Sheila Pepe: Hot Mess Formalism | Opens October 14
Sheila Pepe: Hot Mess Formalism
Phoenix Art Museum
Anderman, Marcus and Marley Galleries
October 14, 2017 – January 28, 2018
Beginning October 14, Phoenix Art Museum presents the first mid-career survey of Sheila Pepe, an under-recognized artist best known for her immersive crocheted structures. Sheila Pepe: Hot Mess Formalism is composed of more than 70 works, including the premiere of a three-story, site-specific work created exclusively for Phoenix Art Museum. Visitors will be able to experience the spontaneity in Pepe’s immersive structures, sculptural assemblages, and other works in the broadest examination to date of an artist who poses a formidable challenge to conventions of museum display, identity, and craft.
The exhibition features pieces ranging from the early years of Pepe’s career to a never-before-seen fabric structure created expressly for Phoenix Art Museum. The premiere of a site-specific Museum installation will be imagined and constructed specifically for the design and architecture of the Ellen and Howard C. Katz Wing for Modern Art. Pepe has chosen to create an installation to activate the nearly 50-foot tall central light well, a normally-overlooked space in the Museum that is visually connected to the Katz Wing’s three floors. The logistical and engineering challenges presented by the extreme verticality of this space requires close collaboration with members of the local community, an essential feature of Pepe’s practice; her installations are known for their process-oriented nature, in which the artist calls on the resources of a community to contribute to the realization of a project.
“For more than two decades, Sheila Pepe has created works that shape-shift according to the conditions and context of where they’re exhibited,” said Gilbert Vicario, the Selig Family Chief Curator. “This exhibition brings to Phoenix Art Museum an artist whose work comes to life through uncontrollable, contingent factors. It is this spontaneity, an essential quality of the artist’s practice, which enables the possibility for an exploration of art, chaos, and the spaces where they coexist.”
Sheila Pepe: Hot Mess Formalism is organized by Phoenix Art Museum and curated by Gilbert Vicario, the Selig Family Chief Curator. It is made possible with support provided by The Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Endowment Fund and Contemporary Forum.
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