December 6, 2012

Daniel Arsham Press Release

Daniel Arsham: Reach Ruin

December 14, 2012-Mid-March 2013
Opening Reception: Friday, December 14, 2012, 6-9 pm

Daniel Arsham X Jonah Bokaer: Study for Occupant

Special live performances scheduled for: Members Preview, Friday, December 14 at 5:30 pm
Saturday, December 15 at 6 pm; Sunday, December 16 at 2 pm
Limited seating, reservations encouraged; please RSVP to or call 215.561.8888
Made possible by the generous support by
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
For a PDF version, click here
The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) is pleased to present the debut of Daniel Arsham: Reach Ruin, a sculptural exhibition that explores the boundaries of museum and theatrical spaces, and Daniel Arsham X Jonah Bokaer: Study for Occupant, an exhibition and special live dance performances choreographed by Arsham’s frequent collaborator Jonah Bokaer. The participation of multidisciplinary artist Daniel Arsham in the Museum’s renowned Artist-in-Residence Program is due to the generous support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of its Knight Arts Challenge. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge is a $9 million initiative funding innovative projects that encourage and enrich Philadelphia’s communities. Opening Reception: Friday, December 14, 2012, 6-9 pm. Special live performances scheduled for: Members Preview, Friday, December 14 at 5:30 pm; Saturday, December 15 at 6 pm; Sunday, December 16 at 2 pm; limited seating, reservations encouraged. This work—in which the dancers, the audience, and the sculptures will engage with each other to create the performance—premieres exclusively at FWM and marks the first occasion their work has been staged for Philadelphia audiences.
“In the arts today, audiences are demanding to be more engaged. Arsham’s work will do that by pushing the definitions of the visual and performing arts, bringing the audience into both the sculptures and performance," said Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation's Vice President/Arts.
Connecting the lines between art, architecture, dance, and theater, Daniel Arsham mines everyday experience for opportunities to confuse and confound our expectations of space and form. The initial inspiration for his intervention within FWM’s architecture was Hurricane Andrew, which Daniel Arsham experienced as an adolescent in 1992 while living in Miami. Witnessing the dramatic and destructive power of nature—the unusual and ever intensifying sounds, jarring changes in light, and the fragility of architecture—informed his new, multisensory installation of several new works.
For Arsham, his prior works for stage design, including those created for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 2007-2011, are typically limited in scale and material to move easily between theaters. During his residency with FWM, Arsham developed a complex, interactive space and explored new materials and media.
About the Artist
Daniel Arsham (b.1980 Cleveland, Ohio) graduated from Cooper Union and received the Gelman Trust Fellowship Award in 2003. In 2004, he participated in the group show Miami Nice at Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin in Paris, which began representing Arsham in 2005. As one of the founders of the seminal Miami artist-run space The House, his interest in multi-disciplinary artist collaborations began early. Legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham asked Arsham to create the stage design for his work eyeSpace in 2007. Following this project, Arsham began designing for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company for performances in Australia, France, and multiple locations in the United States. In 2011, Arsham created the set for the final three performances of Cunningham's legacy tour at the Park Avenue Armory. Despite never being trained in stage design, he has continued this practice, collaborating with Robert Wilson as well as Jonah Bokaer, a former Cunningham dancer and the choreographer for the FWM performance. Bokaer’s rare, multidisciplinary approach addresses the human body in relation to contemporary technologies. The ongoing collaborations between Arsham and Bokaer include REPLICA, which has been performed at such esteemed venues as The New Museum in New York; Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno in Valencia, Spain, and The Hellenic Festival in Athens, Greece. Other Daniel Arsham X Jonah Bokaer works include: RECESS, which had its world premiere at the Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival in 2011; and Curtain, a new collaboration that premiered at Le Festival d'Avignon in France in July 2012. To further explore the possibilities of spatial manipulation, Arsham founded Snarkitecture in 2007 with partner Alex Mustonen to operate in territories between the disciplines of art and architecture. Their commissions include the public installation Commemorative Marker for Miami’s new Florida Marlins ballpark, which opened in April 2012, and Drift, the entrance pavilion for Design Miami 2012, which opens in December 2012. Arsham’s latest solo exhibition at Galerie Perrotin in Paris is on view through December 22, 2012.
About the Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit
Also on View
An Odyssey: A Narrative of The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Mark Rosenthal, Guest Curator
Joan Jonas: Lunar Rabbit, multimedia installation
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.