Adam Pendleton: Untitled
June 10 - November 5, 2013
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. Said Pendleton about his work, “…it’s really just sort of asking, what happens when these two things come together? But it is not telling, it’s asking. The work expresses itself through questions.” Adam Pendleton was an Artist-in-Residence in 2008 and is the second artist invited to create site-specific work for the Gardner façade. The space is devoted to new work by Gardner Museum Artists-in-Residence and changes about every six months.