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Artist, educator, and SFAI alum Mads Lynnerup (BFA 2001) is our latest Faculty Friday feature. Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Lynnerup is an assistant professor and chair of the New Genres department at SFAI. He is teaching “New Genres 1” and “Graduate Critique Seminar” this spring semester.

The best preparation for the future is to be curious, inventive, and able to seek out and create your own possibilities.

His practice hinges on a curiosity about the encounters that come about when interacting in public space. He has an extensive national and international exhibition record and has been included in exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; MoMA PS1, New York; Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany, among others.

Here are a few highlights from his extensive body of work:

Selected short clips from video work by Mads Lynnerup. Courtesy the artist.

For the exhibition Jewish Folktales Retold: Artist as Maggid, Mads was commissioned to respond to a selection of Jewish folktales edited and included in Howard Schwartz’s anthology Leaves from the Garden of Eden: One Hundred Classic Jewish Tales (2009), which compiles stories from a vast array of countries and centuries, and from both oral and written traditions.


Image: 877 Steps on 1000 Feet, 1999, by Mads Lynnerup.

Most recently, his undergraduate work was shown in Pete’s Cafe: SFAI in the 90s, a group show that featured well-known “Mission School” artists Barry McGee, Alicia McCarthy, and Ruby Neri. According to the SF Chronicle’s Datebook, “Student and cafe worker Mads Lynnerup got Stanwood to order 1,000 feet of aluminum foil, which he rolled down Mount Tam to create a performance-based sculptural work in 1999.”

He also curated the exhibition Introspections—a selection of video shorts that playfully explore identity through the lens of commercial television and digital media—at the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts.

Because life is constantly changing, my practice is naturally changing too. It’s one of the privileges as an artist that you can be free to make the kind of work that seems fitting at any time.

Below is more information from Lynnerup about the courses he is teaching this spring semester:

  • “New Genres 1” is designed to encourage the students to be experimental and explore concepts across different media and modes of production. They furthermore are exposed to the work of other artists functioning within the New Genres (Video, Performance, and Installation Art). Getting the students to think conceptually and beyond the traditional boundaries of art is a big part of the education in the New Genres department. It’s a skill that’s not only helpful to the student’s art practice but also a valuable skill that can be applied to many other aspects of life.
  • The “Graduate Critique Seminar” is centered on a rotating critique system and should be considered a lab to experiment with presenting both finished as well as work in progress. The Seminar’s purpose is to provide a platform for dialogue and discussions that often involves thinking beyond the artwork and outside the walls of the school. As a group, we attend lectures and visit art institutions and businesses to familiarize and encourage the students to examine their community as well as participate while producing their artwork.

To see more work by SFAI Faculty Mads Lynnerup, visit his website at www.madslynnerup.com.

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