Isa Gagarin is an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores subjects including color, natural phenomena, and autobiography.  Using painting, drawing, installation, performance, and video, Gagarin explores color relationships with an emphasis on working responsively to site. The transient qualities of natural phenomena such as solar eclipses, tides, and rainbows prompt Gagarin to draw connections between her work and personal-political experiences of place in Hawai’i and Guam. Gagarin holds an MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University (2018) and a BFA in Painting from Minneapolis College of Art and Design (2008). Gagarin lives and works in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Born 1986, Guam

 

Education

2018

MFA, Painting and Printmaking. Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

 

2008

BFA, Painting, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, MN

 

Selected Solo Exhibitions

 

2017

Sundial at Midnight, Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, VA

 

2016

Heliotuduc, The White Page, Minneapolis, MN

 

2013

Rock Portraits, Modern Times, Minneapolis, MN

 

2012

Occultation, Kiehle Gallery, St. Cloud University, St. Cloud, MN

 

2011

Sea of Fecundity, Rochester Art Center, Rochester, MN

When Her Son Flies in the Sky, Dressing Room, Minneapolis, MN (catalogue)

Marsh of Sleep, Art of This, Minneapolis, MN (catalogue)

 

2009

Beru, Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis, MN

 

Selected Group Exhibitions

 

2018

Gather, Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, VA

Emerge VII, Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, VA

Two-Person Exhibition, juntos pero no revueltos, Good Weather Gallery with PARQUE Galería and Condo, Mexico City, Mexico

 

2017

Emerge, Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, VA

The Candidates, VCU Painting + Printmaking MFA Candidacy exhibition, Richmond, VA

 

2016

Selected Works, Public Functionary, Minneapolis, MN

Art, Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, VA

Current Location, Waiting Room, Minneapolis, MN

 

2015

Topographies, MCAD Main Gallery, Minneapolis, MN

 

2014

Trieste, Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (catalogue)

Addendum, Chicago Artists Coalition, Chicago, IL

Tropixxx, The Bedfellows Club, Minneapolis, MN

Objects for Consideration, Soo Visual Arts Center, Minneapolis, MN

 

2013

A Study in Midwest Appropriation, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL

You Must Stand This While Reading There, David Petersen Gallery, Minneapolis, MN 2013 Soap Factory, Minneapolis, MN (catalogue)

 

2012

Tropical Art Show, Stevens Square for the Arts, Minneapolis, MN

 

2010

A Theory of Values, Soap Factory, Minneapolis, MN

Shoot the Moon, 1419, Minneapolis, MN (catalogue)

FLATLINE, Sellout Gallery, Minneapolis, MN

 

2009

The Sensual World, Synchronicity, Los Angeles, CA

September Sounds from a Silver Shape, Art of This, Minneapolis, MN

Systems and Process, Sound Gallery, Minneapolis, MN

 

2008

Meander, Soap Factory, Minneapolis, MN

La Raccolta, Plateau, Minneapolis, MN (catalogue)

 

2007

La Noche De Los Muertos, Gallery 100, Minneapolis, MN

Projection, El Colegio, Minneapolis, MN

 

Published Works

 

2015

Aposiopesis. In collaboration with Jonathan Kaiser. Minneapolis: Wopozi, 2015

 

2011

When Her Son Flies in the Sky. Minneapolis: Dressing Room, 2011

Marsh of Sleep. Minneapolis: AOT Imprint, 2011

 

2010

Location: Volume 1. Minneapolis: Location Books, 2010

Sea of Waves. Minneapolis: Hot Off The, 2010

 

Residencies

 

2018

David Wurtzel Artist Residency (July 1-23), Montespertoli, IT

 

2016

The White Page, Minneapolis, MN

Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT

 

Award

 

2018

David Wurtzel Travel Grant, Montespertoli, IT

 

2016

Artist Grant, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT

 

Bibliography

 

2016

Lopez, Mia. “Heliotuduc.” INREVIEW, Spring 2016, p. 3

 

2014

Heikes, Jay. Trieste. Amsterdam: Grimm Gallery.

 

2013

Sturdevant, Andy. Potluck Supper with Meeting to Follow. Minneapolis: Coffee House Press.

 

Teaching Experience

2018

Adjunct Faculty, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, MN

 

2017-18

Instructor of Record, Virginia Commonwealth University

 

2016-17

Teaching Assistant, Virginia Commonwealth University

I work in an expanded painting practice, creating site-specific installation, experimental books, performance, and video to explore my interest in color and abstract forms. Subjects from the natural world such as solar eclipses, tides, and rainbows inspire me to explore forms that express the verb, or action, that I associate with them. The idea of tides, for example, describes the ocean as more than a thing: tides are the thing in motion, rising and falling in response to the orbiting gravity of the moon. I am fascinated by the idea of forms that are unfixed and constantly changing.

 

Within drawing and painting, the idea of tides can be visualized in something as simple as a waveform or a squiggly line. In my practice, I work to develop curiosity towards forms such as curved lines, arcs, crescents, and waves. Centered in an interest in color, these forms become active through my use of site-specific installation, experimental books, performance, and video. Drawing is integral to my ideation process by visualizing questions. If the subject of my work is a state of motion or constant change (rising, curving, orbiting), where is the actual artwork situated in space and in relation to the viewer? What functions as the ground of a painting or the edges of a drawing, and how can that offer insight into the perception (and politics) of time and space? I work with site-specific installation to continue manifesting ideas around positionality. Supplemental to drawing, my writing and journaling practice helps me explore the position of my biography in relation to my abstract work.