2008. Born in 1969 in Lahore, Pakistan Sikander studied as an undergraduate at the National College of Arts in Lahore, and earned her MFA in 1995 from the Rhode Island School of Design. Sikander specializes in Indian and Persian miniature painting, a traditional style that is both highly stylized and disciplined. While becoming an expert in this technique-driven, often impersonal art form, she imbued it with a personal context and history, blending the Eastern focus on precision and methodology with a Western emphasis on creative, subjective expression. In doing so, Sikander transported miniature painting into the realm of contemporary art. Sikander has received many awards and honors for her work, including the honorary artist award from the Pakistan Ministry of Culture and National Council of the Arts.

Sikander worked with students in professors Juan Sanchez and Robert Swain’s painting seminars including December 2009 MFA graduate Peter Gerakaris. Sikander also participated in a lecture moderated by Feri Dafteri, Assistant Curator of Painting Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art.