MFA Thesis Exhibitions, Part I

The Department of Art at the University of California, Irvine is pleased to present the solo exhibitions of MFA candidates Maximilian Karnig, Charisse Pearlina Weston, Yubo Dong, Brandon Davis, and Anna Ialeggio. Please join us for the opening reception on Saturday, April 27th from 2–5pm.



Maximilian Karnig — University Art Gallery (Front)


“Dogskull, dogsniff, eyes on the ground, moves to one great goal. Ah, poor dogsbody. Here lies poor dogsbody’s body.

            -Tatters! Out of that you mongrel.” —James Joyce, Ulysses


Bottle caps, a dog’s arse, a curtain, a thread, and other mythological matter reverberate as mediating forms between phenomena and ideas within a series of simulacral traps. Borrowed forms, like words, are rearranged and re-performed to ultimately conceal what they wish to present. In various degrees of expressionistic diversions, a self-apparent lie presents a proposition of truth. Within these poetic games, themes of literary tradition, banality, baseness, humor, and absurdity draw upon the illusory aesthetic tools of engagement that are never new, but perpetually enact a rebirth seen here in an exhibition of oil paintings.



An Appeal, but, in Particular, Very Expressly, To (i sink)

Charisse Pearlina Weston — University Art Gallery (Back)


I sink beneath the storm

and you, freedom-dream,

pleasing hope, violently

rage about me, throwing

the broad mantle of your

obscurity into handless

rocking grasps that pour

upon me a bold and unabated

stream of innumerable favours.

Time wears all and that

includes you, freedom-dream.


This multi-channel sound installation utilizes glass sound sculptures whose shape reference the motif of inversion in black culture, as well as layered glass pieces featuring photography and/or poetry derived from historical documents. The pieces included in this exhibition, as a whole, utilize elements of fragmentation, layering and reformulation to examine the ways in which black culture and the history of modern slavery reorients Western collective understandings of freedom, property, and personhood. Using the 1960s Pepsi-Cola sponsored vinyl record, The Frederick Douglass Years, the second volume within the three-part series Adventures in Negro History as its point of departure, the work centrally inquires:


How do you hold a fugitive dream? How do you know you are free?



i am just trying to help

Yubo Dong — CAC Gallery (Front)


What is doing evil? What is the right thing to do? What is keeping you busy? What is making you bored? Are they intelligent? Are they trying to help you? Are they making you a better person? Are they emancipating you from misery? What are you, and who are they?


This group of work is derived from the observation of massive data collection practices by Silicon Valley firms, and proposes a series of questions to rethink the question: What is the role of technology users in the supply chain of the new paradigm of business transactions?



a gallant fox in the roses

Brandon Davis — CAC Gallery (Back)


the perpetual quest for the feeling of riding through water

meditations inside and outside the waves of sound, trees, utopian community models

& the spirit of skateboarding




Anna Ialeggio — Room Gallery



(or, Isabella Rossellini's head simulating sex with a duck puppet, not as a video providing information about ducks, but as something that actually happened to her head.)

A dwindling, a shrinking of options, a decay in millions of decisions.

Does the organism decide? Or does the environment decree?

My pants are too tight for this. Wait, let me take off my sweater.

… fleeing these intimacies, the ghosts of membranes and thresholds.

Maximilian Karnig
Charisse Pearlina Weston
Yubo Dong
Brandon Davis
Anna Ialeggio
Contemporary Arts Center Gallery
Room Gallery
University Art Gallery
Exhibition Dates: 
Apr 27, 2019 to May 11, 2019
Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 2:00pm to 5:00pm