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Alyssa Pheobus

Studio Building
Studio Interior
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Studio Location
I'M ON FIRE, 2007, Graphite on paper, 70 x 44 inches
GOOD WOMAN, 2008, Graphite on cotton rag paper, 96 x 53 inches
TO CARESS HIM BY CARESSING THE WORDS, 2009, Installation view from "To Have, Hold," solo exhibition at Tracy Williams, Ltd.
Lullaby (detail), 2008, Graphite on cotton rag paper
Lullaby, 2008, Graphite on cotton rag paper, 72 x 53 inches
Artist's Statement

My work samples diverse sources from music, literature, textile practice and other forms of traditional and contemporary folk culture to constellate desire, language and the performative dimension of the re-enactment of craft as devotional labor. My drawings are large, sculptural and produced through a slow and disciplined method performed on fields of handmade rag paper. Some of my drawings explore coercive popular ideologies of romantic love and the desires to have, hold, restrain, resist or abandon; others excavate the sentimental language of lullabies in which parents and lovers often expose their repressed desires, fears, disappointments and doubts alongside premonitions of separation and estrangement. Much of my work is preoccupied with the spaces between the past, present and conditional future; personal narrative and folk song; love and loss.


A native of Frederick, Maryland, Alyssa Pheobus earned a BA from Yale in 2004 and an MFA from Columbia in 2008. Recently her work has been shown in solo exhibitions at Tracy Williams, Ltd. and Bellwether in New York (both 2009). Awards include a 2009 Fellowship in Printmaking, Drawing and Books Arts from the New York Foundation for the Arts; a 2008-09 Workspace Residency at Dieu Donné; and a full fellowship to attend the Yale in Norfolk residency program in 2003. This spring she will be an artist-in-residence at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming. She lives and works in Brooklyn.