Swimming In It

The UNM Art Museum presents The University of New Mexico Department of Art’s 31st Annual Juried Graduate Exhibition. The exhibition, titled Swimming In It, features the work of fifteen artists currently enrolled in the MFA Program and working in all mediums – painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, sound and video installation.

Artworks were selected by jurors Joshua Hagler and Maja Ruznic.

Featured Artists

Rachel Bordeleau

kenton bueche

Nancy Dewhurst

Chloe Dichter

Taylor Engel

Zoe Gleitsman

claudia hermano

Jess Lanham

billy von raven

Emma Ressel

Francis Reynolds

Anna Rotty

Lana Scholtz

Christopher Schuldt

Adelaide Theriault

Anna Rotty, Search, 2023. Archival pigment print photograph.

Exhibition Jurors:

Joshua Hagler (b. 1979, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho) is a first-generation graduate with a graphic design degree from The University of Arizona. A 2018 grant recipient of the Roswell Artist in Residence Program, Hagler has since made New Mexico his permanent home. Currently, he lives with his wife and daughter at the foot of the Sandia Mountains. 

In recent years, his practice has been guided by an approach he calls Nihil, a set of nine self-imposed principles that have grown out of solitary excursions throughout the state. These principles determine all aspects of the work from its imagery and process, to the media and objects comprising it. Concept and meaning, as such, naturally unfold out of synchronistic experiences occurring over time.

Recent exhibitions include: Nihil I  |  I Would Not Speak of the Mountain, Nicodim, Los Angeles (2023, solo); The Descendants, K11 Musea, Hong Kong (2023); MATERNITY LEAVE: NONE OF WOMEN BORN, Nicodim in collaboration with the Green Family Foundation, Dallas (2023);  Joshua Hagler, Devin B. Johnson, Nicola Samorì, Hugo Wilson, Nicodim, Los Angeles (2023); DISEMBODIED, Nicodim, New York (2023); Unmatter, Secci, Milan (2022); The Living Circle Us, Unit, London (2021, solo); Witness or Pretend, Bode Projects, Berlin (2021); Drawing in the Dark, Cris Worley Fine Arts, Dallas (2021, solo); Figure as Form, Hollis Taggart Gallery, New York (2020); Love Letters to the Poorly Regarded, Roswell Museum and Art Center (2018, solo), and The River Lethe, Brand Library and Art Center, Los Angeles (2018, solo). 

Nihil II  |  Nor the Moon in its Water is currently on view at the Old Jail Art Center in Albany, TX. The exhibition is part of the museum’s “Cell Series,” in which an artist is invited to mount an installation in two gallery spaces converted from a late 19th-century jail. Hagler is currently at work on the next two Nihil exhibitions for Nicodim, NY this September and the Longlati Foundation, Shanghai, in January 2025. 

Maja Ruznic (b. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1983) fuses personal narrative, psychoanalysis, mythology, and esoteric thought into vivid paintings that hybridize figuration and abstraction. Painting variably with oils and gouache on immense and small scales alike, she extracts order from layers of diluted pigment. Ruznic’s practice is informed by her studies, from Slavic shamanism and alchemy to Jungian psychoanalysis and sacred geometry. Imbued with a discordant beauty, her compositions emerge without a premeditated outcome. Ruznic’s introspective, mystical approach places her into a lineage of visionary painters including Paul Klee and Hilma af Klint. Ruznic lives in Placitas, New Mexico. 

Recent solo exhibitions include those held at Karma, Los Angeles (2023); Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque (2022); Karma, New York (2022); and Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, New Mexico (2021). Ruznic’s work is held in the collections of the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California; Dallas Art Museum; EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Espoo, Finland; Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, New Mexico; Jiménez–Colón Collection, Puerto Rico; Portland Art Museum, Oregon; Rachofsky House, Dallas; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. 

Ruznic’s work will be included in the Whitney Biennial 2024: Even Better Than the Real Thing at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.