Udigrudi Fridays / December 15



Udigrudi Fridays – Film Series: 
O Bandido da Luz Vermelha (The Red Light Bandit), 1968. Dir. Rogério Sganzerla
Hunter College MFA Building
205 Hudson Street, 2nd Floor Flex Space
December 15, 7:30PM


O Bandido da Luz Vermelha (The Red Light Bandit, 1968) is inspired by the crimes of the namesake Brazilian criminal, who conducted a string of breaking-and-entries, assaults, and homicides in Brazil during the 1960s. Directed by Rógerio Sganzerla, the film reimagines the bandit as a modern robin hood in this jazzy neo-noir police-thriller. Perhaps the most well-known of all Brazilian Cinema Marginal films, the story emblematically conflates criminality and romanticism in an anti-elite gesture.

Screening in Portuguese with English subtitles.





Fall 2023 MFA Thesis Exhibition
205 Hudson Gallery
205 Hudson Street
New York, NY
Part I: November 9–21, 10–7pm
Reception: November 9, 6–9pm


Featuring MFA Candidates: Karewith Casas, C’naan Hamburger, Sam Mattax, Bonnie Morano, Alex Schmidt, Milly Skellington, and Julio Williams 

Additionally, please join us for performances on November 15 & 17 at 8pm.


MFA Thesis Part II will take place: December 7 – 21, 2023; January 2–8, 2024

Featuring: Julie Avetisyan, Yan Cynthia Chen, Sarah Cohen , Alicia Ehni, Henry Glavin, Louisa Owen, Dana Schein






Cosmic Shelter: Hélio Oiticica and Neville D’Almeida’s Private Cosmococas / October 12

October 12, 2023 – March 30, 2024

Opening Reception: October 12, 6:30–9:00 pm


Hunter College Art Galleries: Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery
Hunter West Building
132 East 68th Street (enter between Park and Lexington Aves.)
New York, NY
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 12-6pm

Curated by Daniela Mayer

In the mid-1960s, Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica (1937-1980) began embracing joyously transgressive modes of performance, film, and installation to champion marginalized persons and their culture. The original Cosmococas began as a series of five immersive installations, made in collaboration with Brazilian filmmaker Neville D’Almeida (b. 1941) while Oiticica was self-exiled to New York during the 1970s. Formally known as Bloco-Experiências in Cosmococa–Programa in Progress (Block Experiments in Cosmococa–Program in Progress), these works operate on many levels to transform pop and underground culture into an explosive supra-sensorial experience. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Cosmococas, the artist’s nonprofit foundation, the Projeto Hélio Oiticica, based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Lisson Gallery have organized a year-long celebration for 2023 during which the series will be installed in cities around the world. 

The Hunter College Art Galleries have joined the 50th anniversary initiative and will present Cosmic Shelter: Hélio Oiticica and Neville D’Almeida’s Private Cosmococas at the Leubsdorf Gallery. This exhibition will present the United States premiere of two private Cosmococas and will also include archival material to provide historical context for the layers of political commentary imbued into the subversive, psychedelic series of Cosmococas.

More info: www.leubsdorfgallery.org

More about exhibition programming:



In Memoriam: Ülkü Bates

Ülkü Bates at the Qasr al-Hayr al-Sharqi excavations in Syria in 1969 (standing second from left, with a big smile) with (standing) Fred Anderegg, William Trousdale, Oleg Grabar, and Hayat Salam; (seated) Renata Holod, ‘Ali Taha, ‘Umar Fa’ur, and Selçuk Batur. Courtesy of Kelsey Museum of Archeology, Michigan.

In Memoriam

Ülkü Bates 
Hunter College Professor of Islamic Art History from 1973 to 2012

Born in Costanta, Romania on December 3, 1938 
Professor Bates passed away in Portage, Michigan, August 7, 2023.

A pioneer in many respects, Ülkü Bates was one of a handful of Turkish female students pursuing Islamic Art at the doctoral level in the United States in the 1960s, when she joined the first cohort of renowned Professor Oleg Grabar’s supervisees at the University of Michigan. While most students in the field then focused on the imperial collections of the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Ülkü chose to travel widely in Turkey, Iran, Syria, Central Asia and Egypt.  She quickly became a recognized specialist of Anatolian Sufi shrines, female patronage, and Ottoman Egypt, opening up the field of Islamic visual cultures to new approaches and ideas. It was with this expertise that she introduced Islamic Art History at Hunter College in 1973, as well as at the Graduate Center, and became a dedicated and much beloved teacher here. Her multilingualism and vivid intellectual curiosity also led her to serve the field through her intense activity as book reviewer on topics ranging from Indonesian sculpture to Mamluk textiles. This multifaceted passion for the transmission of knowledge led her to curate the very first exhibition dedicated to 18th and 19th century Ottoman art and material culture in New York City, at Hunter’s Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery in 2008.  A milestone effort, Re-Orientations: Islamic Art and the West in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries was a widely reviewed public success, and greatly contributed to opening up the field of Islamic art to the modern and contemporary period, and to the epoch at large. Another example of Ülkü’s commitment to bridging our academic community with a dynamic society all around is her leading role in the Hunter initiative which delivered Women’s Realities, Women’s Choices: An Introduction to Women’s Studies, a classic textbook first published in 1983 and now in its eleventh printing.  Ülkü will be fondly remembered by all who met her in her numerous roles as a great scholar, colleague, teacher, and friend.
Nebahat Avcioğlu, Associate Professor of Art History


We were very saddened to hear of the recent death of our colleague, Ülkü Bates, who was a mainstay of the Hunter College Art History program for almost four decades. She was liked and highly regarded by everyone, not the least for her sense of fairness. Seemingly quiet and reserved, she soon revealed herself to be gregarious, with a wicked sense of humor. When she smiled, she did so “with every fiber of her face” as one former student described it.  Ülkü was also a model Graduate Program advisor and developed that role into what it is today. At a time when funds and attention were overwhelmingly directed to the Studio program, she fought hard for a bigger budget and staffing for Art History.

When I first starting teaching at Hunter College in the early 1990s, Professor Bates was the faculty member to whom I turned for advice on course preparation, students, and departmental goings-on.  She often spoke of her parents and her son with great affection. About ten years in, I noticed that she rarely took the elevator, but often emerged from the stairwell: to my amazement, it turned out that she not only walked from her office on the 11th floor to the classrooms on the 15th, but regularly came up from the ground floor on foot ( some twenty-two flights)  The secret, she explained, was to walk the length of the hallway, intermittently, from one set of stairs to the other, to catch her breath. Determined, pragmatic, gracious, and imaginative – that was Ülkü.

Professor Bates established the field of Islamic Art as part of a core of our art history curriculum, and inspired and inspired many students to go on to a doctorate in that field; indeed, when she announced her retirement in 2010, the administration did not hesitate to renew her line, to continue to build on what she so strongly established. We sent her off with a big bash with careful attention to good food and drink, since she herself was an excellent cook. After some thirty-eight years as a devoted colleague, teacher, and administrator, she deserved it, but more importantly, we wagered that the Faculty Dining Room on the 8th floor of Hunter West would be packed with former students, fans from the studio program, and other well-wishers – and it was.  Her smile was even wider that day, her eyes even more illuminated, and we felt happy that she retired from Hunter fulfilled as a scholar and a mentor and confident that she left a legacy at 68th and Park Avenue.

Emily Braun, Distinguished Professor of Art History


“Ülkü Bates’s Islamic course was another corner-turner. For her introductory lecture she showed an hour and a half of rapid-fire images of old and new treasures: mosques, in Africa, India, Iran, Turkey, East Asia, and Queens, New York, interspersed with pictures of illuminated books, musical instruments, ceramics and textiles. The final image—the final Islamic treasure—was a snapshot of an elderly man and woman sitting side by side in an Istanbul apartment. “This is my mother and father,” she said….Home and the world. Local and global. Personal history and art history. Inseparable.”

Holland Cotter, Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic at the New York Times, from “Notes on Influence,” Brooklyn Rail, November 2016.


Distortions: Moscow Conceptualists Working Today / September 9

Left: The NEST, Victor Skersis, Victoria Borisova, Stevie Knauss, Art to the Masses 2.0, August 14, 2023. Times Square, New York. Photo: Jake M. Robinson. Right: Collective Actions, in collaboration with Hunter College team, Pissarro’s Window, May 11, 2023. New York. Photo: Jiwoong Jang.

September 9 – October 28, 2023

Opening Reception: September 9, 6-9pm


Meta-Art Saturdays with Victor Skersis and Daniel Bozhkov
Saturdays 12-6pm, through October 28 

Distortions Symposium I: September 9, 4-5:30pm
The opening reception will be preceded by a round table discussion and reenactments of art works with the exhibition curators and artists Yuri Albert, Sabine Hänsgen and Victor Skersis.

Hunter College Art Galleries
205 Hudson Gallery
205 Hudson Street (enter between Canal and Greenwich Streets)
New York, NY 

Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 12-5pm

Curated by Hunter College professors Daniel Bozhkov and Joachim Pissarro with Dr. Olga Zaikina. Curatorial Graduate Fellow: Victoria Borisova.

Distortions: Moscow Conceptualists Working Today was developed through a two-semester graduate curatorial seminar at Hunter College led by professors Daniel Bozhkov and Joachim Pissarro with Dr. Olga Zaikina. It included studio art students: Lauren Cline, Tucker Claxton, LeLe Dai, Paula De Martino, Alicia Ehni, Stevie Knauss, Milly Skelington, Johnny Sagan; and art history students: Caitlin Anklam, Victoria Borisova, Jay Bravo, Andrea Dauhajre, Curtis Eckley, Daniel Kuzinez, Jake Robinson. Visiting scholar: Virginia Marano, PhD Candidate, University of Zürich.

Moscow Conceptualism began as an alternative underground art world in the late Soviet Union. Its unofficial status shaped its artistic methods and theoretical framework. The exhibition includes original objects, archival materials, and working models of original artworks, alongside new projects created by Moscow Conceptualists in collaboration with art and art history students and faculty at Hunter College. Thus, Distortions is an experiment in intergenerational and cross-cultural collaboration. It aims to transform the gallery into a two-month long forum exploring how existing artworks can be activated to create new living situations, and how documents can be used beyond the preservation of the past

More info: www.205hudsongallery.org


Cynthia Hahn appointed a CUNY Distinguished Professor


Cynthia Hahn, professor of Medieval Art History, was appointed to the rank of Distinguished Professor by the CUNY Board of Trustees on April 24, 2023.  This is the highest academic rank the City University of New York can bestow, and a wonderful and much-deserved recognition of Cynthia’s scholarship and her status in the field.  Appointment as a Distinguished Professor requires a rigorous process of administrative and peer review, which Cynthia passed with flying colors.  As one of her reviewers wrote, “Dr. Hahn has produced a stream of visually and intellectually stimulating books that have succeeded as few medieval scholars have in making medieval artifacts gripping and thought-provoking across the full range of twenty-first-century eras and disciplines.”  
Cynthia is the author of numerous publications, including Portrayed on the Heart: Narrative Effect in Pictorial Lives of the Saints from the Tenth through the Thirteenth Century, University of California Press, 2001; Strange Beauty: Origins and Issues in the Making of Medieval Reliquaries 400-circa 1204, Penn State University Press, 2012; The Reliquary Effect: Enshrining the Sacred Object, Reaktion Press, London, 2017 and “The Thing of Mine I have Loved the Best:” Significant Jewels, (Exhibition catalog, Les Enluminures, New York), 2018.  In 2020, she published three books: Passion Relics and the Medieval Imagination: Art, Architecture, and Society, University of California Press, 2020; Heart’s Desire: The Darnley Jewel and the Human Body, National Galleries of Scotland, 2020; and Seeking Transparency: Rock Crystals across the Medieval Mediterranean, a volume co-edited with Avinoam Shalem from Gebr.Mann Verlag in Berlin.   Cynthia has been an Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study of the Visual Arts, National Gallery, Washington DC; a fellow at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA; and a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ.  And this is only part of her CV.  She received her PhD from the Johns Hopkins University, and before coming to Hunter, she was Gulnar K. Bosch Professor of Art History at Florida State University.
The Department of Art and Art History is fortunate to now have four CUNY Distinguished Professors.  Cynthia joins professors Emily Braun, Jeffrey Mongrain, and Nari Ward.  Congratulations, Cynthia!

Arrivals Fall 2023

Photo credit: Paula Court
Yve Laris Cohen, Assistant Professor, Sculpture
Yve Laris Cohen stages systems of contingency and support through duplicating, reconstituting, or weakening elements of theatrical and exhibition architecture. His work mobilizes performance as a site of institutional friction and vulnerability. Laris Cohen’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 2022, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, in 2018. Additional solo presentations include those at Performance Space New York and The Kitchen, New York, where he has been an advisor for Dance and Process. Group exhibitions include those at SculptureCenter, New York; Abrons Arts Center, New York; Hessel Museum of Art at Bard, Annandale-on-Hudson; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia. He participated in the 2014 Whitney Biennial and Performa 2019. Laris Cohen graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and holds an MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University.
Photo credit: Grace Roselli
Abigail Lucien, Assistant Professor, Sculpture
Abigail Lucien is a Haitian-American interdisciplinary artist and educator. Their work addresses themes of (be)longing, futurity, myth, and place by considering our relationship to inherited colonial structures and systems of belief/care. Working across sculpture, literature, and time-based media, Abigail’s practice is auto-ethnographic: referencing found objects and familiar surroundings as a way to implicate the body’s relationship to material and place—interpreting concepts such as loss, love, and grief as a fluid procession rather than a state to reach or become. Past exhibitions include SculptureCenter (NY), MoMA PS1 (NY), Deli Gallery (NY), Tiwani Contemporary (London, UK), Museum of Contemporary Art Panamá (Panamá), Frost Art Museum (Miami, FL), Atlanta Contemporary (Atlanta, GA), and The Fabric Workshop and Museum (Philadelphia, PA). Residencies include the Amant Studio & Research Residency (NY), the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture (Madison, ME), the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Fine Arts (Wrocław, Poland), The Luminary (St. Louis, MO), Santa Fe Art Institute (Santa Fe, NM), ACRE (Steuben, WI), and Ox-Bow School of Art & Artist Residency.
Alva Mooses, Assistant Professor, Printmaking
Alva Mooses is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in Brooklyn. Her work crosses sculpture, printmaking, and papermaking, using earth-based materials to create an index of place and signal the memory of geological time. She has exhibited her work, curated exhibitions, and organized educational projects in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America for over a decade.  She is a member of the editorial advisory board for Latinx Spaces and has organized collaborations and community art initiatives in Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, El Salvador, and Argentina.  Alva holds a BFA from The Cooper Union and an MFA from Yale University, and has completed residencies and fellowships at Greenwich House Pottery, The Center for Book Arts, Casa Wabi (Mexico), Tou Trykk (Norway), and The University of Chicago, among others.  Her recent group and solo exhibitions include: (Be)Longing at Tiger Strikes Asteroid in Brooklyn (2022); Ear to the Earth at Front Art Space (2022); Space Coiled Like A Serpent at the Lower East Side Printshop (2021); You Enter Dancing/ There’s Always Sign at The Clemente Center (2021); Cito, Longe, Tarde at Haynes Project in Chicago (2020), Se Entra Bailando at Socrates Sculpture Park (2019), Buen Vivir at the Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin (2018), and Retrato de un Paisaje at the Museo Sívori in Buenos Aires (2018).

Katie Hood Morgan, Acting Administrative Director and Chief Curator, Hunter College Art Galleries
Katie Hood Morgan is a curator and arts producer whose active projects include a forthcoming permanent collection exhibition with the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz.  Prior experience includes: Program Director of FOR-SITE Foundation; Curator of Exhibitions and Public Programs at the San Francisco Art Institute; and Assistant Curator at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, all in San Francisco, CA. She has organized major exhibitions and public programs with artists and collectives including Ai Weiwei, Patti Smith, Jill Magid, Postcommodity, and Bill Fontana. She recently managed the touring exhibitions Carlos Villa: Worlds in Collision, the first-ever major museum retrospective for a Filipino-American artist, and Hunter East Harlem Gallery’s 26-artist exhibition, Dust Specks on the Sea: Sculpture from the French Caribbean and Haiti.  She has contributed to programming and curatorial projects at institutions including the Oakland Museum of California; the de Young Museum; SFMOMA; and MASS MoCA.


Departures 2023

Andrea Blum, Professor of Studio Art
Andrea Blum came to Hunter as a Visiting Professor in 1986, and is stepping away after 37 years as a Full Professor and Associate Chair for Studio Art.  She has helped shape the Studio Art program over the decades, and has pushed to assemble a new generation of artists here who can lead the program forward.  Thank you, Andrea!  Andrea designs work for Public Space in Europe and the United States that range in site and scale from urban space and parks, to exhibition design, libraries, domestic space, and furniture. She exhibits in museums, galleries, and other international exhibition venues, and has had numerous one-person exhibitions including Kunsthaus Baselland, CH; La Conservera Centro de Arte Contemporaneo, SP; Stroom Center for Art & Architecture, NL; Henry Moore Institute, UK; and Le Crestet Centre D’art Contemporarin, FR. Blum built special projects for the 51st Venice Biennale, IT; Maison Rouge, Paris, FR ; the MUDAM Luxembourg; l’Observatoire, FR; and was the Set Designer for the Opera La Favorite  by Donizetti commissioned by Theatre des Champs-Elysees, Paris.  Andrea has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Graham Foundation Fellowship, SJ Weiler Fund Award, Art Matters, NYSCA and National Endowment for the Arts Grants, and in 2005 was named Chevalier, Order of Arts and Letters, by the French Minister of Culture.  In Fall 2024, she will have an exhibition of her work at the 205 Hudson Gallery.


Maria Loh, Professor of Art History
Hired in 2106 as Professor of Art History, with a specialty in Italian renaissance art, Maria Loh is departing Hunter for the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, where she will be the Professor of Art History in the School of Historical Studies.  Maria was an important teacher and advisor at Hunter; her graduate seminars attracted both art history students and studio artists, and she will be missed.  Maria received her MA/PhD in Art History from University of Toronto, and before coming to Hunter, she taught in the Department of History of Art at University College London.  She is the author of three books: Titian Remade. Repetition and the Transformation of Early Modern Italian Art (Getty Research Institute, 2007); Still Lives. Death, Desire, and the Portrait of the Old Master (Princeton, 2015); and Titian’s Touch. Art, Magic, & Philosophy (Reaktion, 2019)—and the editor of two special issues of the Oxford Art Journal: “Early Modern Horror” (2011) and “Mal’occhio: Looking Awry at the Renaissance” (co-edited with Patricia Rubin, 2009). She has been a regular contributor to Art in America and has also written on portraiture and loss; “special affect” in early modern painting and sculpture; melancholia and the Renaissance in Ottocento Italy; remakes in Chinese cinema; repetition in Hitchcock’s Vertigo; and the work of Sherrie Levine. Her fourth book, Liquid Sky, will explore visual representations of the early modern sky. 


Joachim Pissarro, Bershad Professor of Art History
Joachim Pissarro first taught at Hunter in 2002, as a Visiting Professor, and has been, since 2007, the Bershad Professor of Art History and Director of the Hunter College Galleries.  Joachim came to Hunter from the Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Painting and Sculpture, where he organized the exhibitions Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne and Pissarro 1865–1885 (2005); Out of Time: A Contemporary View (with Eva Respini, 2006); and Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night (2008-09).  From 1997 to 2000, he was the Seymour H. Knox, Jr. Curator of European and Contemporary Art at the Yale University Art Gallery, and before that he was Chief Curator at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth.  Joachim brought his curatorial expertise to Hunter, and under his directorship the Hunter College Art Galleries flourished.  He organized a number of exhibitions with students and colleagues at Hunter, including to: Night: Contemporary Representations of the Night (2008), a contemporary response to his Van Gogh show at MoMA; Notations: the Cage Effect Today (2012); and Buren, Mosset, Parmentier, Toroni (2016).  Joachim established the ongoing MAs Curate MFAs program, and was a much sought-after advisor and mentor for both MA and MFA students.  He received his M. Phil. in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute, London, and a Ph D. in History of Art from the University of Texas at Austin.  Beyond Hunter, Joachim was a founding partner of PARALLEL (with partners, architects John Keenen and Terry Riley), and in 2021 joined forces with Philippe de Montebello and Jennifer Stockman in creating GMSG (Global Museum Strategies Group), consulting and helping to develop museum projects, mostly in China and the Gulf Region.
Sarah Watson, Chief Curator and Director of Administration
Sarah Watson earned her MA in Art History from Hunter College in 2010, and returned to Hunter as Curator in 2012.  She leaves Hunter as Chief Curator and Director of Administration of the Hunter College Art Galleries, to serve as Director of the Joseph S. Murphy Institute at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies (SLU); Sarah earned her second MA, in Urban Studies, from SLU.  The growth of the Hunter College Art Galleries and the success of the department’s Advanced Curatorial Certificate would not have been possible without Sarah’s professionalism and dedication. She has been an important mentor to a generation of curatorial students and gallery employees, and has pushed to make the galleries’ programing responsive to Hunter’s diverse communities.  Sarah has had a shaping hand in every exhibition, catalogue, and program produced at the Leubsdorf and 205 Hudson galleries since 2012, and her absence will be felt.  Among the exhibitions Sarah curated or co-organized with Hunter students, colleagues in the galleries, or visiting curators are Vistas Latinas: Archives of a Collective, 1989–2014 (2014); Robert Barry: All the things I know . . . 1962 to the present (2015); The Experimental Television Center: A History, Etc… (2015); Elective Affinities: A Library (2017); Ugo Rondinone: I Love John Giorno (2017); The School of Survival: Learning with Juan Downey (2018); Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A. (2018); Refiguring the Future (2019); Constance DeJong: A Survey Exhibition (2021)and The Black Index (2022), a nationally touring exhibition organized with curator Bridget Cooks of the University of California, Irvine.  


Spring 2023 BFA Thesis Exhibition / May 18


Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery
Hunter West Building
132 East 68th Street
New York, NY
May 18 – June 10
Opening reception: May 18, 5–7pm

The Hunter College BFA Program and the Hunter College Art Galleries are pleased to present the Spring 2023 BFA Thesis Exhibition, remnants, at the Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery, May 18 – June 10, 2023. The exhibition will feature works by Karne Vera, Nisida Spera, Jossie Rivera, Laura Messner, Frances Matassa, Israel Kidda, and Ophelia Arc. The gallery is free and open to the public Tuesday – Saturday, 12–5pm