Melissa Furness received an MFA in Painting with honors from the
University of Iowa in 2002 with minors in both sculpture and
printmaking. Her work has been most inspired by her experiences of
travel, which have included artist’s residencies in the countries of
Hungary and Poland, as well as those in the U.S. with Kala Art Institute
in Berkeley, California and the Corporation of Yaddo in upstate New
York. She also regularly exhibits her work internationally, with group
exhibitions including those at the Drawing Room HU in Budapest, Hungary;
the Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy; the
Primo Piano LivinGallery in Lecce, Italy; and Kashya Hildebrand Gallery
of Zurich, Switzerland.
Through her work, Furness is interested
in the idea of travel, of our attraction to the unknown, the
fragmentary, the imperfect, and the incomplete. The known turns into the
unknown through the remains of physical, tangible forms in historical
artifacts and ruins, which exist but remain incomplete. There are roots
and routes that can be drawn, documenting both our line of travel from
place to place, but also our line from present to past existence. These
lines move in patterns as we rise up and out of the landscape and back
down again to become one with it. It is as though we are leaping ever
towards some unknown, a progressive distancing from origin. This
distancing is a fantasy realm of invented spaces that have only partial
basis in the real. It is this hybrid reality that comes together as a
complex layering of space in her creative work.
Furness's 1, 2,
and 3-person U.S. exhibitions have included those at Fetherston Gallery
in Seattle, Washington; the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder,
Colorado; Plus Gallery in Denver, Colorado; Kala Art Institute in
Berkeley, California; the LoRiver Arts Gallery in Beacon, New York; Fish
Tank Gallery in Brooklyn, New York; CoLAB Projects in New Orleans,
Louisiana; and the Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven, Connecticut.
This last 2-person exhibition was the result of an award chosen by
internationally recognized artist Jessica Stockholder following the
juried show “Matter as Protagonist” at the Creative Arts Workshop. Her work has also been featured in numerous publications, such as
New American Paintings by the Open Studios Press, the Manifest Creative
Research Gallery’s International Drawing Annual 2008, the Creative
Quarterly Journal of Art and Design, and ArtWorld Digest.
is currently represented by Fetherston Gallery in Seattle, Washington
and Plus Gallery in Denver, Colorado.
Furness held the post of
Assistant Professor of Art at Eastern Washington University in Spokane,
Washington for five years, before coming to the Visual Arts program at
the University of Colorado Denver in the fall of 2007.