March 11, 2018 - Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania (ICA) - Using the Self to Imagine the World: Conversations on Ree Morton
March 11, 2018

Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania (ICA)

[1] The Plant That Heals May Also Poison, 1974. Enamel and glitter on wood and celastic, 5 light bulbs. FWA – Lieve Van Gorp Foundation for Women Artists. [2] Weeds of the Northeast #5, 1974. Pencil, crayon, watercolor, and glitter on grained paper. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawing Collection Gift 2005. [3] Devil Chaser, 2nd version, 1975/76. Wire and enamel on celastic; acrylic on plywood. Art Institute of Chicago. Mr. and Mrs. Frank G. Logan Purchase Prize Fund; Contemporary Discretionary Fund; restricted gift of Barbara Ruben; Emilie L. Wild Prize fund, 2011.54. [4] Something in the Wind, 1975. Installation view: South Street Seaport, New York, 1975. [5] Regional Piece, 1975-76. Oil on wood and enamel on celastic. Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Gift of Barbara Lee, The Barbara Lee Collection of Art by Women. © Estate of Ree Morton. All works courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York.

Using the Self to Imagine the World: Conversations on Ree Morton
A symposium focused on the life and practice of Ree Morton
March 16–17, 2018

Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania (ICA)
118 S.36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
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Join artists, curators, and scholars for presentations and conversations on the legacy of artist Ree Morton (b. Ossining, New York 1936; d. 1977), who will have her first major exhibition in the United States in nearly 40 years at the Institute of Contemporary Art in fall of 2018. Symposium participants include Tang Museum Director Ian Berry; artist Nayland Blake; art historian Sabine Folie; Alexander and Bonin Gallery Director Kathryn Gile; Founder and Principal of Art Agency, Partners, and Chairman of Sotheby’s Fine Art Division Allan Schwartzman; and Director of Exhibitions at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia Sid Sachs. 

Morton’s short, but prolific career was profoundly shaped by her time in Philadelphia, where she attended graduate school and taught for several years. Her installations, sculptures, drawings, and paintings span a single decade of artistic production before her untimely death in 1977. Though the eclectic arc of Morton's practice was rooted in post-Minimalism, a poetic approach to language and symbolism progressively distanced her work from easy categorization in the early to mid-70s. Her inclusion of narrative—through literary, philosophical, and autobiographical references—and use of bold color and theatrical imagery infused these objects and installations with sly humor and a prescient concern with the decorative, generating a feminist legacy increasingly appreciated in retrospect. Morton's conceptually rigorous work can seem esoteric at times, yet her intention is ultimately one of generosity towards the viewer, and it is this spirit of generosity, playfulness, and joy that this symposium—and subsequent exhibition—hopes to expand.

Participants include Becca Albee, Ian Berry, Nayland Blake, Cynthia Carlson, Roksana Filipowska, Sabine Folie, Kathryn Gile, Anissa Mack, Sid Sachs, Allan Schwartzman, and Abi Shapiro.

Organized by Kate Kraczon, Laporte Associate Curator and Lauren Downing, Curatorial Assistant, with Tausif Noor, Spiegel-Wilks Curatorial Fellow.

Free and open to the public. Registration is appreciated, but not required. Register here.

Friday, March 16  
6:30pm: Keynote Lecture: Sabine Folie: Performing Sculpture, Performative Language: The “Allegorical Impulse” in Ree Morton’s Work

Saturday, March 17  
9:30am: Amy Sadao and Kate Kraczon: Introductions
10am: Abi Shapiro: Why Have There Been No Great Women Installation Artists? Ree Morton and Feminist Art History
10:20am: Roksana Filipowska: Of Plastics and Plants: Ree Morton’s Celastic as Pharmakon
10:40am: Kathryn Gile: Don't worry, I'll only read you the good parts
11am: Discussion moderated by Lauren Downing
11:30am–1pm: Break
1pm: Nayland Blake leads a tour of their current ICA exhibition Tag: Proposals on Queer Play and the Ways Forward
2pm: Sid Sachs: Ree Morton and the Philadelphia School   
2:20pm: Cynthia Carlson: Remarks on a Friendship
2:40pm: Allan Schwartzman: Ree: Take 3                                          
3pm: Discussion moderated by Tausif Noor
3:30pm: Break
4pm: Nayland Blake: 15 things I'm still learning from Ree Morton
4:20pm: Anissa Mack: AM x RM (thanks, Frank Bramblett)
4:40pm: Becca Albee
5pm: Discussion moderated by Ian Berry                   
5:30: Kate Kraczon: Conclusion
6pm: Reception

Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania (ICA)
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