The New Social Environment#726

Edward Hopper’s New York

Featuring Sam Messer, Danielle Mckinney, Ridley Howard, and Jason Rosenfeld, with Victoria Chang


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Artists Sam Messer, Danielle Mckinney, and Ridley Howard join Rail Editor-at-Large Jason Rosenfeld for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading by Victoria Chang.

In this talk

Visit Edward Hopper’s New York, on view at The Whitney through March 5, 2023 →

Sam Messer

A portrait of Sam Messer.
Portrait by Phong H. Bui
Artist Sam Messer received a BFA. from Cooper Union in 1976 and an MFA. from Yale University in 1982. Mr. Messer has received awards including a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation grant in 1984, the Engelhard Award in 1985, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant in 1993, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1996. He most recently collaborated with the poet Sharon Olds on a print project, and past collaborations include working with Paul Auster on The Story of My Typewriter, and with Denis Johnson on Cloud of Chalk. Sam’s recent solo exhibition I Sing To You was on view in Athens, Greece at the Allouche-Benias Gallery.

Danielle Mckinney

A portrait of Danielle McKinney
Photo by Pierre Le Hors
Danielle Mckinney (b. 1981, Montgomery, Alabama) creates narrative paintings that often focus on the solitary female protagonist. Engaging with themes of spirituality and self, her paintings uncover hidden narratives and conjure dreamlike spaces, often within the interior domestic sphere. Mckinney’s work is in private and public collections including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Dallas Museum of Art; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL, among others. Her work has been included in the exhibitions Heroic Bodies at the Rudolph Tegners Museum, Dronningmølle, Denmark, IN A DREAM YOU SAW A WAY TO SURVIVE AND YOU WERE FULL OF JOY at The Contemporary Austin, and Black Melancholia at Hessel Museum of Art, among others.

Ridley Howard

Photo of Ridley Howard
Ridley Howard makes paintings that blend vastly different visual languages, among them American Scene Painting, Italian Renaissance, Pop Art and Geometric Abstraction. Subtle and deceptively straightforward, the paintings invoke a sense of monumentality while retaining a lingering intimacy and stillness. He earned his MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 1999 and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2000. He has recently shown at Marinaro Gallery, NY; Andréhn-Schiptjenko, Paris; and elsewhere. His work has been exhibited at numerous institutions, including The American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; among others. He lives and works between Athens, Georgia and Brooklyn, NY.

Jason Rosenfeld

A black and white photo of Jason Rosenfeld
Distinguished Chair and Professor of Art History at Marymount Manhattan College Jason Rosenfeld, Ph.D., has curated the exhibitions John Everett Millais (Tate Britain, Van Gogh Museum), Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde (Tate Britain and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.), and River Crossings (Olana and Cedar Grove, Hudson and Catskill, New York). He is a co-author of the monograph Cecily Brown (Phaidon, 2020), and a Senior Writer and Editor-at-Large for the Brooklyn Rail.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poetry reading, and we’re fortunate to have Victoria Chang reading.

Victoria Chang

Victoria Chang, courtesy of Isaac Fitzgerald
Photo courtesy of Isaac Fitzgerald
Victoria Chang’s forthcoming book of poems, With My Back to the World will be published in 2024 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux and Corsair Books (U.K). Her most recent book of poetry, The Trees Witness Everything was named one of the Best Books of 2022 by The New Yorker and The Guardian. Dear Memory  was named a favorite nonfiction book of 2021 by Electric Literature and Kirkus. OBIT , was named a New York Times Notable Book, and received several awards including the LA Times Book Prize and the PEN/Voelcker Award. Chang has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, is Acting Program Chair and Distinguished Faculty at Antioch’s low-residency MFA Program. She is poetry editor of The New York Times.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.