September 12, 2012

An Odyssey: A Narrative of The Fabric Workshop and Museum Press Release

An Odyssey: A Narrative of The Fabric Workshop and Museum

22 September—November 2012
Mark Rosenthal, Guest Curator
Opening Reception: Friday, 5 October 2012, 6-8 p.m.
Members Preview: Gallery talk by Mark Rosenthal at 5:30 p.m.
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The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) is pleased to present An Odyssey: A Narrative of The Fabric Workshop and Museum, featuring a broad range of significant works produced in collaboration with FWM through its renowned Artists-in-Residence program. Numbering at over 5,600 objects, the FWM collections trace major movements in the field since 1977. An Odyssey will include the debut of new works by Nari Ward and Mika Tajima. Opening Reception, First Friday, October 5th, 6-8 p.m. Members Preview: Gallery talk by guest curator Mark Rosenthal at 5:30 p.m. whose recent project Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years opens 18 September at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
As with this exhibition’s namesake—Homer’s epic poem about a voyage home, The Odyssey—the story of The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) is not linear, and the potential for enchantment arises during the journey. This exhibition presents a selection of work from FWM’s permanent collection that showcases the unique ways Artists-in-Residence have expanded the frontiers of contemporary artistic practice. Some artists have enlivened the concept of home by elevating conventional objects beyond their domestic use through new design. Other artists have embraced a spirit of adventure within their work by exploring an unlimited range of materials and possibilities, and by creating immersive installations and live performances. – Mark Rosenthal
An Odyssey: A Narrative of The Fabric Workshop and Museum will be on exhibit throughout the Museum’s three floors of exhibition spaces. One gallery will be devoted to Louise Bourgeois 1991/92 project She Lost It. Inspired by the vast size of the print tables in FWM’s studio, Bourgeois decided to make a “scarf” of enormous proportion that would eventually wrap the walls of an exhibition space in much the same way a scarf wraps around a neck. Video of her one-time performance with this work will also be on view. Other participants, to name a few, include Chris Burden, America’s Darker Moments, 1994; Mike Kelley, Satan’s Nostrils, 1989; Glenn Ligon, Skin Tight, 1995; Louise Nevelson, Opera Costume, 1985; Richard Tuttle, The Thinking Cap, 1998; Robert Venturi, “Chippendale” Chair, 1985; William Wegman, Forest, 1999-2000; and Betty Woodman, Turandot Doorway, 1980. The exhibition will also extend to the Museum’s New Temporary Contemporary space (1222 Arch Street), where Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ 1994 text for Untitled, portrait of The Fabric Workshop and Museum, which poetically chronicled significant milestones in FWM’s history alongside major cultural or world events will be on view.
New artist-in-residence works debuting at FWM in An Odyssey are created by Nari Ward and Mika Tajima. Ward, in collaboration with FWM, created Homeland Sweet Homeland, 2012, a cross-stitched and embroidered quilt centered on the topic of the Miranda Rights, which exhibited as part of Liberty and Orders at Lehmann Maupin, NY (2012). Tajima’s collaboration with FWM produced a series of woven acoustic portraits of local industries in Pennsylvania that engage with old and new technologies, entitled Negative Entropy, 2012.
About the Curator
Over the course of almost forty years, Mark Rosenthal, Independent Curator and a prominent figure in 20th-century and contemporary art, helped to define the collections and exhibitions programs at several of the nation’s prominent institutions. Rosenthal was head of the department of 20th-Century Art at Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia (1983-89) and at National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (1993-96). He was also Curator of Collections at University of California, Berkeley Art Museum, California (1976-83); Consulting Curator to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1989-92); and Adjunct Curator of 20th-Century Art at The Menil Collection, Houston (2001-06), and Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach (2003-2009). Currently, Rosenthal is Adjunct Curator for Contemporary Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan. Mark Rosenthal holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in the History of Art from The University of Iowa, Iowa City (1979), and a B.A. in English from Temple University, Philadelphia (1966).
Rosenthal was curator for the acclaimed exhibition Jasper Johns: Work Since 1974 which won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale in 1988. Rosenthal’s recent projects include: the traveling retrospective William Kentridge: 5 Themes, originally organized for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco and the Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach, as well as Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years, which opens 18 September 2012 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Also on View
FWM presents Joan Jonas: Lunar Rabbit, a multimedia window installation initially organized by More Art, New York. Opening Reception: Friday, 5 October 2012, 6-8 p.m. This work—on view from the façade of FWM’s The New Temporary Contemporary—is inspired by the myth of a rabbit whose image is eternally imprinted on the moon, a reward for selflessness.
About The Fabric Workshop and Museum
The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) is the only museum of its kind, offering internationally renowned artists the resources to create new work in experimental materials. Artists come from all media—including sculpture, installation, video, painting, ceramics, and architecture—and use FWM’s facilities and technical expertise to create works of art that they could not create on their own. Research, construction, and fabrication occur on-site in studios that are open to the public, providing visitors with the opportunity to see works of art from conception to completion. FWM’s permanent collections include not only complete works of art, but also material research, samples, prototypes, and photography and video of artists making and speaking about their work. Access to the creative process provides visitors with a point of entry into understanding challenging works of contemporary art. FWM offers an unparalleled experience to those young and old, including the most significant artists of our time, students, and the general public.
The programs of The Fabric Workshop and Museum are supported by Agnes Gund, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Arcadia Foundation, The Barra Foundation, Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation, Claneil Foundation, The Dedalus Foundation, Inc., Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Edna W. Andrade Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation, The Honickman Foundation, Independence Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, The Judith Rothschild Foundation, Knight Foundation, LEF Foundation, LLWW Foundation, Longwood Plantation Foundation, Inc., Louis N. Cassett Foundation, Mondriaan Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New Millennium Charitable Foundation, The New York Community Trust, Nimoy Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative, The Philadelphia Cultural Fund, PNC Foundation, PNC Arts Alive, Public Funds from the Netherlands Cultural Service, The Quaker Chemical Foundation, Samuel S. Fels Fund, Individual Trustee Discretionary Grant, of the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation, Uplands Family Foundation, and the Board of Directors and Members of The Fabric Workshop and Museum.
For more information, or to request images, please contact Michele Bregande, Assistant to the Directors, at, or 215.561.8888.