Alum Sophie Kovel Joins the Whitney Independent Study Program

Visual Arts alum Sophie Kovel ’22 has been accepted into the prestigious Whitney Independent Study Program for the 2022–2023 term.

By
Mădălina Telea Borteș
November 09, 2022

Visual Arts alum Sophie Kovel ’22 has been accepted into the prestigious Whitney Independent Study Program for the 2022–2023 term. The program, which began during a critical moment in US history, in 1968, hosts 15 studio artists, six critics, and four curators. 

During her residency, Kovel, whose semiotics-focused work spans from video to sculptural readymades and installations, will focus on “French nationalism and the US Supreme Court” respectively in projects that will “address the material and iconographic legacies of white supremacy, colonialism, and racial-nationalist logic.” 

While a student in the Visual Arts Program, Kovel completed projects that expanded the implications of art as critical social practice, ranging from Untitled (Welcome) (2018-21), a poignant doormat series installed at the Lenfest Center for the Arts, to 3450-3660 21st Street, 2021, a counter-surveillance film installation in Times Square. 

Kovel will follow in the steps of Professor of Professional Practice Jon Kessler, Associate Professor of Professional Practice Matthew Buckingham, and Professor of Professional Practice Rirkrit Tiravanija, as well as fellow alumni Eric Brittain ’21, Vikram Divecha ’19, Julia Phillips ’15, and Alex Strada ’18. This year, Kovel will be joined by Emily Small (SIPA ’22) and Kojo Abudu (SIPA ’22), who will partake in the curatorial wing of the Program. 

Sophie Kovel is an artist and writer. Recent and forthcoming exhibitions include Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Demark; VERY Project Space, Berlin; the Jewish Museum, New York; Jenkins Johnson Gallery, New York; University of California, Los Angeles, and Petrine, Paris. Kovel has spoken on panels and symposiums at universities and institutions including Columbia University and the Brooklyn Public Library. Her interviews and criticism have been published in Artforum, BOMB, Frieze, Spike, and elsewhere. Kovel is a recent graduate from Columbia University’s MFA in New Genres, where she was awarded the Agnes Martin and Andrew Fisher Fellowships.