80 Washington Square East, NYU

MFA Class of 2023 | Thesis Part 1

Secrets of the Heart

March 29 – April 15, 2023


Detail from Megan Nugroho, My Heart Drives, 2023
Secrets of the Heart


David Vades Joseph  
Megan Nugroho  
Sam Ticknor

Opening Reception: Wednesday, Mar 29, 5–7PM
These works search for a conduit, through the body, to what William James called the more. A more not estranged from this world, a separate supernatural entity, but embedded in the daily, the domestic, and our tender corporeal forms. A more with traces of fairy tale enchantment, the lingering soul and the unconscious as a palace in time. A new, and much anticipated theology is developing, image by image, fueled not by traditional religious precepts, but rituals lost and found, nature and the movement of energy. Unbracketed life force, urgent as the thrust of green stems in spring, whirling in the spiraling mind, but manifest too in quiet, in stillness, in absence. To go inside is to enter a wilderness. We know this; but we forget. Life at its most elemental; the root seeking in the dark earth. Mundane yet mythic, the glow of veins that are also vines, a son’s careful attention to the residue of maternal spirit, and a partner’s visual message to a lover, that while the struggle is real, the doorway is open, the doorway is not only open, it is also spewing light.

Written by Darcey Steinke