September 6, 2019 - Logan Center Exhibitions - Tufting Gun Tapestries
September 6, 2019

Logan Center Exhibitions

Big Chief Demond Melancon Mardi Gras Indian Suit (detail). Photo: Kewon Hunter.

Tufting Gun Tapestries
September 13–October 27, 2019

Logan Center Exhibitions
915 E. 60th Street, 1st Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60637
United States
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 9am–9pm,
Sunday 11am–9pm

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Logan Center Exhibitions is pleased to present the first Chicago exhibition by London-based, Turner Prize-winning architecture collective Assemble, Tufting Gun Tapestries, which will be on view beginning September 13, 2019.

At the core of the exhibition will be textile experiments produced by Assemble and multidisciplinary artist Duval Timothy in collaboration with Demond Melancon and the Material Institute in New Orleans. Exploring alternative education and spatial practices, Tufting Gun Tapestries will transform the Logan Center gallery into an active site of learning and production through the investigation of an ancient carpet-making technique, reimagined with contemporary tufting equipment.

Assemble, a multi-disciplinary architecture, design, and art collective, is known for their community-based, collaborative process and interest in alternative education and spatial practices. Tufting Gun Tapestries builds on Assemble’s ongoing connection with the Material Institute—a fashion school they co-founded with the Museum of Old and New Art that aims to provide free or affordable space, tools, and professional guidance to students in New Orleans. The project also draws on the work of one of the Material Institute’s founding teachers Big Chief Demond Melancon, a contemporary artist and performer with roots in the Black Masking culture of New Orleans. Melancon will be running a class exploring the traditions and techniques of craft and costuming in the city as part of a three-week long workshop, in which students will also learn tufting gun techniques and garment design. Following this process, they will come to Chicago to lead a series of workshops at the Logan Center.

The newly commissioned project will be presented alongside a selection of Assemble’s past work, contextualizing their interest in spaces for alternative pedagogy, and their expansive, interdisciplinary view of the built environment.

Tufting Gun Tapestries is presented by Logan Center Exhibitions and curated by Yesomi Umolu, Director & Curator with Katja Rivera, Assistant Curator and Alyssa Brubaker, Exhibitions Manager. This exhibition is made possible by support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, UChicago Urban Architecture Initiative, The Reva and David Logan Foundation, and friends of the Logan Center, and is co-funded by MONA (Museum of Old and New Art).

Related Programming

Opening Reception & Artist Tour
Tuesday, September 17, 2019, 6–8pm, Logan Center Gallery
Please join us for a reception to celebrate the opening of Tufting Gun Tapestries. Members of Assemble will give a tour of the exhibition at 6:30pm.

Gallery Talk with Maite Borjabad
Thursday, October 10, 2019, 6pm, Logan Center Gallery
Maite Borjabad, Neville Bryan Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago, will give a gallery talk centered on Assemble's expansive approach to architecture and design.

In Practice: A Tufting Gun Tapestries Workshop
Friday, October 25, 2019, time TBA, Logan Center
Maria Lisogorskaya leads a public workshop that explores various textile and design techniques.

All events are free and open to the public.

About the Artists
Assemble
is a UK-based multi-disciplinary architecture and design studio who practice a hands-on and collaborative approach to making spaces that support creativity, collaboration and the active participation of people in cities. The social focus and impact of their work was recognized in the receipt of the Turner Prize in 2015 for the network of neighborhood projects created in collaboration with the residents of Granby, Liverpool. Following their foundational self-built project in 2010, The Cineroleum in Clerkenwell, the studio has created a diverse body of work at a variety of scales, focused on cultural, residential, workspace and public realm projects. Assemble's work is characterized by a holistic view of projects combined with a diversity of output. It spans across different scales and mediums, including strategic and organizational development, product design and manufacturing, curation and programming and the design and construction of full-scale building projects.

Duval Timothy is a multidisciplinary artist who lives and works between London, UK and Freetown, Sierra Leone. His work focuses on color and identity via music, textiles, painting, food and photography.

Big Chief Demond Melancon is a multidisciplinary contemporary artist and performer with extensive roots in contemporary African diaspora art. Demond is a founding teacher at Material Institute. With a career spanning almost three decades, Melancon is well-known for his meticulous hand-sewn beadwork used to create massive Mardi Gras Indian suits which are composed of intricately beaded patches depicting actual and imagined events from African and American history. 

Material Institute is a new alternative space for design and manufacture of garments, textiles and fashion, with a focus on learning through hands on experimentation. Assemble have been invited by MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) to design the project. The space is founded on the belief in the value of free high quality education for all; and the learning environment as a community and place for expression.

Material Institute students: Bilal Hankins, Brandon Hayward, Chelsea Louvierre, Cherise Lockett, Christopher Maya, Cody Gallegos, Compton III, Daquine Hebert, David Neco, Didi Robbins, Ian Jones, Jalisa Riels, Face Faulkner, Logan Jackson, Sarah Hernandez, Tahj Pierre, Angel Walker, and Tysean Riles

About Logan Center Exhibitions
Logan Center Exhibitions
presents international contemporary art programming at the Logan Center Gallery and throughout the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago. Reflecting the spirit of inquiry at the university, Logan Center Exhibitions focuses on open, collaborative and process-based approaches to cultural production. Working closely with artists, students, scholars and community members, Logan Center Exhibitions presents innovative exhibitions by emerging and established artists; supports ambitious new commissions and research projects; disseminates knowledge through publications; and facilitates connections through talks and other public programs.

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