“Home as Stage” Opens at the Wharton Esherick Museum

Home as StageSubmitted Image

MALVERN, PA — The Wharton Esherick Museum (WEM) announced the opening of Home as Stage, on view beginning September 15, 2022, the final exhibition in a series of three installations exploring ideas of “home” in celebrations of the museum’s 50th anniversary.

Featuring the work of four Philadelphia-based contemporary artists – Emily Carris-Duncan, Kay Healy, Colin Pezzano, and Stacey Lee Webber – complemented by a selection of textile objects on loan to WEM from The Fabric Workshop and MuseumHome as Stage asks visitors to consider Esherick’s home and Studio not only as the set on which the artist’s ambitions played out, but also as a stage that hosted players – often other artists – whose conversation, collaboration, and connection made Esherick’s life that much richer and more profound.

To honor that legacy and create new opportunities, WEM invited Carris-Duncan, Healy, Pezzano, and Webber to spend time in the Studio, which is the centerpiece of the Museum and a National Historic Landmark for Architecture, and with its archives, developing connections with aspects of Esherick’s life, the players in his story, and the physical nature of the site. The works created and selected for the exhibition are on display in Esherick’s iconic space, existing as both material demonstrations of that connection across time as well as discreet works of art imbued with each artist’s distinctive voice and vision.

The contemporary artworks on view are complemented by a selection of textile objects on loan to WEM from the Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM). Produced by four artists and architects of Esherick’s era with compelling connections to the artist’s life, career, and experiences – Viola Frey, Toshiko Takaezu, Lenore Tawney, Robert Venturi – their placement in Esherick’s Studio explores ideas around the artist’s networks and connections on an intimate, inviting stage. Furthermore, the story of the FWM as a space that invites creatives who may not work with textiles to push beyond the assumed boundaries of their practice is one that resonates with Esherick’s own interdisciplinary approach to art-making and collaboration.

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