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This spring, the Sotheby’s Institute of Art-New York MA in Contemporary Art curatorial course will be mounting a series of exhibitions at our campus in midtown Manhattan. You’re invited to the opening receptions for our student-curated exhibitions. Learn more about the exhibition series.

Trust the Process — On view May 9-14, 2018

Sotheby’s Institute of Art is pleased to present Trust the Process, a two person exhibition curated by Emily Cheng, Masters of Contemporary Art candidate 2018.

Trust the Process explores the creative processes of two artists, Carlos RM and Adam Peiffer. RM is a New York based abstract painter originally from Bogota, Colombia; and Peiffer, who is also currently based in NYC, is a figurative painter originally from Connecticut.

Both artists have diametrically opposing styles and hold very different artistic approaches to the act of painting. This exhibition aims to shine a spotlight not only on their individual pieces but also on the variety of techniques between their creative processes. Through the uses of photography and study materials, which include paint samples, patterns sheets and transfer mediums, the exhibition explores the artists' journeys from an abstract concept to a physical work of art.

In addition to the 14 works on display by the two artists, on view are also photographs, taken by Eric Chen, of Peifffer's and RM's studios. These behind-the-scenes shots invite the viewers directly to the artists’ workspaces, their creative spaces, to get a glimpse at the their diverse and non-linear approaches to painting.

Also on view are the artists’ personal notes and preliminary sketches hung adjacent to the finished artworks. A question rises here if these studies may be considered works of art in themselves. Both artists have professional art handling experience at the Sotheby's auction house, and through their works, one can trace the details from their profession. Peiffer applies traditional techniques and is inspired by canonic art books for the portraits he paints. The studio photographs show not only his process but also how art books like auction catalogues inspire him. RM on the other hand, uses print outs, work documents and newspaper articles about auctions as references and materials for his creation. When looking at his paintings, it is mysterious how he applied paints to create inkblots. More insight is given through the photographs and works on paper, which help illustrate his painting process.

The curator hopes that through witnessing the processes of two very different artists, viewers will come away with a stronger appreciation for their pieces and even feel encouraged to experiment with these techniques themselves and create art.

Exhibitions are free and open to the public upon preliminary registration from 10 AM to 5 PM. RSVP to