Furness’ work explores the life of the art object and the environments that they inhabit, building a visual dialog that extends from the internal to the external by testing the limits of narrative that exists within and beyond it through process and intervention. Artifacts are created and eroded as weather, time and human interaction raise questions regarding the nature of external forces upon the object in the formation of its present history.
Melissa Furness received her MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Iowa with minors in both sculpture and printmaking. Furness’ work has been most influenced by her experiences of travel, which have included artist’s residencies in China, Mexico, Ireland, Poland and Hungary, as well as those in the U.S. at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, California and the Corporation of Yaddo in upstate New York. These experiences have inspired the strain of her current work in painting and installation, which is influenced by history and infused with personal narrative. Furness regularly exhibits her work both nationally and internationally, with international group exhibitions and open studios in Beijing, Mexico City, Budapest, Swansea, Florence, Lecce, Zurich, Cape Town and Sarajevo, amongst others. She was selected to participate in the 2015 Biennial of the Americas, through which she resided in Mexico City for 10 weeks as an art ambassador, and recently showed work in the 2016 Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Kerala, India.
The artist’s 1, 2 and 3-person U.S. exhibitions have among them those with various galleries and arts institutions in the Denver area, as well as those throughout the nation. Furness is currently a member of the Artnauts Collective, which uses the visual arts as a tool for addressing global issues. Her work has been featured in numerous publications, such as Studio Visit and New American Paintings Magazines through the Open Studios Press, the Manifest Creative Research Gallery’s International Painting and Drawing Annuals, the Creative Quarterly Journal of Art and Design, and the ArtWorld Digest.