The 2021 Workspace Artists-in-Residence are Yusuf Hassan, Rhonda Khalifeh, and Rowan Renee. Each year, up to five New York-based emerging artists are offered space, time and support to explore the production and exhibition of artists’ books and related work in year-long residencies.
Yusuf Hassan (b.1987, New York)
is the founder of BlackMass Publishing. Hassan’s work explores the idea of the book, and his reductive technique and meditative approach challenge the physical and poetic boundaries of his materials. Canceling the idea of restrictions within his work allows him to analyze it with no limitations. Using printed matter as a physical way of expression, much of Hassan’s success is attributed to his unique ability to express dramatic and emotional content through publications and printmaking. Hassan holds publications in the permanent collection of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The Langston Hughes Library, Thomas J. Watson Library, The Houghton Library and The Whitney Museum Library.
Rhonda Khalifeh (she/her/hers) is a Syrian-American artist and designer based in New York. Her studio practice is an investigation of surface and the ways in which it negotiates, protects, and betrays the human body. Khalifeh often draws from her personal experience with assimilation in the U.S. and stories of immigration, in particular that of the Syrian Diaspora, to create textile installations and assemblages. In 2018 she published Project Z with Open Projects Press. In producing this publication, Khalifeh conducted a series of in-depth interviews with nine participants with the goal of creating an article of clothing in dialogue with each subject. Upon completion, the participants were given their respective garments to keep and wear. Khalifeh views traditions of dress as case studies for the merging of multiple material cultures. In its simplest manifestations, the garment operates as the protagonist in her work, acting as an agent of conscious visibility. Khalifeh has been an artist in residence at the SVA Bio Art Lab and the Textile Arts Center. Recent exhibitions include Elsewhere:Everywhere (Houston, TX), Before We Were Banned (Santa Fe, NM) and Ojalá (New York, NY). She is currently working on a second volume of Project Z interviews and garments.
Rowan Renee (b. 1985, West Palm Beach, Florida, they/them) is a genderqueer artist currently working in Brooklyn, NY. Their work explores how queer identity is mediated by the law. Through image, text and installation, they address the impact of intergenerational trauma and gender-based violence within the criminal justice system. Their solo exhibitions include Z at Pioneer Works (2015) and Bodies of Wood at the Aperture Foundation (2017). They have received awards from the Aaron Siskind Foundation, the Harpo Foundation, and Red Bull House of Art in Detroit. Between the Lines, their current project with We, Women Photo, is a collaboration with LGBTQ+ incarcerated artists in Florida. Their installation, No Spirit For Me (2019), is included in the critically acclaimed exhibition Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration, curated by Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood, at MoMA PS1.
Our workspace Artists-in-Residence are selected by an independent panel of artists, curators, and professionals in the field. The 2021 cohort’s selection panel included: Tauba Auerbach, Artist & Publisher; Claudia Cortinez, Artist; Ladi’Sasha Jones, Writer & Curator.