Created with a generous gift from philanthropist Inga Maren Otto, the fellowship provides support for outstanding artists who have demonstrated exceptional creative ability in the arts.
The program represents the depth and breadth of Watermill’s commitment to supporting projects that integrate genres and art forms from diverse viewpoints and that break from traditional forms of representation. Through a four to six week residency at The Watermill Center, each fellow is provided with blocks of time in which they can exercise as much creative freedom as possible to develop new works.
The 2016/2017 Inga Maren Otto Fellow exhibitions are curated by Noah Khoshbin & Daneyal Mahmood.
Carrie Mae Weems | April 2017
Carrie Mae Weems will be refining her song cycle/performance titled Grace Notes: Reflections for Now, which examines the the role of grace in the pursuit of democracy. The first iteration of Grace Notes premiered at the Spoleto Festival in June 2016, and brings together some of the country’s most celebrated artists, poets, musicians and composers to examine the wider social implications of tensions at work in communities across America. These tensions are marked and defined by recent escalations in violence, the killings of young black men, and the tragic events of the Emanuel Nine. These events and nationwide responses have been contextualized as a song cycle. As its title suggests, the piece incorporates music, song and spoken word interwoven with text, dance, photography and video projection to explore the dimensions of its theme.
Carrie Mae Weems (b. 1953) has spent the past thirty years working toward developing a complex body of art that has employed photographs, text, fabric, audio, digital images, installation, and video. Her work has led her to investigate family relationships, gender roles, the histories of racism, sexism, class, and various political systems. In a review of her retrospective in The New York Times, Holland Cotter wrote, “Ms. Weems is what she has always been, a superb image maker and a moral force, focused and irrepressible.” In 2013 Weems received the MacArthur “Genius” grant as well as the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Most recently, she is a recipient of the ICP Spotlights Award from the International Center of Photography and the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal from Harvard University.
Royce Weatherly | September 2017
Royce Weatherly will work on the final layers of several paintings at once, as each work nears completion in slow, almost invisible increments. The artist looks forward to discussing his work and his process during his time at Watermill.
Royce Weatherly (b. 1957) is an American painter from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A 2015 Guggenheim Grant recipient, Weatherly received his BA from Wake Forest University (1980), and MFA from the University of Wisconsin/Madison (1984). Over the past three decades, he has developed a profoundly simple and yet deeply enigmatic painting style that combines his peculiar Vermeer-like still lives with a eerie quietude devoid of narrative symbolism.
Slowly made, his works are both luminous and precise in detail, but refuse any greater meaning beyond what appears to be laid out before us. A potato, or some cooking lard, or a cellophane cigarette wrapper minus the package of cigarettes; the unnoticed are held up to scrutiny in an attempt to draw the extraordinary out of the ordinary under an intense gaze that is as much that of a philosopher, or a forensic scientist as that of a painter.
Carlos Bunga | October 2017
Carlos Bunga has been experimenting with the crossover between painting and sculpture for more than a decade. Creating large, site-specific installations Bunga’s work touches on issues relating to demographics, immigration, socio-economic disparity, and the fragility of contemporary city life.
Bunga creates architecturally-scaled installations, made from mass-produced materials such as cardboard, packing tape and household paint. These maquettes resemble temporary shelters or surreal colourful urban interiors which are in dialogue with the surrounding architecture of the gallery, reconfiguring it somewhere between a decaying space and a construction site. Working across installation, sculpture, painting, performance, video and drawing Bunga’s practice involves a highly developed degree of aesthetic care and delicacy, and a conceptual complexity derived from the interrelationship between doing and undoing, transience and permanence, unmaking and remaking.