September 25, 2020

Princeton University Art Museum and Lewis Center for the Arts present Contemporary Conversations: Artistic Practice in Response to the Present with Paula Wilson

The Princeton University Art Museum and the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Visual Arts at Princeton present Contemporary Conversations: Artistic Practice in Response to the Present with multimedia artist Paula Wilson, on Thursday, October 1 at 5:30 p.m. via Zoom Webinar. Wilson will discuss her artistic process, her interest in mythology, nature, and race as inspiration in her work and the artist residencies she co-founded in Carrizozo, New Mexico, in a discussion with Mitra Abbaspour, the Art Museum’s Haskell Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. The conversation will be introduced by Martha Friedman, Director of the Program in Visual Arts in the Lewis Center. This virtual event is free and open to the public, and information, Zoom link and registration are available at The event will be live closed-captioned in both English and Spanish.

paula in pattern tunic standing by colorful paintings

Multimedia artist Paula Wilson. Photo credit: Mario Gallucci

Wilson’s uses sculpture, collage, painting, installation, and printmaking methods such as silkscreen, lithography, and woodblock to create monumental works and installation environments that narrate her experience as a biracial Black woman. Born in Chicago, and living in the American desert, Wilson’s multifaceted work resists a singular viewpoint. Her use of color, image, pattern, and materials acts as a visual metaphor for the complex stratum of histories and cultures, both real and imagined. Based now in Carrizozo, New Mexico, Wilson is co-founder of the artist organizations MoMAZoZo and the Carrizozo Artist in Residency (AIR). She is a recent recipient of a fall 2000 Princeton Hodder grant through the Lewis Center.

Mitra Abbaspour joined the Princeton University Art Museum in 2016. She previously served as an Associate Curator in the Department of Photography at The Museum of Modern Art and an Assistant Curator at the California Museum of Photography, in addition to having served as a guest curator for a number of exhibitions at various institutions. Exhibitions and installations she has curated or co-curated at the Museum include Helen Frankenthaler Prints: Seven Types of Ambiguity (2019), Frank Stella Unbound: Literature and Printmaking (2018), Making History Visible: Of American Myths and National Heroes (2017).

In addition to directing Princeton’s Program in Visual Arts, Martha Friedman is a New York-based sculptor who works with solid and plastic materials to form, deform and test the boundaries of the physical world. Her recent works have included collaborations with choreographers and dancers Susan Marshall and Silas Riener, extending her work into a visceral and flexible dimension, exploring material sculpture, the human body, and the relationships that can exist between the two. Friedman began teaching at Princeton in 2009, was appointed full time lecturer in 2011, and as director of the program in 2017. Solo exhibitions of her work have been held at The Henry Museum, Seattle, WA (2018-2019), The Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York (2017); Institute of Fine Arts New York University, New York (2016-17); Locust Projects, Miami (2015-16); Wallspace, New York (2012, 2009, 2007); the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, MI (2010); and many others.

The Contemporary Conversations Series was inaugurated over the summer with artist Cristóbal Martínez, kicked off the fall with artist Rose Simpson, and will continue early in 2021 with a guest to be announced.

This event is part of the Museum’s Late Thursdays programming, made possible in part by Heather and Paul G. Haaga Jr., Class of 1970. Spanish-language live closed-captioning for this program is made possible by the Rapid Response Magic Project of the Princeton University Humanities Council.

For more information about upcoming free, virtual public events at the Princeton University Art Museum, visit, and, at the Lewis Center for the Arts, visit


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