Developed at MacDowell, Amina Ross' "Body Vessel" works debut in Hard Ground at MoMA PS1.

From a MacDowell studio to MoMA PS1: Artist and MacDowell Fellow Amina Ross’ (24) "Body Vessel" sculptures feature in the institution’s Hard Ground exhibition.

As Ross was developing the works during their winter 2024 residency in our New Hampshire Studio, they had a virtual studio visit with MoMA PS1 Assistant Curator Jody Graf, who would decide to incorporate the sculptures into the show.

Organized by Graff, Hard Ground presents the work of seven New York-based artists who “employ processes of erosion, subtraction, and compression,” to make their work, diverging from artistic practices of assemblage and juxtaposition to instead question how we form relationships between productivity and value.

Ross created their “Body Vessel” sculptures by subjecting ground glass in clay molds to heat (a process known as pâte de verre that parallels the exhibition’s title), and the works hold a tension “between liquidity and fixity… through which Ross considers Blackness as a site of generative multiplicity in the face of objectification,” explains MoMA PS1. The organic forms of the sculptures, both representational and abstract, started coming into being at MacDowell as Ross worked “through body-environment-nature-object relationships, experimenting with movement work, photo, video, sketching and the relationship between my body and the outdoors,” they explained. The works draw heavily on the natural elements like stones and landscapes Ross was studying at MacDowell, they said, “melding these forms with representations of their own body.”

Ross further explored the concept of the works on their Substack, writing, "Making these forms has been a way of thinking about a sort of non-human non-person body, a way of finding affinity with matter living and non-living,"

Ross’ MacDowell residency was prolific, and while they engaged in an exploration of the MacDowell landscape through not only mixed-media art but photography, they also “spent the latter weeks immersed in the MacDowell library, enriching their knowledge through video art, play readings, and architectural theory,” they told us, and after MacDowell, went on to a residency at Smack Mellon in Brooklyn, a position secured during their time at MacDowell.

Read about other new works supported by MacDowell Fellowships.

Search for the #MadeAtMacDowell tag on social media to see a history of MacDowell-supported works.

Artist Amina Ross outside the "Hard Ground" exhibition at MoMA PS1 in May 2024.

Artist Amina Ross outside the "Hard Ground" exhibition at MoMA PS1 in May 2024.