Phoenix Art Museum is organizing the first mid-career survey on the work of Sheila Pepe. For over twenty years, Pepe has constructed large-scale, ephemeral installations and sculpture made out of domestic and industrial fibrous materials. Sheila Pepe: Hot Mess Formalism examines how the artist often plays with feminist and craft traditions to counter patriarchal notions of recognized or accepted forms of art making. Because Pepe’s works are often site-dependent, there is a critical relationship to traditional boundaries of museum display that are essential to her sculptural practice. While personal and cultural narratives often play a vital role in Pepe’s artistic practice, her work is left open to multiple interpretations.
The exhibition will travel to the Everson Museum of Art and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in 2018, and is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalog with contributions by Julia Bryan-Wilson, Elizabeth Dunbar, Lia Gangitano and Gilbert Vicario. The publication is designed by Miko McGinty, Inc. and will be distributed by DelMonico Books•Prestel.
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.
Admission is free for Phoenix Art Museum Members, Military Members and youth aged 5 and under; included with general admission. Not a Member yet? Click here.
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Exhibition Page: Sheila Pepe, Put Me Down Gently (detail), 2014. Parachute cord, laces, yarn and hardware. Installation view, Des Moines Art Center, Iowa. Collection of the artist. Photo: Rick Lozier Photography.
Left: Sheila Pepe, Common Sense II (detail), 2010. Crocheted baby and worsted weight yarns, rope, and community participation. Installation view, Hand + Made: The Performative Impulse in Art & Craft, Contemporary Art Museum Houston, Texas.
Center: Sheila Pepe, Short Stack, 2017. Wood, paint, gloss medium. Collection of the artist. Photo: Alan Weiner.
Right: Sheila Pepe, Red Hook at Bedford Terrace (detail with artist), 2008. Shoelaces, cotton yarn, and nautical towline. Variable dimensions. Smith College Museum of Art, Purchased with gifts from members of the Museum’s Visiting Committee in honor of the retirement of Ann Johnson.