Molly Zuckerman-Hartung

Learning Artist

November 5 - December 23, 2017

Press Release


Molly Zuckerman-Hartung

Learning Artist

November 5 – December 23, 2017

Opening Reception: Sunday, November 5, 6 – 8pm



"Women are learners."

 --Musa Mayer


“To teach what one doesn’t know is simply to ask questions about what one doesn’t know.”

--Jacques Ranciere


“How can the teacher be assimilated to the psychoanalyst, it is exactly the contrary which is the case: The teacher is the person analysed.”

--Roland Barthes



What is this show about?


Fragility? But not in the sense of small weak things being fragile—it’s about a larger more structural fragility—like what a teacher of art encounters in thinking about the future of her students. Also, contingency and precarity, what it means for something that is meant to be temporary or provisional to be in the world for a very long time.


But this is not what a press release is supposed to be about… A press release, as a form, sets up the conditions under which meaning is made in the art objects, it should not, itself, be a place of meaning making. It is not an artwork or criticism.


So what about the question of form or formality?  What kind of meaning gets put where? Into which forms?


Cutting curves out of scrap wood in the Yale woodshop began as a way of confronting a fear I had about learning. The stakes of experimentation in a dangerous environment such as the woodshop underscored my anxiety about being corrected while learning. The commitment to the curves, which were made by cutting concentric parallel bands, (this makes the machine whine loudly) was an exercise in repetition. In the show I’m trying to refine and deconstruct my relationship with the formal through the use of this curve. The curve is the heart of this work.

What does the curve have to do with form? Isn’t the curve a line? It’s not exactly a form...


I’m still trying to understand the Formal, I get tangled between Formalism, Formality, and the Formless. It might be odd, the use of this shape as a form, it throws me for a curve. For example a figure of speech that re-routes you, the curve is never the thing, it is always the implication: the detour, the bulge, the mountain, the metaphor. Maybe they are opportunities for digression around historical formalist approaches. I’m trying to move from the spatial (the grid) to the temporal (the curve or meander). The show is full of de- sublimations. 


It’s like being in the middle of something, a conversation, event, or crisis. The problem with narratives is that they imply a beginning, a middle and end. I’m try to denarrativize—to stay stuck in the middle of the muddle. Can I keep my composure (make a composition) can I stay calm here?


The work is very colorful. Do you want to address this?


I will just say that color is not something that exists apart from structure; color is also structural.  We exist inside of affect and mood just as much as we exist inside of language. 



-Fox Hysen and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung



Molly Zuckerman-Hartung was born in 1975 in Los Gatos, CA, and lives and works in Connecticut. She received her MFA in 2007 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work is included in the collections of The Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN), the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (Chicago, IL); DePaul University Art Museum and the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago (Chicago, IL). Recent exhibitions include Jennifer Jason Leigh at Corbett vs. Dempsey; Whitney Biennial 2014 (New York, NY); Painter, Painter at the Walker Art Center, (Minneapolis, MN); The Program at ReMap4 (Athens, Greece); Michelle Grabner: I Work From Home at MOCA Cleveland (Cleveland, OH); Shaktiat Brand New Gallery (Milan, Italy); and a solo exhibition, Chlorophyll Bluess at Diana Lowenstein (Miami, FL).



Molly Zuckerman-Hartung and Maryam Hoseini mentioned in Andrew Russeth's Critic's Diary (December 2017) for ARTnews
September 13, 2018

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung 'Learning Artist' discussed on ArtFCity's Explain Me podcast
January 3, 2018

A Night of Performances in Conjunction with Molly Zuckerman-Hartung 'Learning Artist'
December 10, 2017

Please join us for performances by Justine Melford Colgate, Simone Kearney, Diego Leclery, and Matthew Evan Taylor on Sunday, December 10th from 6 - 8 pm.

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung 'Learning Artist' reviewed in Delicious Line
December 6, 2017

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung 'Learning Artist' reviewed in Forbes
November 6, 2017

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung named an "Artist to Watch" by Artspace Magazine
November 3, 2017