Adam Pendleton: Untitled

11am - 5 pm Mon, Apr 15 - Tue, Nov 5, 2013

Venue: The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

280 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115


Michael Busack


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The Gardner Museum continues to celebrate art on its exterior facade with a new work by Adam Pendleton: Untitled: (Fang Man from the Upper Ivindo Area, Northern Gabon, 1905-6/ Furnishing Fabric, French or Italian, 1725-50). Pendleton's monumental art installation on the front of the Gardner Museum features an early 20th century photographic portrait of an African man set against an 18th century European silk damask from the Gardner's collection. The portrait, taken by a French colonial officer in 1905 (two years after the Gardner Museum opened to the public), shows a bare-chested young man wearing a variety of ornaments and the warrior hairstyle of the Fang people. Pendleton found the image in a book about African sculpture and for this project decided to combine it with a luxurious fabric he'd seen at the Museum. "It's about what's not in the Gardner's collection, about its colonial past and colonial future," said the artist. After photocopying both images from books, Pendleton created a collage that was then enlarged to 36 feet and printed on a durable mesh fabric. The resulting piece, with its dramatic size and placement, combines works representing different historical periods as a way of transforming them.

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