Monica Furmanski - Artist Statement

The basis of my work is my memories of childhood car rides, visions of landscapes racing by the window, transforming into blurs and reflections caused by the flashing of the sun as we passed behind trees or buildings. These visions are loaded with memories, illusion, and phenomena. Today, I still find myself paying attention to reflections in windows, noting how they alter our perceptions, and I watch the ways a building’s windows crop my view by removing information and revealing new information. In my work, I tweak a viewer’s perception and alter their expectations. As an artist, I am an observer of light and seeing, I use vision to create photographic images and installations that play with visual experience. 

This work grows out of conceptual photography and artists from the 1960’s and 1970’s. Artists like John Baldessari, Douglas Huebler and Daniel Buren are particularly important, and more recently works by artists Soo Kim and Amir Zaki have taken on more significance for the evolution of my practice. My work can be seen as part of the recent revival of photography through the device of installation, and also a revival of how we consider the photographic image within the digital context. Photographs are no longer mere images or objects on the wall. The walls instead are expanded and opened up, causing the viewer to interact with the images three-dimensionally. This activates the standard viewer/image relationship, extending the possibilities of photography beyond its traditional application. I have turned photography into an immersive experience that viewers must actively participate in.

About

Monica Furmanski was born and raised in California, and studied art and photography at Scripps College, where she received her Bachelor’s of Art, and The Claremont Graduate School, where she received her Masters of Fine Art. While attending undergraduate school, Furmanski worked as a studio assistant for John Baldessari, Susan Rankaitis as a darkroom assistant, and Nancy Macko as teaching assistant. Furmanski started teaching in 2006, and has taught digital and analog photography at Oxnard and Ventura College, as well as at an independent high school where she set-up their photography, digital filmmaking, and digital arts programs. Furmanski co-directs and co-curates the artist run gallery, 643 Project Space, in Ventura, CA with her husband, Matthew Furmanski, which they have operated since 2007. They have shown work by artists fresh out of graduate school, international and nationally known artists, as well as artists seeking an alternative venue to try something new! Furmanski has been working with photography, both digital and analog, for the past 25 years, and continues to challenge traditional notions about the function of photography. Her work is in the Samella Lewis Contemporary Art Collection at the Williamson Gallery, at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco, and the Community Memorial Hospital permanent Collection. She has shown her work at many venues, which include Photo L.A. in Los Angeles and in Berlin, Germany, and she has an upcoming solo show at the Napa Hall Gallery at CSU, Channel Islands Fall 2019.

 

EDUCATION:

2003 Masters of Fine Art, Claremont Graduate University
1996 Bachelor of Fine Art, Scripps College

TEACHING EXPERIENCE:

Adjunct Instructor, Department of Art, Ventura College, 2016-present

Art Instructor, Cate School, 2011-present
Adjunct Instructor, Department of Art, Ventura College, 2007-2011
Adjunct Instructor, Department of Art, Oxnard College, 2006-2007
Instructor, Learning to See Outreach Program, Ventura, 2006-2007
Teaching Assistant, Scripps College, 2002-2003


PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:
Co-curator/co-Director 643 Project Space in Ventura, CA. A not for profit artist run gallery, 2008 - present

Studio Assistant, John Baldessari 1994-1996

Studio Assistant, Susan Rankaitis 1995-1996

AWARDS/ FELLOWSHIPS:

Documented Artist, Focus on the Masters, 2009

2002 - 2003 Millard Sheets Fellow, Scripps College, CA
Ahmanson Fellow, Claremont Graduate University, CA 

1994 Junior Fellowship, Humanities Institute,Scripps College 

PUBLICATIONS/CATALOGUES:

Women and Print, A Contemporary View, Essay by Margaret Mathews-Berenson

Ventura Life and Style, Late summer edition 2007
Monica and Matt Furmanski at the Atkinson, Casa Magazine, August 24, 2007, Andria Watson
L.A. Galleries: Clare Rojas Joins the frat party, Los Angeles Times, Calendar, April 27, 2007
Supersonic, Art Net, August 2004, Patrick Deegan
The Office Space, The Orange County Weekly, April/May 2003
Out of Place, The Claremont Courier, front page, January 2003
A Room With a View, Raid Projects Journal, Los Angeles, CA, September 2002
An Interview with Three Artists Recently Shown at Bliss, Newsletter on the Arts, Diana Zlotnick, Collector and Art Advisor, May/June 2002
Of Shadow and Sun, catalogue for exhibition at Bliss, Pasadena, April 2002
Essay by Eric Weiss (aka Jon Furmanski), exhibition curated by Kenneth Riddle


SELECTED EXHIBITIONS: (* solo exhibition)

2019 Upcoming Solo Show at CSU, Channel Islands, Napa Hall Gallery

2018 “The Next Big Thing,” SCIART, Camarillo, CA. Curated by Peter Frank

2016  Photo L.A., Los Angeles

           "You Are Here," Surrogate Gallery Project, Pasadena, CA. Curated by Kristine Schomaker

           "You Are Here," Moorpark College, CA. Curated by Erika Lizee

2015  Photo L.A., Berlin, Germany

           "Lark," a collaboration between Matthew and Monica Furmanski, CSU, Channel Islands

          "Fixture," a collaboration between Matthew and Monica Furmanski, McNish Gallery,Oxnard College, CA

2014  Women and Print, Williamson Gallery, Scripps College, Claremont, CA, Curated by Mary MacNaughton
and catalog essay by Margaret Berensen

2012  Flights of Pattern, Community Memorial Hospital, Ventura, CA
Collaboration with ceramics artist Janet Neuwalder

2011  Metallic, Raid Projects, Los Angeles, CA, Curated by Daniel Aksten
5 x 5 An Invitational, Westmont Museum, Santa Barbara, CA

2010  Draft, 643 Project Space, Ventura, CA

2009  On the Shoulder’s of Davids, Jaus, Los Angeles, CA
Selected Curiosities, Brand Library, Glendale, CA
Preservation/Conservation, Los Angeles International Airport, Terminal 3, Los Angeles, CA

2008  Place in Time: Contemporary Landscape, Williamson Gallery, Scripps College, Claremont, CA, Curated by Mary Macnaugton
Recent Acquisitions, Williamson Gallery, Scripps College, Claremont, CA
Convergent Topologies, Digital Works on Paper Exhibition, Davidson Galleries, Seattle, WA, Co-curated with Barbara Robertson
One Night Stand, Christine’s Garage, Oxnard, CA
Faculty Exhibition, Ventura College, Ventura, CA

2007  Forest for the Trees (an installation), Atkinson Gallery, Santa Barbara City College, Santa Barbara, CA
*Cryptofloriography , Fringe Exhibition, Chung King Rd., Chinatown, L.A., CA
*Cryptofloriography, Upfront Gallery, Ventura, CA
Celebration SCIART: 10th Anniversary Exhibition, SCIART, Camarillo, CA
Art of Photography Show, Lyceum Theatre Gallery,San Diego, CA. Tim Wride, juror. 
W.O.P. “with out passport”, Brewery Project, LosAngeles, CA 

2006  Blips, Drips and Strips, Upfront Gallery, Ventura, CA, Curated by Christine Morla and Paul Benavidez
The Big Picture at the Small Gallery, Peggy Phelps Gallery, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA, Curated by David Pagel

2005  *Submerged, Oxnard College, Oxnard, CA, Curated by Christine Morla
Carpool, 18th Street Complex, Santa Monica, CA

2004  *Land and Sea, Huntington Beach Art Center, CA, Curated by Darlene D’Angelo
Supersonic, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA
Centered on the Center, Huntington Beach Art Center, CA

2003  *Land and Sea (an installation), Peggy Phelps Gallery, Claremont Graduate University, CA
Picture Me This, The Office Space, Huntington Beach, CA, Curated by Chris Hoff
Surely, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA
Shift, The Office Space, Huntington Beach, CA, Curated by Chris Hoff
*Displaced Landscape: Triple Palms, Scripps College, Steele Hall
Centered on the Center, Huntington Beach Art Center, CA. 

2002  Welcome, Peggy Phelps Gallery, Claremont Graduate University Big Wave IV, Andrew-Shire Gallery, Los Angeles, Curated by Young An
A Room With a View, Raid Projects, Los Angeles, Curated by Max Presneill
Of Shadow and Sun, Bliss, Pasadena, CA., Curated by Kenneth Riddle

2001  Open House, Danny First Space, Los Angeles


PERMANENT COLLECTIONS:

Samella Lewis Contemporary Art Collection, Williamson Gallery, Scripps College, Claremont, CA

Hyatt Regency, San Francisco

Community Memorial Hospital Art Collection, Ventura, CA

John Baldessari, Mr. And Mrs. Michael Reafsnyder. Kim Schoenstadt, Amy Hall
Randy Ginsberg, Cheryl Ann Thomas, Paul Benavidez, Margaret Tranovich, Caroline Friend
Nancy Macko, Jan Blair, Christine Morla, Bernadette Richardson