Obsolescence, Ulla-Stina Wikander, Paradigm Gallery + Studio
Exhibition Dates: October 25 – November 23, 2019
Opening Reception: October 25th • 5:30 – 10pm
Paradigm Gallery + Studio (746 S 4th St) is pleased to present Obsolescence, a solo exhibition by Sweden-based artist Ulla-Stina Wikander, open October 25 – November 23, 2019. The artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States, Obsolescence, features new works from Wikander’s well-known series of household objects covered in colorful, vintage embroideries. Obsolescence will have a public opening reception on October 25 from 5:30 – 10:00pm.
Wikander began collecting vintage embroideries 15 years ago in antique stores and flea markets, initially attracted to the intricate designs of needlework textiles. Although Wikander was traditionally trained as a painter and sculptor, the unknown histories of the women who made the embroideries interested her and she began experimenting with her new collection.
Wikander’s earliest experimentation with textile began with covering a broken vacuum cleaner she had laying around in her home. Through a meticulous process of deconstruction and reassembly, she transformed the anachronistic tool into something visually absorbing and entirely new, giving the vacuum a new reason to exist. Although not all of the objects Wikander covers are broken, they’re all out-dated. Through Wikander’s process, these retro items are transformed and recycled into fully contemporary sculptures.
On her practice Wikander says, “It is rather new for me to be a part of the textile community because I have always regarded myself as a painter and sculptor. While I do not embroider myself, I am always very meticulous when I choose my patterns. Embroidery is very hard to find nowadays, so I often travel to small towns in Sweden to find them. I have a big collection with hundreds of embroideries, organized into boxes by motif. I do not know if it is accepted among textile artists, to cut embroideries into pieces, but I think my work is a bit different. I always have a bad feeling that I am destroying a beautiful embroidery that someone else has made, but the recycling of something forgotten also feels current and good”.
The latest artworks included in Wikander’s Obsolescence exhibition are suffused with humor and critical explorations of feminism, domesticity, and upcycling. Her intricate textile constructions are shaped by the forms that lie underneath – including irons, blow dryers, shoes, bags, lamps, books, and phones. Freshly adorned in coverings of flowers, animals, and pastoral scenes, the items transcend their former functionality and are simultaneously revelatory and recognizable. Wikander’s vibrant reappropriations are evocative formal studies that defy categorization and illicit equal parts dissonance and delight.
About Ulla-Stina Wikander Ulla-Stina Wikander was born 1957 in Kungälv. She is currently living in Stockholm/Kullavik, Sweden and has been working as an artist since 1986. Wikander has shown extensively around the world in solo and group exhibitions including shows in the United States, Sweden and the UK.
About Paradigm Paradigm Gallery + Studio® exhibits contemporary artwork from around the world with a focus on Philadelphia-based artists. Established February 2010, the gallery began as a project between co-founders and curators, Jason Chen and Sara McCorriston, as a space in which to create artwork, to exhibit the work of their peers, and to invite the members of the community to create and collect in a welcoming gallery setting. To this day the gallery still aims to welcome all collectors, from first time to lifelong, and continues to support accessible work that welcomes a wide audience.
Location: Paradigm Gallery + Studio®, 746 S 4th St., Philadelphia, PA, 19147 Media Contact: Lainya Magaña, A&O PR email@example.com
Thank you to Madison Fishman for the content of this post.
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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.
Four Must-Experience Art Events This Fall In Philadelphia
by Arturo Varela
One-of-a-kind artistic installations and experiences: Philadelphia’s full of them in October. Visitors can enjoy three weekends of audio-visual stimulation along the footprint of the Rail Park; five Halloween-themed experiences by famed choreographer Brian Sanders; an eerie, three-dimensional Ghost Ship along the Delaware River; and a colorful display of spinning tops (large enough to spin humans) at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
The best way to enjoy these and other fall happenings in Philly: the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package, offering free parking and other perks and bookable at visitphilly.com.
Site/Sound: Revealing the Rail Park – For three Saturdays in October, Philadelphia’s emergent Rail Park and its surrounding neighborhood hosts a new festival that combines audio-visual art installations and diverse musical performances that are all shaped by their surroundings. Taking place above and below city streets, the 20 performances and programs honor the past, present and future of the historic corridor along the famed Reading Railroad. The event is a collaboration between Friends of the Rail Park, Mural Arts Philadelphia and America Composers Forum, Philadelphia Chapter. Through October 19, 2019. Various locations between Vine & Spring Garden Streets, 9th & 18th Streets, muralarts.org
2nd Sanctuary: A Multi-Experience Halloween Attraction – Brian Sanders’ JUNK brings Halloween-inspired performances to 2nd Sanctuary, a 19th-century Victorian church in the city’s Graduate Hospital neighborhood. The five distinct experiences—all focused on the 1970s and all encouraging audience participation—include a virtual reality, live action tour; a modern dance performance; and an escape room (all three of which require separate tickets; other two experiences included with all ticket purchases). Through November 3, 2019. 2040 Christian Street, (267) 406-6080, briansandersjunk.com
Ghost Ship – A 90-foot, site-specific, 18th-century ghost ship appears after nightfall on the Delaware River between Race Street Pier and Pier 12 (near the Benjamin Franklin Bridge). The eerie, three-dimensional hologram, created by Biangle Studio, recalls the free and forced migration people made on these American waters. Visitors to the ship can also enjoy the River Beer Garden at Race Street Pier, featuring food from Lost Bread Co. Bakery and drink from Mainstay Independence Brewing Company. Through November 3, 2019. (215) 922-2386, delawareriverwaterfront.com
Los Trompos – The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts’ Commonwealth Plaza is filled with more color and movement than usual thanks to Los Trompos (translation: the spinning tops), a creation of Mexican designers Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena. The installation features 10 beautifully woven three-dimensional spinning tops of various shapes and sizes that showgoers can sit in and spin on—all in an effort to promote collaboration and community interaction. Through November 17, 2019. 300 S. Broad Street, (215) 893-1999, kimmelcenter.org
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 Arturo Varela for the content of this post.
The 3rd Street Gallery is pleased to present POST: All Together Now, an annual members exhibitionfeaturing painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, collage, mixed media, ceramic and fiber art. This group exhibition coincides with the Philadelphia Open Studio Tours: POST 2019, a program of the Center for Emerging Visual Artists and one of the premier open studio tour events in the country. As aCommunity Partner with POST 2019, 3rd Street Gallery increases awareness of the arts in the wider community and strengthens bonds with fellow artists, local businesses, and neighborhood organizations.
South Galleries POST Tour 2019: Saturday October 12, 12-6pm
Gallery Hours: Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 6 pm
About 3rd Street Gallery: The Gallery has been in existence since 1978, opening in its first space on the corner of 3rd and Bainbridge in South Philadelphia. As one of the oldest artist-run, fine art galleries in the City it has been home to thousands of Philadelphia artists. The members are a diverse group of artists of all ages and backgrounds. They are multigenerational, have advanced degrees in the arts as well as the sciences, work in diverse media from the traditional to the digital, range from the classically trained to the self-taught and include arts educators, award-winners, and artists whose work is collected by museums as well as by corporate and private collectors.
About the Philadelphia Open Studio Tours: Each October, the Tours span 20 unique Philadelphia neighborhoods, feature over 300 participants, engage audiences topping 30,000, and literally put Philadelphia’s professional artists “on the map” for locals and tourists alike. As an annual Fall festival of visual art, the Philadelphia Open Studio Tours includes self guided tours of artist studios and related creative workspaces, gallery exhibitions, demonstrations and workshops, artist talks, receptions, and guided tours.
2019 Annual Autumn Invitational at Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Frank’s
The annual AUTUMN INVITATIONAL, which officially opens THIS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 7-10 PM, is one of our favorite shows. For good reason.
By showcasing the artists who have achieved notable success over the past year, measured by sales and jury awards, it welcomes back artists who are truly fan favorites. And with this year’s edition in particular, it gives us a more in-depth look at the work of three exceptional artists:
* This marks the fourth time CAROL TASHJIAN has shown her work in our space. Across different media and subject matters, a common thread has emerged: a disciplined approach to her craft, which strips away the extraneous in favor of essence. When Carol has shown one or two works, viewers sometimes have to seek out the quiet refuge of her art. This time, with 19 works, we are happily immersed in her approach, with the litho crayon rubbings of trees on the right side of the Wall practically creating a meditative arboretum of sorts (to the extent that’s possible at Dirty Frank’s!).
* For WILD TYPE, aka, ORI ROE, the Invitational marks a third turn at OFF THE WALL and this time is indeed the charm, with 13 works that, as with Carol, finally create a critical mass and enable us to enter her unique worlds at the intersection of science and art. Wild Type takes her nom d’artiste from a wild-type strain — there are ori sequences in the mitochondrial DNA of such a mutated strain; similarly, Wild Type’s art-making practice applies fundamentals of organic chemistry to create “worlds with X, Y and Z coordinate space,” and to begin answering such deep questions as “What does it mean to exist in space?”
* As we count down, RUSTY EVELAND is returning for just the second time, after a tour de force debut in BREAKTHROUGHS FOR SHEILA. His art runs a wide gamut. Across eight pieces, spanning figure studies, an animated short projected in our 3D space, and mixed-media and found-object assemblages, Rusty never aspires to Carol’s introspection or Wild Type’s exploration but rather embraces an energy and enthusiasm that naturally draws audiences into his work.
* And it’s worth noting that while this show’s headliner is usually the winner of the Mary-Rowe Memorial Jury Prize, last year’s honoree, LINDSEY WAVREK, will next be on the Wall this coming March and April as a MARY LIZ FELLOW, the highest honor we bestow on any artist in our community.
We look forward to seeing you THURSDAY EVENING, and for those of you who would like to transcend mere attendance and become a PARTICIPATING ARTIST at our next Opening Reception, on November 17, please make sure to pick up an entry form for UNDER $100, our upcoming JURIED EXHIBITION.
We are accepting entries for the show — which invites any and all media and subject matters, priced at $95 or less — now through October 17. Take the top prize and you’ll not only be in that show; per the above note about Lindsey Wavrek, you’ll automatically be part of the 2020 AUTUMN INVITATIONAL!
Thank you to Togo Travalia, Manager, OFF THE WALL GALLERY at Dirty Frank’s for the content of this post. (He’s a really good writer!)
NE Corner, 13th & Pine Streets, Philadelphia, PA, 19107