October 2, 2014

Joy Feasley and Paul Swenbeck: A Hatchet to Kill Old Ugly

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Joy Feasley and Paul Swenbeck: A Hatchet to Kill Old Ugly

October 2, 2014–January 4, 2015

The New Temporary Contemporary, 1222 Arch Street

Public Opening Reception: Thursday, October 2, 2014 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm

The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) presents Joy Feasley and Paul Swenbeck: A Hatchet to Kill Old Ugly, an installation inspired by Shaker spirit drawings and magic, that opens on Thursday, October 2, 2014 with a public reception from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. The exhibition, divided into three parts, derives its title from a Shaker name for the Devil—“Old Ugly”—seen in Spirit Drawings, which the Shakers created to describe symbols seen in visions. The first section of the exhibition, in the front windows of The New Temporary Contemporary at 1222 Arch Street, displays arcane tools used to observe the mysteries of nature for viewers on the street. The main gallery houses what, at first, appears to be a faithful reproduction of a Shaker domestic interior, but is in reality a set for an illusionist performance. Lastly, the back room in the gallery is full of baroque color and light along with strangely magical elements, contrasting the front space’s proto-modernist Shaker austerity. Feasley and Swenbeck propose how science, asceticism, and magic are all possible methods of exploring our world, in an exhibition detailing the artists’ fascination with an invisible world that is all around us.
About the Artists
Joy Feasley (b. 1966 in Buffalo, NY), a visual artist, studied painting at Massachusetts College of Art, Boston; The Cooper Union, New York; and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her paintings are often of intimate scale, and feature vibrant colors and otherworldly landscapes. Feasley’s work has been exhibited at Locks Gallery, Philadelphia (2011, 2009, 2008, 2007); LUMP Gallery, Raleigh, North Carolina (2010, 2003); the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2007, 1999); Vox Populi, Philadelphia (2002, 2000); and at venues in Tokyo, Japan (2004); Waltham, Massachusetts (2003); and Brooklyn, New York (2001). She is the recipient of a Pew Fellowship (2011) and two Leeway Foundation Window of Opportunity grants (2003, 2001). She is represented by Locks Gallery, and lives and works in Philadelphia.
Paul Swenbeck (b. 1967 in Salem, Massachusetts) developed a fascination with the macabre and occult at an early age, which has filtered into his idiosyncratic sculptures, paintings, photographs, and installations. He graduated with a degree in ceramics from Massachusetts College of Art in 1991. Swenbeck’s work has been included in exhibitions at Adams and Ollman (2013), in Portland, Oregon; Fleisher Ollman Gallery (2011, 2010, 2009), the Institute of Contemporary Art (2009, 2004), Vox Populi (2009), and Morris Gallery at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (2005), in Philadelphia; and at Walker Art Center (2009), in Minneapolis. Swenbeck is a recipient of the 2013 Pew Fellowship in the Arts, and is represented by Fleisher Ollman Gallery in Philadelphia. He lives and works in Philadelphia.
The Thursday, October 2nd reception will also celebrate the following exhibitions:
FWM, 1214 Arch Street, First Floor
Kazumi Tanaka: Mother and Child Reunion
Members-only Artist Talk by Kazumi Tanaka: Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 5:30 pm
On view:  Saturday, September 13—Sunday, November 9, 2014
FWM, 1214 Arch Street, Second Floor
Question Bridge: Black Males
Created by Chris Johnson, Hank Willis Thomas, Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair
On view:  Saturday, September 13–Sunday, November 9, 2014
FWM, 1214 Arch Street, Eighth Floor
Venturi, Scott Brown and Grandmother: Patterns for Production
Featuring work by the firm of Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates
On view:  Saturday, September 13–Sunday, November 9, 2014
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 onsite 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; Amy Stone, Art Ancora; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; The Arcadia Foundation; The Barra Foundation; Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation; Claneil Foundation; The Coby 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; Museums ConnectSM made possible by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the American Alliance of Museums; 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; 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 michele@fabricworkshopandmuseum.org, or 215.561.8888.