Lisa Blas is a visual artist of Guamanian/ Italian-American descent working in painting, collage, photography, and installation. Based in New York, she draws from art history, nature, and current events to reflect on specific cultural and political legacies, past and present.
Her most recent work in collage (from 2013 – present) addresses the fragility of the environment and civil unrest, across timelines and specific events. From this pairing, abstract images and typographical fields are composed alluding to specimens of nature, disappearing geographical spaces and news headlines. The collage material is constructed by painting sheets of watercolor paper with layers of interference and flat color, cutting down the paper into fragments and affixing it to vellum and Arches, in medium to large scale formats. Using the detritus from her collages, she creates ephemeral still life arrangements with newspaper clippings and other materials, to be photographed and produced as digital C-prints. Blas produces a weekly blog post on Monday, of artworks from museum collections paired with the front page of the newspaper. “Monday’s image” is located in the NEWS section of her website, and the project in its entirety was mounted in March 2017 as a video installation at the Emily Harvey Foundation in New York.
She has also produced an artist project for the Spring 2016 issue of Public Art Dialogue: The Dilemma of Public Art’s Permanence , edited by Erika Doss.
Recent solo exhibitions are LISA BLAS / Monday’s Image at Emily Harvey Foundation, New York, LISA BLAS/ After lost space(s) 2016, at Kai Matsumiya Gallery, New York, LISA BLAS / Still Lifes, Sometimes Repeated , 2012-13, at Rossicontemporary, Brussels, LISA BLAS / As if pruning a tree, after Matisse, 2011, at Musée Matisse, Cateau-Cambrésis, France, LISA BLAS / Meet Me at the Mason Dixon , 2011, at Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania. Recent group exhibitions are Social Photography V, at Carriage Trade, New York, Drawing Practice/Bellingham National 2017 at Whatcom Museum, Washington Americanah , at Spring Break Art Show, New York, Emergency Eyewash at Tanja Grunert Gallery, New York, Foundation Barbin Presents: Redeux (Sort of ), 2016, at Kai Matsumiya Gallery, New York, Sensations That Announce The Future, 2015, at Evergreen College Gallery, Olympia, Washington, and A Particular Kind of Solitude: An exhibition inspired by the writings of Robert Walser, 2014, at the Elizabeth Street Garden, New York.
Concurrent with exhibiting her work both nationally and internationally, Blas has taught across disciplines in Fine Art at the undergraduate and graduate level, with a special focus on the museum and historical archives. She has taught at the Corcoran College of Art & Design, George Washington University, Arlington Arts Center, Université de Lille 3, University of California at Riverside, and Pomona College. She has been invited to speak on her work, participate in thesis panels and/or do studio visits at Brooklyn Art Space (New York), Evergreen College (Olympia, WA), The University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA), American University (Washington, DC), The Slought Foundation (Philadelphia, PA), Gettysburg College (Gettysburg, PA), La Cambre (Ecole nationale supérieure des arts visuels / Brussels), and School of Visual Arts (New York).
Books mentioned in the interview are Hugo Ball: Flight Out Of Time / A Dada Diary by Hugo Ball and The Ends Of Collage / Editor: Yuval Etgar and Susanna Gold: The Unfinished Exhibition / Visualizing myth, memory and the shadow of the Civil War in Centennial America and Alan Sonfist / Natural History A catalog.