PR: Hillerbrand + Magsamen


Hillerbrand + Magsamen


on view: October 30 – December 29, 2013

reception: November 16, 2013 from 4-6pm
CPW is proud to present Family Portrait an exhibition featuring the works of the husband and wife team of Stephen Hillerbrand and Mary Magsamen.

Steeped in Fluxus practice, which calls for the blurring of boundaries between the intersection of art, life, and ritual, Hillerbrand+Magsamen’s work incorporates humor, performance, photography, video, and everyday objects. They expand their personal life into a contemporary art conversation about family dynamics, suburban life, and American consumer excess.

This new kind of “suburban fluxus” generates work that documents and re-contextualizes their household objects and possessions of family and culture, the role of the camera in contemporary art, and challenges presumptions of the everyday.

For their upcoming exhibition at CPW, Hillerbrand+Magsamen will present a number of works including photographs from their project House/Hold in which they assume monikers from literature and mythology as a way to explore the archetypes of family and the structures surrounding identity politics and consumerism; and a larger-than life size video installation entitled Family Portrait, which offer what Hillerbrand+Magsamen describe as “living video portraits” of the artists and their children each engrossed in singular acts inspired by domestic incidents and trappings.  Also featured in the exhibition Family Portrait will be a selection of single channel videos including D.I.Y. Love Seat, E.T.A., Whether, and Whole which further explore through cinematic tropes the Hollywood-ization of domestic life and behavior.

Hillerbrand + Magsamen began collaborating when they met while graduate students at Cranbrook Academy of Art, where they received their MFA’s.  Since then, they have presented their videos in prestigious international film and media festivals including SCOPE Basel, WAND V Stuttgarter Filmwinter, Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Boston Underground Film Festival, LA Freewaves New Media Art Festival, Carnegie Museum of Art, Chicago Underground Film Festival, Dallas Video Festival and New York Underground Film Festival.

Their cinematic based installations have been seen in Hong Gah Museum in Taiwan, the Hudson River Museum, the Center for Photography at Woodstock, Museum of Fine Art Houston, Light Factory Contemporary Museum of Photography and Film, and Houston Center for Photography. They have been awarded grants from Austin Film Society’s Texas Filmmakers’ Production Fund, Ohio Arts Council, Houston Arts Alliance and a Carol Crow Fellowship from the Houston Center for Photography as well as artist residencies from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Experimental Television Center, and an Ohio Arts Council Creativity Award.

Individually, Mary Magsamen has participated in the Longwood Cyber Residency Program and received a Finishing Fund from the Experimental Television Center. Stephan Hillerbrand is a National Endowment for the Arts and Art Matters Grant recipient, a MacDowell Colony Fellow, and was a two-time Fulbright Fellow.

They live and work in Houston, TX with their two children Madeleine and Emmett. By day, Mary is the Curator of the micro-cinema, the Aurora Picture Show and Stephan is an Associate Professor in the Photo/Digital Media Program at the University of Houston. Learn more at

In conjunction with the exhibition CPW will be presenting a moderated panel discussion entitled Parent/Artist – Artist/Parent at 2pm on Saturday November 16, 2013 held prior to the opening reception.

Moderated by CPW’s Education Coordinator Lindsay Stern, the panel will explore the balancing act between two creative practices – being an artist and being a parent. On the panel will be Hillerbrand+Magsamen along with artist Keiko Sono (Bearsville, NY), husband and wife artists Jared Handelsman and Portia Munson (Roundtop, NY), and Robin Richardson (Woodstock, NY) filmmaker and son of the Woodstock-based filmmaker Russell Richardson and poet Dorota Czerner.

To learn more click here.

Inspired by Hillerbrand+Magsamen’s suburban fluxus practice, CPW invites our community to donate new and barely-used toys for children to receive during the holiday season. CPW will be accepting donations through Sunday December 22nd. An Ulster County-based not-for-profit organization will be selected to distribute the donated toys.

Donations should be made during CPW’s business hours, Monday – Friday, 10am-6pm and Saturday-Sunday, noon-5pm.

Group Visits & Private Tours
CPW welcomes school visits and private groups for tours and gallery talks. For more information or to schedule a visit, contact CPW’s Education Coordinator Lindsay Stern by clicking here.

Press Images & Interview Requests
To request high resolution images for press reproduction and interviews with the exhibition artists, contact CPW by clicking here.