Clare Kambhu

Region: MFA Annual

City / State: , NY

 At a moment in which public education is highly contested, both threatened and threatening, we often see school furniture as a stand-in for student bodies. I make observational paintings in public schools, teachers unions, and other bureaucratic spaces. The corners of desks, floor tiles, papers, and chairs are the focus of my attention. The slippery, textural paint application that I use to depict hard surfaces alludes to the ways in which our idiosyncratic humanness can break through within the constraints of educational institutions. The brushstrokes evoke the smudges and wear that the constant movement of people through these spaces creates.

I hope to engage a politics of attention through my concentration on the overlooked interior architecture and furniture. How can institutions, ostensibly designed to foster human development, become more fluid and responsive to those who inhabit them? What do we notice? What do we ignore? Where do we find margins, cuts, dents, or holes to operate within as humans?