Residency Will Culminate in Nisenbaum’s First Solo Museum Exhibition This Fall
“MOIA’s NYC Woman’s Cabinet” 2016. Aliza Nisenbaum. Oil on linen, 85 x 68 inches.
Born in Mexico City, and currently an assistant professor at Columbia University School of the Arts, Aliza Nisenbaum has dedicated her practice to creating intimate, vividly colored oil-on-canvas portraits of undocumented immigrants in the New York City area. Through her artistic process, Nisenbaum seeks to transform the traditional artist-sitter relationship; her lengthy portrait sessions allow her to deeply engage with the people and communities she paints to explore the ethical experiences of exchange, engage in new means for human connection, and shed light on immigrant groups too often left in the shadows.
“Minneapolis is a city brimming with an incredible wealth of cultures and communities,” said Nisenbaum. “I’m thrilled to partner with Mia to discover this diverse place, and to get to know the individuals, families, and groups that make it so. Face-to-face interactions and relationships are at the core of my practice, and I look forward to creating work that brings different people into solidarity with each other. It’s more than the issue of immigration; it’s about healing, attention to one another, care, and giving a voice to those who need it.”
Nisenbaum’s portrait studio will be housed in a brownstone provided by Mia. The dedicated time and space will enable the artist to investigate the social and civic relationships that exist between the less visible populations around the museum and the institution itself. Mia will document Nisenbaum’s process through photographs and video, which will be presented alongside the finished works in the upcoming exhibition. Additional details about the exhibition will be announced in the coming months.
“At Mia, we are committed to celebrating and strengthening the many communities that make up our audiences, and continually expanding and deepening our relationships with those around us,” said Gabriel Ritter, Mia’s curator of contemporary art. “Aliza’s artistic practice aims to empower those who are underrepresented or traditionally underserved by cultural institutions such as ours through painting. Her residency and subsequent exhibition seek to build meaningful relationships between artist and sitter, as well as Mia and its neighbors, to address these gaps and work toward a more honest representation of the neighboring Phillips and Whittier communities.”