At the Table: Elia Alba, Maren Hassinger, Zachary Fabri, and Juana Valdes in Conversation

At the Table:
Elia Alba, Maren Hassinger, Zachary Fabri,
and Juana Valdes in Conversation

Thursday, November 9, 2017
6 to 8pm

Elia Alba,  The Thinker (Zachary Fabri) , 2014

Elia Alba, The Thinker (Zachary Fabri), 2014

Artists Elia Alba, Zachary Fabri, Maren Hassinger, and Juana Valdes discussed their participation in the Supper Club Dinners, moderated by Sara Reisman, Executive and Artistic Director of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation. Elia Alba and each of the artists who are featured in the portrait series – Fabri as The Thinker, Hassinger as The Spiritualist, and Valdes as The Orisha – are recipients of NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowships. Presented in partnership with NYFA (a Rubin Foundation grantee), At the Table offered a glimpse of the intimate dinner conversations that shaped the discourse of The Supper Club, with themes like Global Blackness and Transnational Identities, Black Female Subjectivity, Black Male Subjectivity, and Post Black in the Age of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice.


Elia Alba was born in New York City. She received her BA from Hunter College in 1994 and completed the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program in 2001. Her work has been exhibited at Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; El Museo del Barrio, New York; RISD Museum, Providence; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Science Museum, London; ITAU Cultural Institute, São Paulo; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; and the 10th Havana Biennial. Awards include Studio Museum in Harlem Artist-in-Residence program; LMCC Workspace Program; New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship; Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant; and Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant. Her work is in the collection of the Lowe Art Museum, Coral Galbes; El Museo del Barrio, New York; and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, among others.

Zachary Fabri is an artist working in video, photography, and performance. His practice looks at concerns surrounding cultural commodification, gentrification, and public space. He has been awarded The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art and the New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in interdisciplinary work. Fabri’s work has been exhibited at Art in General, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Walker Art Center, El Museo del Barrio, Ryan Lee Gallery, The Brooklyn Museum, and The Barnes Foundation. Currently, he is making drawings on napkins that he stole from the Trump Soho Hotel while working as a bus boy.

Maren Hassinger was born in Los Angeles in 1947. After studying dance and sculpture at Bennington College, she completed her MFA in Fiber Structure at UCLA. While in Los Angeles, she began making sculptures with bent, twisted and frayed wire rope and creating and participating in numerous performances in Los Angeles.

Now based in New York City, Hassinger uses every day disposable and recycled materials—plastic bags, paper, and cardboard—to consider our relationship to nature and each other. We live in a time of inequality and vanishing resources, so Hassinger considers the precarious fate of people and nature. These issues inspire her work, which includes video, performance, installation, and objects.

Hassinger has exhibited widely in the United States and abroad. She is the recipient of many awards and honors including grants from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Gottlieb Foundation, Anonymous was a Woman, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women’s Caucus for the Arts. Since 1997, she has been Director of Rinehart School of Graduate Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.

In 2015, she had a major retrospective at Spelman College Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia with a catalogue featuring 20 works that were recreated for the exhibition. In 2016, she and her daughter Ava Hassinger presented an exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia as "Matriarch". Hassinger's work was included in a major exhibition of feminist artwork at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 2017. In 2018, Hassinger will participate in 3 solo exhibitions at Art & Practice in Los Angeles, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Susan Inglett Gallery in New York. The works will include sculptures and performances.

Maren Hassinger lives and works in New York, New York.

Juana Valdes’ artwork is grounded in a multi-disciplinary practice that combines the process of photography, sculpture, performance, ceramic, and printmaking. Valdes’ artwork is on view at the Perez Art Museum Miami, as part of Abstracting History, the second iteration of the exhibition On the Horizon: Contemporary Cuban Art from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection and in the exhibition Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California part of Pacific Standard Time: LALA.  Her most current exhibitions include, much wider than a line, which is part of SITElines.2016: New Perspectives on Art from the Americas, SITE-Santa Fe; an ongoing biennial series with a focus on contemporary art from the Americas in South Florida at 2016-2017 CINTAS Foundation Finalist Visual Arts, The Miami Dade College Museum of Art + Design, Freedom Tower in Miami; Intersectionality at the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami; Littlest Sister Art Fair at Spinello Project during Art Basel Miami and in Chicago at  The Franklin, transmissions: algoritmos, polyrhythms, karuraqmi puririnay, curated by William Cordova. Her artwork has been exhibited at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, El Museo del Barrio, Hudson River Museum, Jersey City Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Art in General, White Box Gallery, Center for Book Arts, Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator, Art in General, and Mindy Solomon Galley. She is a recipient of grants by the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Association of Latinos Arts and Culture, Pollock Krasner and the Cuban Artist Fund. Valdes currently teaches as an Assistant Professor of Printmaking in the Art Department at the University of Massachusetts.