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“Art Got into Me”: The Work of Engels the Artist

ON VIEW: October 9-December 22, 2019

This monographic exhibition features more than fifty works created by Engels the Artist over the past ten years.  As the Fall 2019 Artist-In-Residence, Engels will work with Purchase College students to create new works inside the museum. 

Born in Haiti, the artist has been living in Brooklyn for more than three decades. For Engels, the canvas is a limited space that requires subversion, inversion, expansion, or containment. He engages in a sort of metonymic game, whereby the container becomes the contained, and the support becomes the object itself.  For example, the fabric of the canvas, the wood of the stretcher, and the metal staples are all part of his iconography. Abstract and poetic, his sculptural paintings are both aesthetically appealing and profoundly meaningful. According to the artist, “The strict economy of line and texture, the use of everyday objects, and makeshift elegance recall my grandmother’s home in Port-au-Prince, which against all odds had splendor.”

The exhibition will include an artist residency during which Engels will create new works inside the museum. A fully illustrated monograph, the first in the artist’s career, will accompany the exhibition.


Not only will visitors to the Neuberger Museum be able to view over 50 works by Engels the Artist, they will be able to meet him when he is in residence at the museum this fall, working with Purchase College students to create a piece that, when completed, will be moved to the Gordon Sculpture Park in Monkton, Vermont. “Thus, the usually formal space of the museum will be transformed into a site where objects are not just seen and studied but actually produced,” says Dr. Giasson.

The artist will be in residence in the gallery most Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays between November 30 and November 14 with two special studio visits on Thursday, November 14 from 12:30 to 3:30 pm and Saturday, November 16 from 12:00 to 2:00 pm in conjunction with the 2019 (T)HERE Global Festival

“Art Got into Me”: The Work of Engels the Artist
is organized by the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, SUNY, in collaboration with the Willowell Foundation, and is curated by Patrice Giasson, the Alex Gordon Curator of Art of the Americas, with the assistance of Cynthia Newman, curatorial intern.

Major support for Art Got into Me” The Work of Engels the Artist is funded by the Alex Gordon Foundation. Additional support has been provided by ArtsWestchester, with support from the Westchester County Government; and the Triennial Adeline Herder Fund for Collage.