sfai news

August 25, 2009

Marlene McCarty: SFAI’s 2009 Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellow

SFAI’s 2009 Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship has been awarded to artist and designer Marlene McCarty. Established in 1998 by the generosity of Richard Diebenkorn’s family, the Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship makes it possible for the contemporary artist to whom it is awarded both to teach at SFAI and to pursue studio work at the Headlands Center for the Arts.

Generally focusing her work on sociopolitical issues (in the late 80s, she was a member of Gran Fury, the AIDS activist collective), McCarty is both an artist and a commercial designer. In 1989, she founded Bureau, a design studio dedicated to producing art, film titles, political work, and brand identities. At Bureau, she has devised, among a number of other design projects, film titles for such movies as American Psycho, Far from Heaven, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Ice Storm, and Velvet Goldmine.

McCarty's noncommercial art explores such topics as sexuality, obscenity, and the violence inherent in everyday familial relationships. In one long-running project, she collected news accounts of murder-committing teenage girls and assembled large-scale portraits in graphite and ballpoint pen based on them. Venues at which she has had solo exhibitions include Metro Pictures, Bronwyn Keenan, and Sikkema Jenkins & Co in New York City. Group exhibitions include such venues as El Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, Secession in Vienna, and Galerie Nosbaum & Reding in Luxembourg. In 2002–2003, McCarty received a Guggenheim Fellowship and has taught at such institutions as New York University, Yale University, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Cooper Union.

The Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship

Providing studio space and housing at the Headlands Center for the Arts as well as a $25,000 stipend, the Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship is dedicated to the memory of the distinguished and world-renowned painter Richard Diebenkorn. In January 1946, Diebenkorn enrolled at the California School of Fine Arts (CSFA, now SFAI) as a student. In September of that same year, he was awarded the school’s Albert Bender Grant. The grant allowed him to travel and work independently for one year. After spending a year in New York, Diebenkorn returned to CSFA and was offered his first teaching appointment: he taught through 1949 and again from 1959 to 1966. Founded in order to honor his legacy as an instructor, the Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship is intended to provide its recipient with an opportunity similar to that enjoyed by Diebenkorn himself when he won the Bender Grant.

Past recipients of the fellowship are Brad Brown (Spring 1999), Polly Apfelbaum (Spring 2000), Nereida Garcia-Ferraz (Spring 2001), Monica Majoli (Fall 2001), Fred Hayes (Fall 2002), Whitfield Lovell (Fall 2003), Darren Waterston (Fall 2004), Brett Cook (Fall 2005), Shaun O’Dell (Fall 2006), Iona Rozeal Brown (Fall 2007), and Josephine Taylor (Fall 2008). The fellowship is awarded, in alternate years, to Bay Area–only and then to national (excluding Bay Area) artists.