|I C A N E W S R E L E A S E|
Contact: Jill Katz
Director of Marketing & Communications
Institute of Contemporary Art
University of Pennsylvania
118 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3289
Tel. (215) 898-7108/5911
Fax: (215) 898-5050
Virgil Marti Selected for 2004 Whitney BiennialConversation: Virgil Marti and Lia Gangitano
Wednesday, December 10, 2003, 7pm
November 3, 2003
(Philadelphia, PA)-The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) is pleased to announce that current Ramp Project artist Virgil Marti has been chosen to participate in the prestigious 2004 Whitney Biennial. Marti is one of four artists selected for the 2004 Whitney Biennial that are recent or upcoming ICA artists. Other ICA artists are Amy Cutler (Sep-Dec 2002); Aleksandra Mir (Jan-Apr 2004); and Amy Sillman (Sep-Dec 2004).
Marti will discuss his current installation at ICA with Lia Gangitano on Wednesday, December 10, at 7pm, details below.
Marti, who created the current ICA Ramp installation "The Flowers of Romance" (on view through December 14), is internationally known for inserting high décor into fine art contexts. Marti's body of work ranges from hand printed wallpaper featuring high school nemeses-Bullies-and a treasured beer can collection-Beer Can Library-to a 34 foot long, multicolored velvet and brocade Couch installed in the lobby of a Septa commuter train station-to the 70s P.T.A. suburban meets sinuous and slightly sinister hipster/swinger installation Hot Tub. He draws on textiles, elements of interior design, furniture, and his affinity for such 60s and 70s movies as Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Nicholas Roeg's The Man Who Fell to Earth, to push the boundaries of decoration, high and low-brow art, and to explore memories of a suburban childhood through the lens of adult introspection and longing. While unflinchingly honest, Marti's work evinces a poignant fondness for his subject matter-middle class can be beautiful.
For his current ICA installation, "The Flowers of Romance", Marti has transformed ICA's ramp into a grand, psychedelic hall of mirrors. Incorporating Mylar and macramé, the walls of the ICA ramp mimic the imposing hallways that run through stately European homes, complete with a series of chandeliers cast from deer antlers. Rather than instilling reverence and respect, "The Flowers of Romance", evokes laughter, a creeping crawling sense of faded beauty and funhouse antics. "The Flowers of Romance" is on view at ICA through December 14.
Conversation: Virgil Marti & Lia Gangitano
Wednesday, December 10, 7pm
Marti will discuss his current installation at ICA with Lia Gangitano on Wednesday, December 10 at 7pm. Lia Gangitano is director of one of New York's newest and most innovative non-profit gallery spaces, Participant Inc. Participant Inc opened in 2002 with "Grow Room", an installation by Virgil Marti and has since exhibited the works of Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth), Charles Atlas, Rachel Lowther and others. Previously, she was curator of Thread Waxing Space, the influential New York performance and exhibition venue. This conversation is part of ICA's Whenever Wednesdays Program. The conversation is free with gallery admission.
Whitney 2004 Biennial
Opening on March 11th, the 2004 Biennial is being organized by three Whitney curators: Chrissie Iles, curator of film and video; Shamim M. Momin, branch director and curator of the Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria; and Debra Singer, associate curator of contemporary art. The exhibition will present works by 108 artists and collaborative groups, and will remain on view in its entirety at the Whitney Museum of American Art through May 30, 2004.
Founded in 1963 as part of the University of Pennsylvania, ICA presents a year-round exhibition schedule that defines, analyzes, and explores the contemporary visual arts. A non-collecting museum, ICA offers one-person, thematic, and group exhibitions, including commissioned works. ICA diversifies its examination of art to include interdisciplinary work such as film, video, performance, architecture, and design. ICA plays a vital role in introducing American audiences to rising international artists and is also committed to the regional arts community. ICA has been at the forefront of contemporary art for nearly 40 years, presenting the first museum solo exhibitions of artists Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana, Lisa Yuskavage, Charles LeDray and many others.
The ICA is located at 118 South 36th Street at the University of Pennsylvania. The ICA is open to the public, except during installation, from 12:00pm to 8:00pm on Wednesday through Friday and from 11:00am to 5:00pm on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $3 for adults; $2 for students over 12, artists, and senior citizens; and free to ICA members, children 12 and under, PENN card holders, and on Sundays from 11:00am to 1:00pm. For more information, call 215-898-7108/5911.
Image: Virgil Marti, The Flowers of Romance (detail), 2003. Courtesy of the artist.