VCS presents Museum as Muse – opening Thursday, February 6th in the Flatiron Project Space, with a reception from 6 to 8 pm


Museum as Muse

 February 6, 2020-March 8, 2020
Opening reception: Thursday, February 6, 6:00 PM-8:00 PM



BFA Visual & Critical Studies presents Museum As Muse, an exhibition of paintings by Leigh Behnke, Joe Fig, and Peter Hristoff. Curated by Leigh Behnke, the exhibition will be on view from February 6, 2020 through March 8, 2020 at the Flatiron Project Space, 133 W 21 Street, New York, NY.

Museum As Muse explores the experience of the museum as a physical environment, using this corporeal experience as a point of departure for the paintings in this exhibition. This work goes beyond looking at individual works, to thinking about the contents of the museum in situ. The site of the institution itself serves a vehicle and inspiration.

Joe Fig‘s series Looking/Seeing reflects on the experience of the viewer in the space of the museum. Fig is known for his sculptural representations of the artist in their studios, which have been shown internationally. This new series is an extension of that exploration, with the focus widened to encompass the space in which the art is viewed, contemplated and observed. He is represented by Cristin Tierney Gallery in New York and is the Department Chair of Fine Arts at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida.

Peter Hristoff is a faculty member at SVA and was the first visual Artist-In-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. His on-going series Everything and Nothing addresses current political, social and religious issues through the metaphoric use of museum imagery. The operatic, serial nature of the work examines ideas of collections and archives.

Leigh Behnke has painted interiors as a means to place her iconography in both a specific geographic and a symbolic context. Her recent series Your History Is Your Future has used the interior of the Kunsthistoriches Museum in Vienna, as well as sculptural pieces from that institution. She is a faculty member at SVA.


Image credits, left to right: Joe Fig, Rembrandt /Met, Oil on linen mounted on MDF Board, 13 ½” x 11”, 2019; Peter Hristoff, Everything and Nothing, 11″ x 15”, mixed media on paper, (on-going series 2007 to present); Leigh Behnke, Falling Furie II, oil and pigment on canvas mounted to board, 2019.

The Flatiron Project Space, created and founded by BFA Visual & Critical Studies, is located on the ground floor of 133 West 21 Street. The gallery invites VCS students and guest curators, along with other departments at SVA, to realize curatorial projects that highlight our rapidly expanding visual culture. Shows are held monthly and include video, performance, painting and sculptural projects.

The gallery is open Monday through Sunday, 9 AM to 6 PM. It is fully accessible by wheelchair.

Visual & Critical Studies