2023 FOCAFellowships

Where are we now?

Where are we now?

Exhibition dates: July 9 – August 20, 2023

Opening Reception: Sunday, July 9 | 3:00PM – 5:00PM

Los Angeles—Fellows of Contemporary Art (FOCA) is pleased to present the 2023 FOCA Fellowship exhibition featuring the grantees Nour Mobarak, Michael Queenland, and Kandis Williams. Entitled Where are we now?, the exhibition was organized by independent curator Emily Gonzalez-Jarrett. The exhibition will be on view at FOCA July 9 – August 20, 2023. There will be a reception and discussion with the artists on July 9, 3-5pm.

Chronocentrism is the belief that a specific time period, often one’s own, is superior and more significant than others. It is a logical fallacy, but amid a waning global pandemic, growing climate change, constant political turmoil, and looming economic downturn, it is difficult to not feel as if everything is urgent and immediate action is necessary. So where do we begin? The possibilities are endless and that realization can be paralyzing.

How can art help with our most urgent issues? What can we do with objects in a gallery or abstracted gestures? Art can unlock potential. Holding still before an artwork is grounding. Shutting out the outside world and engaging with only what is presented within the gallery is a form of meditation. With a refreshed perspective, a viewer can return to problems with a new understanding. Interacting with an artwork also activates criticality, whether of the issues raised by the artist or merely the form in which they are presented. The intellectual exercise advances the ability to prioritize in the face of overwhelming disorder.

Through varied methods, each of the 2023 FOCA Fellows faces the disorientation and chaos of our current time and offers a new way for organizing it. Nour Mobarak’s poetic sculptures offer up her own experiences and personal effects as shrines for contemplation. Michael Queenland’s juxtaposition of disparate and minimalized objects force viewers to create their own connections and meaning. Kandis Williams mines images and writing throughout history to construct arguments for dismantling common assumptions and scholarly conceits. In their own ways, each artist represents the world through their singular lenses, hopefully leading viewers to a new horizon.  

About the Artists:

Nour Mobarak (b. 1985, Cairo) received a BA from University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom. She has performed her work at numerous international venues including The Renaissance Society, Chicago (2022); CRIPTA747, Turin, Italy (2021); Tusk Festival, Gateshead, United Kingdom (2020); Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2020); and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2019). Currently, Mobarak’s work is featured in monographic exhibitions at Rodeo Gallery in Athens and London. She has also had solo shows at JOAN, Los Angeles (2022); Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York (2021); and Hakuna Matata Sculpture Garden, Los Angeles (2020). 

Michael Queenland (b. 1970, Pasadena) received a BA and MFA from University of California, Los Angeles. His work has been the subject of monographic exhibitions at Maureen Paley, London (2023, 2019); Kristina Kite Gallery, Los Angeles (2022, 2017); Visual Arts Center at University of Texas, Austin (2022); and Santa Monica Museum of Art (2012) among others. Queenland has received many awards and grants, notably The Rome Prize (2016); American Academy in Berlin Fellowship (2009); Art Matters Grant (2008); United States Artists Fellowship (2006); and Peter Norton Family Foundation Exhibition Grant (2005).

Kandis Williams (b. 1985, Baltimore) received a BFA from Cooper Union, New York. She has shown her work in solo shows at 52 Walker, New York (2021); Night Gallery, Los Angeles (2021, 2016); VCU Institute for Contemporary Art, Richmond, VA (2020); Cooper Cole, Toronto, Canada (2018); and EXPO Video (2018) to name a few. Williams’s work was featured in Made in L.A. 2020: a version, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2020), for which she received The Mohn Award. She was also included in the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, (2022).

About FOCA :

Fellows of Contemporary Art (FOCA) is a non-profit, membership-based organization that is devoted exclusively to California contemporary art with more than 45 years of archives. Membership-based funding for grants supports emerging and mid-career artists.

FOCA plays a pivotal role in influential contemporary art exhibitions while providing interesting activities for its members.

About the FOCA Fellowships:

Inaugurated in 2005 celebrating FOCA’s 30th Anniversary, this award is a biennial, unrestricted grant for up to three artists with an exhibition history of ten years or more. A panel of distinguished curators nominate the artists who are then invited to apply for the award.  Jurors, who are prominent arts professionals in the community, evaluate and select the artists for FOCA Fellowships. Two years later, the same jurors become the next nominators. 

Fellows of Contemporary Art     

Wednesday – Saturday, 12pm – 5pm (Appointment Only)

970 N Broadway, Suite 208 

Los Angeles, CA 90012 

(213) 808-1008 

For more information, please contact focafellowships@focala.org.  

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