OF THE SIGN: Marjorie Welish in Conversation with Robert Storr
Please join The Flow Chart Foundation for a conversation between artist/poet Marjorie Welish and esteemed art critic Robert Storr on the occasion of OF THE SIGN: Art by Marjorie Welish—Paintings/Artist Books/Provocations at the Flow Chart Space (note: gallery opens at 11, the conversation till take place at 3pm).
The Flow Chart Foundation’s newly accessible Flow Chart Space is featuring the work of artist and poet Marjorie Welish. The exhibition—Of the Sign—features selections from an ongoing series of diagrammatic works that address the questions: Can the sign of barrier tape be an actual prohibition that shifts to that of permission? What is the semiotic of this undoing and remaking?
Acrylic imitating tape is the material simulation, undergoing iterations more and more altered—altered through procedural moves: sliced and splaying, and so reoriented slantwise, off-course; folded, hence obscuring itself; or with fragments of the tape as remainders, etc. Meanwhile, fugitive cultural knowledge emerges from alignment and realignment, overlap and obscurity: a slipping glimpse of chevron or harlequin emerges and disappears in the rippling distortions that have been induced; selvage quilting or sawtooth cubism can be glimpsed otherwise, as intertext. Given the signage of yellow/black, is only barrier tape productive of potential sense?
The exhibition includes paintings and artist books, as well as continuous running video moving through a book work. Visitors will receive a set of provocations—questions to ponder while viewing the show, specially created for this exhibition.
This project was supported, in part, by a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, as well as with funding from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, Spark of Hudson, and Friends of The Flow Chart Foundation.
Artist/critic Marjorie Welish received her first solo show thanks to Laurie Anderson, then curator of the Whitney Museum Art Resources Center. She has exhibited most recently in New York, Paris, Vienna, and Cambridge, England. Welish has received many grants and fellowships, including: Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, The Fifth Floor Foundation, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and Trust for Mutual Understanding (supporting an exchange between the International Studio Program, New York and the Artists’ Museum, Łódź, Poland). In 2006, she received a Fulbright Senior Specialist Fellowship to teach at the University of Frankfurt, where she also worked on a limited-edition constructed art book, Oaths? Questions? in collaboration with James Siena, published by Granary Books in 2009 (and now in the collections of the Beinecke Library at Yale, Columbia University, the Getty Center, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art). In 2010 with a Fulbright, she was at Edinburgh College of Art. In 2015 she was nominated for the award Anonymous Was a Woman. Writing on her work may be found in Of the Diagram: The Work of Marjorie Welish (Slought Foundation), which assembles papers given at a conference on April 5, 2002, at the University of Pennsylvania. Welish’s collection of art criticism is Signifying Art: Essays on Art after 1960 (Cambridge University Press). Marjorie Welish, a member of the board of the International Studio and Curatorial Program, writes art criticism for Art Monthly [U.K.]. In addition to multiple private and corporate collections, public collections of Welish’s work include: Beinecke Library, Yale University, New Haven, CT; Bowdoin College, Brunswick, MN; British Museum; Brooklyn Museum, NYC; Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK; Colby College Museum of Art, MN; Columbia University, New York (Rare Books); Davis Museum, Wellesley College, MA; Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, NY; Getty Library, Los Angeles, CA; Koehnline Museum, Oakton, MI; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson New York Public Library, NY; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Rutgers (University) Archive for Printmaking Studios, New Brunswick, NJ; Smith College, Northampton, MA; U.S.Department of State: American Embassy, Armenia; and American Embassy, Moldova. Her work is represented by Emanuel von Baeyer (London).
Artist, critic, and curator Robert Storr received a B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1972 and an M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1978. He was curator and then senior curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, from 1990 to 2002, where he organized thematic exhibitions such as Dislocations and Modern Art Despite Modernism as well as monographic shows on Elizabeth Murray, Gerhard Richter, Max Beckmann, Tony Smith, and Robert Ryman. In addition, he coordinated the Projects series from 1990 to 2000, mounting exhibitions with Art Spiegelman, Ann Hamilton, and Franz West, among others. In 2002 he was named the first Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Mr. Storr has also taught at the CUNY graduate center and the Bard Center for Curatorial Studies as well as the Rhode Island School of Design, Tyler School of Art, New York Studio School, and Harvard University, and has been a frequent lecturer in this country and abroad. He has been a contributing editor at Art in America since 1981 and writes frequently for Artforum, Parkett, Art Press (Paris), Frieze (London), and Corriere della Serra (Milan). He has also written numerous catalogs, articles, and books, including Philip Guston (Abbeville, 1986), Chuck Close (with Lisa Lyons, Rizzoli, 1987), and the forthcoming Intimate Geometries: The Work and Life of Louise Bourgeois. Among his many honors he has received a Penny McCall Foundation Grant for painting, a Norton Family Foundation Curator Grant, and honorary doctorates from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Maine College of Art, as well as awards from the American Chapter of the International Association of Art Critics, a special AICA award for Distinguished Contribution to the Field of Art Criticism, an ICI Agnes Gund Curatorial Award, and the Lawrence A. Fleischman Award for Scholarly Excellence in the Field of American Art History from the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art. In 2000 the French Ministry of Culture presented him with the medal of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and subsequently awarded him the status of Officier in the same order. From 2005 to 2007 he was visual arts director of the Venice Biennale, the first American invited to assume that position. Mr. Storr was appointed professor of painting/printmaking and dean of the School of Art in 2006 and was named the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Dean in 2014.
Toward opening new possibilities for discovery, thought, connection, and joy, The Flow Chart Foundation explores poetry and the interrelationships of various art forms as guided by the legacy of gay American poet John Ashbery, showcasing contemporary artists from a diversity of cultural, ethnic, gender-identified, age, ability, economic, and aesthetic viewpoints.
Poetry provides a powerful conduit for examining, questioning, and resisting the status quo. By featuring generative, exploratory work that defies simple consumption, we expand our ability to question, to speak, to think, to dream, to accomplish. The Flow Chart Foundation offers new ways to discover and enjoy poetry. Our programs feature the work of artists who help us challenge assumed perceptions of ourselves, one another, and the world. We love artistic work often thought of as “challenging,” and strive to offer inviting means for productively engaging with and enjoying it.
Through programs for both general and scholarly audiences that showcase innovative art by creators across disciplines, we feature new work that reflects and engages transformative values. We do so online, through our Flow Chart Space, and with partner organizations dedicated to serving our local community. We also celebrate Ashbery and his art as an inspirational and generative force, inviting engagement with his work through the Ashbery Resource Center, a special collection library and online resource that provides opportunities for deep exploration and scholarship.
The Flow Chart Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization raising funds to support its programs with contributions tax-deductible to the full extent provided by law.