Jorge Pardo

Jorge Pardo, "Untitled (Reception Area)," 1999
Jorge Pardo, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, Untitled (Reception Area), 1999. Reception desk, video cabinet, lamps, and silkscreen printed pigment on linen and Swiss cotton. Photo credit: Will Brown.

In 1997, FWM commissioned Jorge Pardo to redesign the entrance to the museum, including a new reception area and a video lounge/café. Over the course of one year, Pardo radically transformed these public spaces, designing every element of the interior—from the floor to the ceiling and everything in between.

An architectural as well as an artistic under taking, the Untitled project began with Pardo’s design of two fabrics. Inspired by 1950s and 60s-era textile design, these fabrics were printed on linen, cotton sateen, and Swiss cotton, and were made into room dividers, wallpaper, and window curtains. He then designed the usual elements of a museum entrance space—a reception desk, light fixtures, shelving, doorways, and a table for educational pamphlets—as well as upholstered chairs and ottomans, countertops, and teacups with saucers for the café/video lounge.

Jorge Pardo’s work navigates the territory between art and what is usually identified as architecture or design. The installation may appear at first as pure architecture and interior design, but its limits in this realm are revealed after stepping through one of the unmarked glass doorways leading out of the installation and into other areas of the museum: exposed 2 x 4s and hanging systems provide significant clues that the space occupies a domain beyond architecture.

Pardo returned to FWM in 2001 to create another 1960s-inspired textile design. Silkscreen printed pigment on sheer Swiss cotton, the fabric was used for Curtain, an art and architectural installation at Dia Center for the Arts.

Artist Bio

Jorge Pardo (American, born Cuba 1963)