Maria Gaspar, Unblinking Eyes, Watching, 2019. Photo Credit: Clare Britt.
A presentation by the artist and conversation with Legacy Russell, Executive Director and Chief Curator of The Kitchen, New York

Maria Gaspar

Virtual Conversation

Maria Gaspar (American, b. 1980) is an interdisciplinary artist negotiating the politics of location through installation, sculpture, sound, and performance. Gaspar’s work addresses issues of spatial justice in order to amplify, mobilize, or divert structures of power through individual and collective gestures. Her work spans formats and durations, including sound performances at a military site in New Haven (Sounds for Liberation); long-term public art interventions at the largest jail in the country (96 Acres Project, Chicago and Radioactive: Stories from Beyond the Wall, Chicago); appropriations of museum archives (Brown Brilliance Darkness Matter); and audio-video works, documenting a jail located in her childhood neighborhood (On the Border of What is Formless and Monstrous).

Gaspar’s projects have been supported by the Art for Justice Fund, the Robert Rauschenberg Artist as Activist Fellowship, the Creative Capital Award, the Joan Mitchell Emerging Artist Grant, and the Art Matters Foundation. Maria has received the United States Artists Fellowship, the Sor Juana Women of Achievement Award in Art and Activism from the National Museum of Mexican Art, the Chamberlain Award for Social Practice from the Headlands Center for the Arts, and most recently the inaugural Frieze Impact Prize. Gaspar has lectured and exhibited extensively at venues including MoMA PS1, New York, NY; the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; the African American Museum, Philadelphia, PA; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. She is Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, holds an MFA in Studio Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.

Wretched and Paramount V (series), 2014-2016.
Haunting Raises Specters (by A.G.), 2015.

Credit: Mina Alyeshmerni

Legacy Russell is a curator and writer. Born and raised in New York City, she is the Executive Director and Chief Curator of The Kitchen. Formerly she was the Associate Curator of Exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem. Russell holds an MRes with Distinction in Art History from Goldsmiths, University of London with a focus in Visual Culture. Her academic, curatorial, and creative work focuses on gender, performance, digital selfdom, internet idolatry, and new media ritual. Russell’s written work, interviews, and essays have been published internationally. She is the recipient of the Thoma Foundation 2019 Arts Writing Award in Digital Art, a 2020 Rauschenberg Residency Fellow, and a recipient of the 2021 Creative Capital Award. Her first book is Glitch Feminism: A Manifesto (2020). Her second book, BLACK MEME, is forthcoming via Verso Books.

Maria Gaspar, Unblinking Eyes, Watching, 2019. Photo Credit: Clare Britt.