Past Exhibitions

Humanities Center Gallery

folded paper sculpture by Martin and Erik Demaine

Martin and Erik Demaine, Floating Fire, 2013

Folding Borders, Making Unfoldings

16 April – 18 May 2018
Curators: Perla Meyers, Odesma Dalrymple, Satyan Devadoss, and Daniel Lopez-Perez, University of San Diego

Martin and Erik Demaine, both professors at MIT, are a father-son math-art team. The Demaines work together primarily in paper and glass to create sculptures that help to visualize and understand unsolved problems in science. This exhibition featured examples of the Demaines’ sculptures alongside work created by students at USD, the Escuela Libre de Arquitectura in Tijuana, the Chula Vista Library, Kearny High School, and High Tech Village. Led by teams of USD students, participants at these sites created folded paper sculptures inspired by the work of the Demaines and, in some cases, in collaboration with them.

Detail of 17th century engraving

Louise-Magdeleine Hortemels, La Charmante Catin (detail), 1742, engraving

Women Who Impress: Women Printmakers from USD’s Collection

2 March – 6 April 2018
Curator: Katelyn Allen, Class of 2018, Keck Humanities Fellow, University of San Diego

Women Who Impress told the admittedly short story of collecting work by women printmakers for USD’s permanent print collection. While the exhibition intended to celebrate how far we have come in cultivating a strong and diverse collection of works by women printmakers, it also served to inspire new directions for future acquisitions at USD. Transgressing borders and spanning nearly five centuries, the work featured in this show testified to women’s historic engagement with printmaking and spoke collectively to the high levels of ingenuity and printmaking expertise possessed by them.

Installation view of Fu's video work

© 2018 Victoria Fu, courtesy of the artist and Honor Fraser Gallery

Screenings 1: Victoria Fu, Velvet Peel 1 (2015)

29 January – 24 February 2018
Curators: Derrick Cartwright and Victoria Fu, University of San Diego

This exhibition inaugurated an experimental series of video works in the Humanities Center Gallery—called Screenings—with the presentation of Victoria Fu’s Velvet Peel 1. In this work, Fu sources imagery from an array of media: desktop screensavers, the internet, original 16mm film, and video from venues where the work has been displayed in the past. Velvet Peel 1 highlights the artist’s concern for how technologies affect our daily lives and explores the tension between screen surfaces and illusory depth.

Detail of plate 36 from Rouault's Miserere series

Georges Rouault, Ce sera la dernière, petit père! (detail, plate 36 from Miserere), 1922-27

Responding to Rouault: USD Student Selections from the Hoehn Gift

16 November – 15 December 2017
Curators: Students from Professors Halina Duraj’s and Brad Melekian’s fall 2017 creative and non-fiction writing courses, University of San Diego

Thanks to the generosity of Karen and Robert Hoehn, USD has been home to a complete set of Georges Rouault’s landmark print series, Miserere (1922-27), since 2001. USD writing students were asked to respond to Rouault’s monumental representations about war, grief, and spirit through creative interpretations of his work. These writings were shown in the gallery alongside the prints selected by each student. Their responses reflected the profundity of the images and provided new insights into this much-admired print cycle.

Cyanotype print of waves by Sandra Cinto

Sandra Cinto, Open Sea, 2016, cyanotype, published by Graphicstudio, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. Photo: Will Lytch

Brazilian Prints: Recent Acquisitions

15 September - 20 October 2017
Curator: Derrick Cartwright, University of San Diego

Brazilian Prints featured a range of concerns expressed by contemporary Brazilian artists: from Claudio Tozzi’s re-imagination of the street protests he witnessed in the 1970s to Juliana Kase’s disassembly of a cellular phone, bold conceptualism unites otherwise distinctive tendencies. All of the works displayed were acquired within the previous three years during a period of extensive research into Brazilian art practices for the exhibition Xerografia: Copyart in Brazil, 1970-1990—a part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative. The two projects were mounted and displayed in conjunction with one another.

Exhibition logo designed by students

Traffic 2017 exhibition identity created by students in the Curator's Club

Traffic, 2017

10 April – 19 May 2017
Curators: Students from the DAA+AH Curator’s Club, University of San Diego

Traffic 2017, a sprawling installation of more than two dozen objects, featured student artists and curators working together to consolidate and display the various strains of artistic production at the university. Curated and organized by students from the Department of Art, Architecture + Art History’s Curator's Club, this exhibition showcased the creative output of then current architecture, visual art, and art history students in conjunction with USD’s annual Creative Collaboration Research Week.

Detailed view of the artist's installation

Detail of installation, Combat Arts San Diego

Full Immersion: An American Patrol Base in Iraq

1 February – 3 March 2017
Artists and Organizer: Dan Lopez, Chris Tomlin, and Elizabeth Washburn, Combat Arts San Diego

Full Immersion: An American Patrol Base in Iraq transformed the gallery space into a reproduction of an American patrol base (or P.B.) of the kind widely utilized during the Iraq War. It provided visitors with an immersive experience, suggesting an intimate glimpse into the workings and daily life of a military patrol base. All of the objects, sounds, and imagery used in the installation reflected the firsthand experiences of two Marine combat veterans who conceived, developed and constructed the project on site. 

Detail of pencil drawing by Claudia Bicen

Ora (detail), 2016 ©Claudia Biçen

Thoughts in Passing: Drawings by Claudia Biçen

21 November – 14 December 2016
Curator: Jillian A. Tullis, University of San Diego

Death may evoke feelings of trepidation and sorrow, yet for centuries it has inspired artists to create images charged with hope and comfort. Claudia Biçen, a British-American artist who lives in California, uses portraiture as a catalyst for communicating complex ideas about this experience through her practice of interviewing and drawing patients in hospice care. This exhibition displayed eight highly detailed drawings in pencil, coupled with audio recordings of the voices of the men and women portrayed. This twin realism, graphic witnessing and compassionate listening, makes it hard to gaze on Biçen’s work as a disinterested observer. 

Print of the facade of the Starlite Theatre by Gary Simmons

Gary Simmons, Starlite Theatre, 2012 ©Gary Simmons/Paulson Fontaine Press

Imprint: Student Acquisitions from USD’s Print Collection

14 October – 16 December 2016
Curators: Erin Sullivan Maynes and Derrick Cartwright, University of San Diego

In 2013 and 2015, the Legler Benbough Foundation provided two generous gifts to afford USD students with the ongoing experience of acquiring original artworks for the University’s permanent print collection. All of the acquisitions displayed in this exhibition were proposed by teams of undergraduates as part of their coursework and represented the very first time that these prints were shown together as a group.  As such, this project offered insight into student judgments and tastes, and, given time, this campus will be the home to a unique collection of works that reflect the changing priorities and concerns of our students.