Thursday, November 15, 2012

Gus Mazzocca: 4 Decades/4 Generations

The University of Connecticut

Contemporary Art Galleries
830 Bolton Road Storrs Connecticut 06269 - 1099 phone 860 486 1511 Fax 860 486 3869

Press Release

Contact information:
Barry A. Rosenberg
(860) 486 -1511

Gus Mazzocca: 4 Decades/4 Generations

Contemporary Art Galleries (Storrs Campus)
January 28 – March 1, 2013

Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts
January 28 – March 15, 2013

Gus Mazzocca’s Roast and Reception
Contemporary Art Galleries (Art Building)
January 28 - 5:00 to 6:30 pm

After four decades of teaching printmaking at the University of Connecticut, Prof.
Gus Mazzocca retired at the end of last year. The Contemporary Art Galleries will be
hosting a multi-site retrospective on Gus and his work entitled Gus Mazzocca: 4
Decades/4 Generations, beginning on January 28, 2013. In addition to a monograph
exhibition of Gus's work at the CAG, from January 28 through March 15 we will be
featuring a group exhibition at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts. This
show will feature work from four artists who studied with Mazzocca. The multi-site
retrospective stands as a testament to Mazzocca’s legacy at UConn, both as an artist
and as a teacher.

From a short list of outstanding artists provided by Mazzocca, Barry A. Rosenberg,
Direc tor of the Contemporary Art Galleries has selected four to appear at the
Jorgensen—one representing each decade of Mazzocca’s career. All four of these
alumni have gone on to live exciting lives as well as having successful and
idiosyncratic careers, and all four cite Gus’s teaching as a vital influence on their

Representing the 1970s is Michael Maslin, a longtime cartoonist for the New Yorker
whose work has been published extensively. His first-ever publication was printed
for a limited release at UConn in 1976, and he still remembers his time with Prof.
Mazzocca fondly. “I'm thrilled that the university is doing this for Gus, Maslin told
Rosenberg. “I will be sure to attend the opening reception whether or not my work is

Aron Namenwirth, who studied with Prof. Mazzocca in the 1980s, is now a
professional artist living in Brooklyn. He described Mazzocca as his best professor,
including those he studied with for his MFA at Yale. “Gus was one of my favorite
teachers, I look forward to the opportunity to tell him that.” In addition to his work in
printmaking and painting, Aron is also a musician.

Tyler Starr received his BFA from UConn in 1997, and was recommended by
Mazzocca for his Fulbright Scholarship to study in Poland. He received his MFA
from the University of Minnesota. He has worked as an emergency medical
technician, which he cites as an important influence on his art’s interest in mortality
and the unexpected. He is now an Assistant Professor at Davidson College. Starr
holds a PhD from the Tokyo University of the Arts, and he works in video and
animation as well as works on paper.

Representing the 2000s, Kristi Arnold has been living in Australia and is nearing the
end of her studies toward a PhD there, after previously earning her MFA at UConn.
Her work engages vividly with color and symmetry. Mazzocca encouraged Arnold to
spend time in Poland, where she, too, held a Fulbright Scholarship—she cites this as a
profound influence on the trajectory of her career. Arnold commented when invited
by Rosenberg to represent our present decade, “I've always had a soft spot for Gus.
He's such a caring mentor and was such a huge inspiration for me.”

The Contemporary Art Galleries is very excited about the opportunity to put together
this retrospective for Gus Mazzocca. In addition to the retrospective at the CAG and
the group show at the Jorgensen, we will have open walls for student and alumni
contributions their thoughts in words and images of their own connection to Gus and
printmaking on the UConn campus. in the Arena Gallery. The opening reception on
January 28 will feature a roast of Prof. Mazzocca, with Prof. Deborah Dancy as

Gus Mazzocca was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He received an M.F.A. degree in
Painting/Printmaking from The Rhode Island School of Design, a B.F.A. degree in
Painting, and a B.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Connecticut.
He has been awarded a Doctor of Arts (honoris causa) from the Akademi Sztuk
Pieknych w Krakowie (The Art Academy of Krakow) His work has been shown in
numerous solo and group exhibitions at galleries and museums in Austria, Poland, the
Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy, Japan, and the United States. He
has been teaching at the University of Connecticut since 1970.

“I continue to use the figure as a vehicle to create unfixed narratives that reflect
movement, tension, struggle and celebration. The use of the digitally produced
elements along with the more raw scratched and carved marks of the woodcut present
a dichotomy that is ideally suited to these issues I present visually.”

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