400 Washington Street #201
Somerville, MA 02143
Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston MA, MFA (2D) Weiterbildungsklasse fur Grafik, Basel, Swtizerland
(Advanced Program for Design)
Syracuse University, Syracuse NY, BFA, (2D)
Adjunct Professor, Lesley University (Color Theory)
Adjunct Professor, Northeastern University (Time-based Design)
Adjunct Professor, Art Institute of Boston (Design)
Adjunct Professor, RISD (Design)
Portfolio Reviews RISD, U Mass Dartmouth, Mass College of Art, and Yale
Awards and Residencies:
1989 NEA grant to develop a video based on the design
philosophy of Paul Rand,
2006 Vermont Studio Center Residency,
2009 Vermont Studio Center Residency
2001 Atrium Gallery, Allston, Mass., solo show
2002 Schultz Gallery, Cambridge, Mass.
2003 The New Art Center, Newton, Mass.
2004 The New Art Center, Newton, Mass.
2006 Landau Gallery, Belmont, Mass., solo show;
2007 Schultz Gallery, Cambridge, Mass.
2007 New Art Center, Newton, Mass.
2009 Newton Library Gallery, Newton, Mass. solo show
2009 Danforth Museum juried show, Framingham, Mass
2012 Hudson Walker Gallery, Provincetown, Mass.
2012 ArtStrand Gallery, Provincetown, Mass.
2013 Schultz Gallery juried show, Cambridge, Mass.
2013 Schultz Gallery National juried show, Cambridge, Mass.
2013 OGO Gallery, group show, Jamaica Plain, Mass.
2014 University Place Gallery National juried show, Cambridge Mass.
2014 Brickbottom Gallery group show, Somerville Mass.
2015 Newton Library Gallery, Newton Mass.
2015 Solos 2015 Westport Arts Center, Westport CT
2016 Roberts Gallery Lesley University, Cambridge Mass.
2022 MassArt x SoWa Gallery, Boston Mass.
The Boston Voyager
Artist Interview: Gaye Korbet
Tell us about your background
I graduated from Syracuse University with a BFA in illustration and painting. After working for many years as a designer for public television and as a teacher at area colleges I decided to return to fine art. The urge to paint again came from a desire to use my hands rather than working at a computer. About sixteen years ago I began working as a figurative artist painting underwater swimmers and making life-size diptychs of friends. Then in 2010 I decided to pursue an MFA at Mass College of Art and received my degree in 2012. While I am primarily a painter, I also make digital prints and animations. A few years ago I began to wonder whether or not figuration was the best way to express what I wanted to say. So I decided to begin working in the abstract mode. To me figurative art has some of the qualities of prose because it has a story or narrative. Abstract art is more like poetry in the sense that it is less literal and more associative. The nature of abstraction is that it asks that the viewer to bring something more to the experience of looking and seeing. I want to make it clear that this is not a value judgment and that I feel both figurative and abstract art are equally valid forms.
Please tell us about your art
As an artist I take Heidegger’s belief as a signpost about what art does. He believed that art discloses the nature of being to us. Of course to do this would be a tall order for any artist to pull off but that remains my goal. In terms of my working method, I try to paint in a way that does not let the ‘idea’ get in the way of the painting. That is I let the painting dictate where I should go in the process of making. Recently I’ve been trying to introduce a hint of figuration into my abstract paintings while allowing them to maintain their essential abstractness—an apparent paradox to be sure. It may be impossible to realize, but if I come close, a certain desirable tension or ambiguity occurs in the work. The paintings ask the viewer to engage and imagine what it is that is going on for them in this work.
I have been influenced by diverse movements such as Color Field, Modernism, Post Modernism, Post-post Modernism, American Modernism, etc.
What do you think about conditions for artists today?
I hear conditions for artists are pretty good in China, although Ai Wei-Wei may disagree. Of course it is very expensive to be a working artist, what with studio rent, the cost of supplies and all, and the monetary rewards are very slim. This has been the case for artists for a long long time and I know very well it can take many years to become a good enough artist. The poet Seamus Heaney said that “The hardest thing in art and life, is getting started and keeping going.” So it is simply necessary for artists to put on a painting apron and "go to work".
From my point of view the main thing any government can do for the arts community is to fund the arts through grant making institutions. This is true on the national, state, and local level. Unfortunately the present conditions for artists are not encouraging. The zeitgeist could almost be called anti-aesthetic and rather than more, there is less funding for the arts. I hope things will improve because a vibrant art scene is so valuable for any society.