The Unity of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt in the Americas
A multi-part art installation celebrating Alexander Von Humboldt’s 250 Anniversary,
November 15th through December 9th, 2019.
Cherry Street Pier, 121 N. Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19106.
The Unity of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt in the Americas, celebrates the 250th anniversary of the German polymath scientist Alexander Von Humboldt (1769-1859) through the work of five Philadelphia based American artists. The exhibition uses photography, video, sound, performance, painting, and sculpture, paying homage to Humboldt’s travels in the Americas, including a Philadelphia stop, in 1804.
Humboldt’s five-year trip through Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Cuba, Peru, and Mexico was a watershed journey that allowed him to develop his theories on nature not only as an interconnected system, but also helped to form his observations on man’s destructive impact on the environment; theories centuries ahead of their time and which are now currently accepted unanimously by scientists, as we face global warming and environmental devastation. The five artists represented in the exhibition come from five of the countries Humboldt visited during his five-year journey, they are: Henry Bermudez, (Venezuela), Pedro Ospina and Salome Cosmique, (Colombia), Rebecca Martell, (Mexico), and Devin Asher Cohen, (USA).
Humboldt, the most famous man of his age, (more famous than Napoleon), achieved fame through his unquenchable interest in both exploration and in the search for scientific knowledge. It was this combination as both scientist and intrepid explorer that made his travels so celebrated. His travels through the Americas redrew the map of the continent and laid the groundwork for several fields of study including, biogeography, geology, and climatology, among others. Humboldt’s name appears on more things than any other historical figure: animals, birds, plants, flowers, fish, mountains, ocean currents, national parks, waterfalls, glaciers, a basin on the moon and two asteroids, not to mention thousands of institutions worldwide bearing his name.
The exhibition organized by Casa De Duende and curated by David Acosta, Artistic Director, was made possible by a grant from the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, as part of their Waterfront Arts Program. The exhibition pays tribute to Humboldt and his love of the natural world through the work of five artists for whom Humboldt has had an impact on both their thinking and work. The exhibition runs through December 9th 2019.
Henry Bermudez will display two large paper reconstructed paintings, which form part of a seven painting series dedicated to Alexander Von Humboldt, as well as several smaller botanical drawings. Pedro Ospina creates three large totem poles honoring the three clans of the Lena Lenape people (wolf, turtle and turkey) as well as the Delaware River. Salome Cosmique’s performance on opening night honors the Andean earth mother deity Pachamama mother of all living things. Rebecca Martell’s photographs of Mexican landscapes pay tribute to Humboldt’s visit to her native Puebla, while Asher Cohen’s sound installation serve as the artist’s homage to Humboldt. The sound pieces will fill the space, exuding within the setting an experiential state of being and the emotional quality, (not as observed) but as felt and imagined from the perspective of Von Humboldt during his travels from Puebla, Mexico to Philadelphia, capturing both, the oceanic sounds at sea, and the sound of the winds of arrival.
About Casa de Duende:
Casa de Duende is dedicated to presenting socially relevant art that addresses critical social issues and challenges both artists and communities to address these through art and art making.
About Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, (DRWC) DRWC is a 501(c)(3) created in January 2009, exclusively for the benefit of the City of Philadelphia and its citizens. The fundamental purpose of DRWC is to design, develop, program and maintain public amenities such as permanent and seasonal parks, trails, and streetscape improvements to transform the waterfront into a vibrant destination for recreational, cultural, and commercial activities for the residents and visitors of Philadelphia as is consistent with the goals of the Master Plan for Central Delaware. Daily programming throughout the entire year is changing the way Philadelphians see and converse about the waterfront, and is helping to create spaces and communities that connect residents and visitors to the waterfront. Visit delawareriverwaterfront.com for more information.
Thank you to David Acosta for the content of this post.
LikeDoNArTNeWs Philadelphia Art News Blog on facebook
Geoffrey Agrons, Sebastien Leclercq, Deborah Weiss, and Brooke Lanier
November 15, 2019 – January 3, 2020
Opening Reception Friday, November 22 5:30pm – 8:00pm
Holiday Party Friday, December 20, 5:30pm-8pm
Water inspires a unique fascination as a visually complex, mesmerizing substance that is also essential for human life. From the pristine to the toxic, turbulent to placid, Fluid Dynamics assembles a collection of photographs and paintings that address a diverse spectrum of ways of depicting, contemplating, and interacting with bodies of water.
Deborah Weiss’s oil paintings on panel are the most abstract and gestural pieces in the show, utilizing an intriguing absence of contextual cues as to the scale of the subject. The palette and textures suggest shorelines with intricate deposits of silt, but they could easily be interpreted as storm systems, ocean currents, or weathered wood.
The patterns in Weiss’s paintings would feel right at home as vignettes along the shoreline of the Salton Sea in Geoffrey Agrons’s photos. In the 1950’s and 1960’s the area was home to luxury resorts. By the 1970s, agricultural runoff, evaporation, and low rainfall had rendered the water toxic and saltier than the Pacific Ocean. Massive fish die-offs, algal blooms, and related bird deaths rendered the area unattractive for those seeking a beach vacation. Other photographs capture scenes from shorelines impacted by hurricanes, pollution, and drought. Independent of this narrative, the photographs contain melancholy yet peaceful vistas punctuated by bleached driftwood and architectural relics of nautical activity.
Agrons’ ecological allegories pair with Sebastien Leclercq’s scenes of shipping vessels that damage the very environment upon which their industry depends. The views from different parts of the world, desert and arctic, imply different facets of climate change. Leclercq spent five weeks aboard several ships in the Finnish Maritime Fleet, documenting the contemporary state of an ancient tradition. The boats are so enormous that at times they seem abstracted and transformed into colorful, geometric compositional elements rather than floating factories.
Leclercq’s views of ships lend context to Brooke Lanier’s paintings. The saturated colors and hard edges of boats and docks create a collage effect in real life. Lanier pushes that line of thought and creates collage-based paintings that recombine beloved landscapes in the composited manner of unreliable memories. Alongside Leclercq’s photographs, Lanier’s paintings are reconnected to their origins, creating a dialogue.
Gallery Hours are Tuesday and Thursday 12pm – 6pm, Friday 11am – 5pm, Saturday 11am – 3pm, by appointment or chance. The gallery will be closed December 22 – 29, 2019 for the holidays and open by appointment in January.
Thank you to Brooke Lanier for the content of this post.
LikeDoNArTNeWs Philadelphia Art News Blog on facebook
Philly Welcomes A Centennial For Women’s Rights, New Hotels & More In 2020,Major Art Exhibits and Epic Anniversaries
Philadelphia and The Countryside® will give visitors many reasons to visit in 2020. The Philadelphia Museum of Art will complete phase one of its dramatic renovation—and unveil its new spaces in concert with an exhibition of works by Jasper Johns, which will occur alongside a complementary mirror exhibition of Johns work at the Whitney. The entire region is getting behind the 19th Amendment’s centennial with Women 100 programming throughout the year. In other anniversary news, the Philadelphia Orchestra has planned a weeks-long musical celebration to mark Beethoven’s 250th, and PHILADANCO wraps its 50th year of innovating in dance with must-see performances. Hotel openings include the city’s first W Hotel and a luxurious revival of River House at Odette’s in New Hope, Bucks County. All these new events are amazing, but in truth, Philadelphia and The Countryside has enough amazing annual events, visiting is great any time of year.
Here are some of the major events and openings to cover in the new year:
Philadelphia Museum of Art – The Benjamin Franklin Parkway’s landmark circa 1928 institution unveils the completion of its Core Project, a major redesign by architect Frank Gehry. The last phase of the project will welcome 23,000 square feet of new gallery space, reclaiming space beneath the East Terrace (site of the Rocky steps) for galleries of early American, modern and contemporary art. It will also reveal the renovation of the West Entrance and Lenfest Hall, create a major gathering space called the Forum (replacing Van Pelt Auditorium) and reopen the southern portion of the Vaulted Walkway.
Fall 2020. In addition, the museum is partnering with the Whitney Museum of American Art on simultaneous exhibitions of the work of Jasper Johns, considered the country’s most significant living artist. The unprecedented collaboration chronologically shows paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, books and costumes that mirror the other’s display, creating an immersive exhibition that itself, is a study in Johns’ fascination with reflections. October 2020-February 2021. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org
BeethovenNOW – The Philadelphia Orchestra marks Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday in two epic celebrations. The first invites pianists Yefim Bronfman, Daniil Trifonov and Emanuel Ax to perform all five of Beethoven’s piano concertos (January 23-February 8, 2020). Next, the Fabulous Philadelphians spend four weeks juxtaposing Beethoven’s nine genre-transforming symphonies with contemporary works from composer-in-residence Gabriela Lena Frank and her diverse composers from the Creative Academy of Music. March 12-April 5, 2020. January performances, Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad Street; following performances, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad Street, (215) 893-1900, philorch.org
PHILADANCO’s 50th – The Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO) continues its 50th anniversary celebration by hosting the 32nd International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance at the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus’ Merriam Theater and SEI Innovation Studio, as well as the DoubleTree Philadelphia, Cambria Hotel Philadelphia and The University of the Arts (January 14-19, 2020). The company’s season culminates with Fast-Forward, a look at the future of choreography in a co-commission with Toronto’s Dance Immersion, Vietnam’s Thang Dao, Broadway’s Ray Mercer and choreographer Kathy Smith. April 17-19, 2020. Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad Street, (215) 387-8200, philadanco.org
KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – The Women’s Professional Golf Association (PGA)’s second-longest running tournament—and one of five majors on the tour—brings 156 of the world’s best golfers to Delaware County’s circa 1896 Aronimink Golf Club for the first time. Aronimink’s course was designed in 1926 by renowned Scottish architect Donald Ross. June 23-28, 2020. 3600 St. Davids Road, Newtown Square, (610) 356-8000, KPMGWomensPGA.com
100th Anniversary of 19th Amendment:
Votes for Women: A Visual History – The Brandywine River Museum of Art displays and explains century-old political cartoons, plays, posters, parades and fashion that formed the visual culture of the U.S. women’s suffrage movement. Drawings, illustrations, photographs of marches and rallies, clothing and accessories—especially sashes—re-create and contextualize this time of tangible art and physical action, long before social media or television. February 1-June 7, 2020. 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford, (610) 388-2700, brandywine.org
WomenNOW Concert Series – Women who are composers, conductors, instrumentalists and vocalists star throughout the Philadelphia Orchestra’s season. Through June 6, 2020. Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad Street, (215) 893-1900, philorch.org
19th Amendment – The National Constitution Center’s upcoming exhibit about the movement for women’s voting rights will expand on the permanent exhibit Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality. The new exhibit explores constitutional arguments for and against women’s rights and offers fascinating historical context, spotlighting multiple generations of advocates and exploring the complex debates surrounding rights for African Americans versus rights for women. Summer 2020. National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700, constitutioncenter.org
Women 100 – This series of programs and events that celebrates American women and sparks new ideas about the path to gender equality, presented by Drexel University’s Vision2020, is the largest centennial celebration in the United States honoring the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. women100.org
Seat at the Table – A free, seven-day-a-week, interactive art exhibition by Dome Collective invites the public to experience women’s representation in places of power (seats at tables) through 3D infographic furniture, while a wall of interactive screens introduces gender barrier-breakers throughout women’s history. March 1-September 2020 (exact date TBA). Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad Street, (215) 893-1999, domecollective.com
SHE Leads Road Rally – Race car drivers pull an all-night, roundtrip road trip from East Falls in Philadelphia to Seneca Falls, New York, site of the first Women’s Rights Convention. (Buses also available.) June 19-20, 2020. Drexel University College of Medicine, 2900 W. Queen Lane, women100.org
Toast to Tenacity™ – Independence Mall honors the 100th anniversary of voting rights for women—Women’s Equality Day—with midday speakers, live music and glasses raised to suffragists. August 26, 2020. 599 Market Street, phlvisitorcenter.com
Celebrating Women – This 2,500-person celebration of American women begins with a ceremony featuring music, performance segments and a salute to 100 women who have blazed trails for others to follow in a multitude of fields. September 16, 2020. Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad Street, (215) 893-1999, women100.org, kimmelcenter.org
W Philadelphia and Element Philadelphia – Center City will welcome two 52-story, side-by-side Marriott properties. The vibrant, modern W Philadelphia (the city’s first W hotel) will have 295 luxurious rooms, along with a bar terrace, Living Room lounge, lap pool and 22 meeting rooms. Philadelphia’s rapidly expanding, wellness-focused Element (another first for the region) will have 460 rooms. Early 2020 (dates TBA). W Philadelphia, 1439 Chestnut Street, w-hotels.marriott.com; Element Philadelphia, 1441 Chestnut Street, element-hotels.marriott.com
River House at Odette’s – The site of Bucks Country’s beloved cabaret greets a 38-room boutique hotel overlooking the Delaware River. Cabaret queen Odette Myrtil’s legacy remains in the vaulted-ceilings Piano Lounge, luxurious textiles, amazing views, a members-only rooftop bar, spectacular river view ballroom for weddings and events of up to 200 guests and a resurrected Odette’s, known for whiskey cocktails and local menu. Spring 2020. 274 S. River Road, New Hope, (215) 682-2022, riverhousenewhope.com
The Hyatt Centric Hotel – Philadelphia firm DAS Architects is behind the rustic modern design—and targeting LEED Silver certification—for 13-story, 332-room new construction one block from Rittenhouse Square. The Hyatt Centric will offer a second floor restaurant and onsite underground parking. Summer 2020 (date TBA). 17th & Chancellor Streets. hyatt.com
VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.
On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.
Thank you to Cara Schneider, VISIT PHILADELPHIA®, for the content of this post.
LikeDoNArTNeWs Philadelphia Art News Blog on facebook
Philadelphia Museum of Art: October 22, 2019–March 8, 2020
Walker Art Center: September 12, 2020–January 3, 2021
Art Institute of Chicago: February 6 –May 16, 2021
The role of designers in shaping how we think about the future is the subject of a major exhibition that will premiere at the Philadelphia Museum of Art this fall. Designs for Different Futures brings together some 80 works that address the challenges and opportunities that humans may encounter in the years, decades, and centuries ahead. Organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and the Art Institute of Chicago, Designs for Different Futures will be presented at the Walker and the Art Institute of Chicago following its presentation in Philadelphia.
Among the questions today’s designers seek to answer are: What role can technology play in augmenting or replacing a broad range of human activities? Can intimacy be maintained at a distance? How can we negotiate privacy in a world in which the sharing and use of personal information has blurred traditional boundaries? How might we use design to help heal or transform ourselves, bodily and psychologically? How will we feed an ever-growing population?
While no one can precisely predict the shape of things to come, the works in the exhibition are firmly fixed on the future, providing design solutions for a number of speculative scenarios. In some instances, these proposals are borne of a sense of anxiety, and in others of a sense of excitement over the possibilities that can be created through the use of innovative materials, new technologies, and, most importantly, fresh ideas.
Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, stated: “We often think of art museums as places that foster a dialogue between the past and the present, but they also can and should be places that inspire us to think about the future and to ask how artists and designers can help us think creatively about it. We are delighted to be able to collaborate with the Walker Art Center and the Art Institute of Chicago on this engaging project, which will offer our visitors an opportunity to understand not only how designers are imagining—and responding to—different visions of the future, but also to understand just how profoundly forward-looking design contributes in our own time to shaping the world that we occupy and will bequeath as a legacy to future generations.”
Thinking about the future has always been part of the human condition. It has also been a perennial field of inquiry for designers and architects whose speculations on this subject—ranging from the concrete to the whimsical—can profoundly affect how we imagine what is to come. Among the many forward-looking projects on view, visitors to Designs for Different Futures will encounter lab-grown food, robotic companions, family leave policy proposals, and textiles made of seaweed.
“Some of these possibilities will come to fruition, while others will remain dreams or even threats,” said Kathryn Hiesinger, The J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700, who coordinated the exhibition in Philadelphia with former assistant curator Michelle Millar Fisher. “We’d like visitors to join us as we present designs that consider the possible, debate the inevitable, and weigh the alternatives. This exhibition explores how design—understood expansively—can help us all grapple with what might be on the horizon and allows our imaginations to take flight.”
The exhibition is divided into 11 thematic sections. In Resources, visitors will encounter an inflatable pod measuring 15 feet in diameter, part of the work Another Generosity first created in 2018 by Finnish architect Eero Lundén and designed in this incarnation in collaboration with Ron Aasholm and Carmen Lee. The pod slowly expands and contracts in the space, responding to changing levels of carbon dioxide as visitors exhale around it, and provoking questions about the ongoing effect of the human footprint on the environment. The section titled Generations will explore ways in which the choices we make today may contribute to the well-being or suffering of those who come after us. Here, visitors will find a model of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a repository that stores the world’s largest collection of crop seeds. Located within a mountain on a remote island near the Arctic Circle, the facility is designed to withstand natural or human-made disasters. The Earths section of the exhibition speculates on the challenges of extra-terrestrial communication in Lisa Moura’s Alien Nations installation and showcases typeface from the 2016 science-fiction film Arrival.
In Bodies, designers grapple with choices about how our physical and psychological selves might look, feel, and function in different future scenarios. Featured here is one of the world’s lightest and most advanced exoskeletons, designed to help people with mobility challenges remain upright and active. Also notable is the CRISPR Kit, an affordable and accessible gene-editing toolbox, which has the potential to revolutionize biomedical research and open opportunities for gene therapy and genetic engineering.
Intimacies is a section that explores how technologies and online interfaces may affect love, family, and community. Here, urban experiences of sex and love are the focus of Andrés Jaque’s Intimate Strangers, an audio-visual installation focusing on the gay dating app. Through internet-enabled devices, designers explore the possibility of digitally mediated love and sex, suggesting what advanced digital networks hold for human sexuality.
Foods contains projects that explore the future of the human diet. Among them is a modular edible-insect farm, Cricket Shelter, by Terreform ONE, which offers a ready source of protein for impending food crises. A kitchen installation suggests how technology and design may contribute to new modes of food production, including an Ouroboros Steak made from human cells.
Additional sections of the exhibition will focus on the future of Jobs and how Cities will function and look 100 years from now—with robotic baby feeders, driverless cars, and other developments—affording a glimpse at how we might navigate living beyond this planet. Shoes grown from sweat are among the innovations visitors will find in a section devoted to Materials, while Power willlook at how design may affect our citizenship and help us retain agency over such essentials as our DNA, our voices, and our electronic communications in a future where the lines between record-keeping, communication, and surveillance blur. Data acknowledges and questions the different ways that information might be collected and used, with all its inherent biases and asymmetries, to shape different futures.
Futures Therapy Lab
As part of the exhibition, visitors to the Philadelphia Museum of Art galleries will also encounter a space for community meetups, public programs, school visits, and self-directed activities. The Futures Therapy Lab will weave personal connections between visitors and the exhibition as part of a collaboration between the museum’s Education Department and the curatorial team. Weekly programs, many of which will occur on Pay-What-You-Wish Wednesday Nights, will connect visitors with designers, artists, and locally based creatives. The Futures Therapy Lab will contain a crowdsourced Futures Library that includes everything from science-fiction books to the exhibition catalogue. “Thinking about possible futures is both exhilarating and anxiety-provoking,” said Emily Schreiner, the Zoë and Dean Pappas Curator of Education, Public Programs. “The Futures Therapy Lab is a place for conversation, critique, and creativity in which visitors can imagine their own hopes, fears and solutions for the future through reflection, discussion, and art making.”
Designs for Different Futures is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
In Philadelphia, this exhibition is generously supported by the Annenberg Foundation Fund for Major Exhibitions, the Robert Montgomery Scott Endowment for Exhibitions, the Kathleen C. and John J. F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions, Lisa Roberts and David Seltzer in honor of Collab’s 50th Anniversary, the Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Laura and William C. Buck Endowment for Exhibitions, the Harriet and Ronald Lassin Fund for Special Exhibitions, the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund, and an anonymous donor.
Centered on the innovative contemporary design objects, projects, and speculations of the exhibition’s checklist, the accompanying volume proposes design as a means through which to understand, question, and negotiate individual and collective futures, giving provocative voice to the most urgent issues of today. It asks readers to contemplate the design context within broader historical, social, political, and aesthetic spectrums. Designs for Different Futures addresses futures near and far, exploring such issues as human-digital interaction, climate change, political and social inequality, resource scarcity, transportation, and infrastructure.
The primary authors are Kathryn B. Hiesinger, Michelle Millar Fisher, Emmet Byrne, Maite Borjabad López-Pastor, and Zoë Ryan, with Andrew Blauvelt, Colin Fanning, Orkan Telhan, Juliana Rowen Barton, and Maude de Schauensee. Additional contributions include texts by V. Michael Bove Jr. and Nora Jackson, Christina Cogdell, Marina Gorbis, Srećko Horvat, Bruno Latour, Marisol LeBrón, Ezio Manzini, Chris Rapley, Danielle Wood, LinYee Yuan, and Emma Yann Zhang; and interviews with Gabriella Coleman, Formafantasma (Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin), Aimi Hamraie and Jillian Mercado, Francis Kéré, David Kirby, Helen Kirkum, Alexandra Midal, Neri Oxman, and Eyal Weizman.
Designs for Different Futures will be distributed by Yale University Press. The book was overseen by Philadelphia Museum of Art publishing director Katie Reilly and editors Katie Brennan and Kathleen Krattenmaker. It is designed by Ryan Gerald Nelson, Senior Graphic Designer at the Walker Art Center, under the direction of Walker design director Emmet Byrne.
The curatorial team is comprised of: at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Kathryn B. Hiesinger, The J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700, and Michelle Millar Fisher, formerly The Louis C. Madeira IV Assistant Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700; at the Walker Art Center, Emmet Byrne, Design Director and Associate Curator of Design; and at the Art Institute of Chicago, Maite Borjabad López-Pastor, Neville Bryan Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design, and Zoë Ryan, the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design. Consulting curators are Andrew Blauvelt, Director, Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and Curator-at-Large, Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Colin Fanning, Independent Scholar, Bard Graduate Center, New York; and Orkan Telhan, Associate Professor of Fine Arts (Emerging Design Practices), University of Pennsylvania School of Design, Philadelphia.
Kathryn B. Hiesinger is The J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Her work focuses on decorative arts and design from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and includes the exhibitions and publications Zaha Hadid: Form inMotion (2011), Out of the Ordinary: The Architecture and Design of Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Associates (2001), Japanese Design: A Survey since 1950 (1994) and Design since 1945 (1983).
Michelle Millar Fisher is the Ronald C. and Anita L Wornick Curator of Contemporary Decorative Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She is a graduate of the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and is currently completing her doctorate in architectural history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is the co-author, with Paola Antonelli, of Items: Is Fashion Modern? (2017).
Emmet Byrne is the Design Director and Associate Curator of Design at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. He provides creative leadership and strategic direction for the Walker in all areas of visual communication, branding, publishing, while overseeing the award-winning in-house design studio. He was one of the founders of the Task Newsletter in 2009 and is the creator of the Walker’s Intangibles platform.
Maite Borjabad López-Pastor is the Neville Bryan Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago. She is an architect and curator educated at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and Columbia University, New York. She is the author and curator of Scenographies of Power: From the State of Exception to the Spaces of Exception (2017). Her work revolves around diverse forms of critical spatial practices, operating across architecture, art, and performance.
Zoë Ryan is the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the editor of As Seen: Exhibitions That Made Architecture and Design History (2017) and curator of In a Cloud, in a Wall, in a Chair: Six Modernists in Mexico at Midcentury (2019) and the 2014 Istanbul Design Biennial, The Future is Not What it Used to Be. Her projects explore the impact of architecture and design on society.
We are Philadelphia’s art museum. A world-renowned collection. A landmark building. A place that welcomes everyone. We bring the arts to life, inspiring visitors—through scholarly study and creative play—to discover the spirit of imagination that lies in everyone. We connect people with the arts in rich and varied ways, making the experience of the Museum surprising, lively, and always memorable. We are committed to inviting visitors to see the world—and themselves—anew through the beauty and expressive power of the arts.
Thank you to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the content of this post.
GLASSBORO, NJ – Rowan University Art Gallery presents 7 Mile Girls, an exhibition exploring the connection between Black female style of Detroit’s inner city, with designer fashion and self-empowerment. Featuring several new works by artist Jamea Richmond-Edwards alongside paintings loaned by the Rubell Family Collection, the exhibition will run November 7 – December 21, 2019, with an opening reception on Thursday, November 7 from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM.
Richmond-Edwards grew up observing the Black community’s fashion style in Detroit’s inner-city during the late 1980s and early ’90s. Popular and idolized were Coogi sweaters, red gators, and designer bags from Gucci and Louis Vuitton. She understood the correlation of the fashion industry around the Black female experience and their complex relationship with luxury clothing.
The artifice of dressing became the driving narrative of her work and her form of Black aesthetic and expression. She was particularly interested in how her work confronted social disparities and the inequitable practices and tone-deaf decisions continually made by the fashion house of H&M, Adidas, Gucci, and Prada. In opposition to the market focus of these brands her imagery is inspired by the styles of Black designers who have made a positive impact on the fashion perspective, particularly Dapper Dan for Gucci, and the work of Duro Olowu, alongside influences of artists coming out of AfriCOBRA and the Black Arts Movement.
The title 7 Mile Girlsrefers to the street in Detroit where Richmond-Edwards grew up and where she encountered many of the female subjects in her paintings. Inspired by women in her life, the central female figures in her paintings confront the viewer with an air of confidence and agency as guardians of Black culture. Across her multi-layered collages, the artist conveys the complex intersection of Black style, capitalism, fashion, and personal identity through the lens of these resilient Black women.
ABOUT THE ARTIST Jamea Richmond-Edwards graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Jackson State University in 2004 where she studied painting and drawing. She went on to earn an MFA from Howard University in 2012. She offers a repertoire of portraits of women drawn using ink, graphite and mixed media collage. Richmond-Edward’s work has garnered the attention of various art critics including in the Washington Post and the Huffington Post’s “Black Artists: 30 Contemporary Art Makers Under 40 You Should Know”. Richmond-Edwards has exhibited her artwork nationally and internationally including the Delaware Art Museum, California African American Museum, Charles Wright Museum in Detroit, MI, and Galerie Myrtis in Baltimore, Maryland. Her works are in the permanent collection of private collectors across the country including the Embassy of the United States in Dakar, Senegal. She currently resides in Maryland with her Husband and three sons.
ABOUT ROWAN UNIVERSITY ART GALLERY Rowan University Art Gallery serves as a premier cultural destination for South Jersey, the Rowan community, and surrounding region. Our mission is to provide a platform for discourse on best practices in contemporary art by professional artists, curators, and scholars through the presentation of interdisciplinary art exhibitions, panel discussions, guest curatorial projects, and other public programming.
The Gallery has a history of programming that recognizes the achievements of women in the visual arts with group and one person exhibitions that included: Beverly Semmes (2011), Joyce Kozloff (2014), Jeanie Jaffe (2015), Diane Burko (2018), Heather Ujiie (2018), Ebony G. Patterson (2019), and Julie Heffernan (2019). Its permanent collection includes the groundbreaking and historic installation The Sister Chapel.
This exhibition is presented with the generous support of the Joseph Robert Foundation. Support for programming at Rowan University Art Galleries is also made possible by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information please visit: rowan.edu/artgallery.