Jacolby Satterwhite: Room for Living

September 13, 2019–January 19, 2020

Jacolby Satterwhite, Room for Demoiselle Two, 2019.
Jacolby Satterwhite, Room for Demoiselle Two, 2019. Image courtesy of the artist and Michell-Innes & Nash, New York.

In Jacolby Satterwhite’s animated videos, human avatars interact with 3D models in an amorphous, liberated realm; neither time, space, scale, nor societal normativity limit the expression of his characters or architecture. Collaborating with FWM as an Artist-in-Residence, Satterwhite has reimagined elements from his acclaimed digital animation work spanning nearly a decade in Room for Living, his first solo museum show. From the initial phase of his two-year residency, Satterwhite has worked with the FWM Studio team to integrate digital fabrication tools into his expanding practice, bringing animations to life in physical form. Building upon the scenes and motifs featured in two groundbreaking series—Reifying Desire (2011-2014) and Birds in Paradise (2017-2019)—the exhibition will feature multi-media installations, new video works, and a virtual reality experience.

Over the past decade, his videos have also referenced the works of his late mother, Patricia Satterwhite, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia when her son was in middle school and prolific in the creation of inventive drawings intended to solve problems both mysterious and mundane. Reifying Desire, an opus-scale series of six videos combining the artist’s interest in the histories of art, dance, queer theory, and American material culture, often featured his mother’s drawings as three-dimensional digital objects. More recently, Birds in Paradise incorporated audio tracks made from a cappella recordings written and sung by Ms. Satterwhite. In Room for Living, the artist continues this collaboration with his mother, pays homage to a lifetime of ingenuity by realizing her designs as physical objects.

Iconic scenes from the Reifying Desire series will take three-dimensional form as physical objects constructed by the FWM Studio. Employing cutting-edge techniques in digital fabrication—such as 3D printing and CNC machining—these objects will be integrated into five multi-media installations featuring elements from Satterwhite’s videos at various scales, from three-inch miniatures to figures standing over seven feet tall. His allusions to Modern and Renaissance painting will also be present, as seen in the seven-foot tall figures composed in one installation to reference The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio (1601-2). In another, the artist has positioned five female figures to resemble the protagonists in Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907). The exhibition will also feature a new video by Satterwhite marking the continuation of ideas introduced in Reifying Desire and Birds in Paradise, accompanied by a virtual reality component. Providing an opportunity to digitally enter the artist’s world and explore it in 360 degrees, visitors will be guided by a soundtrack poignantly interwoven with the transformed voice of the artist’s mother.


The Fabric Workshop and Museum Second and Eighth Floors

Opening Reception

Friday, September 13, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Artists in This Exhibition


Room for Living, Satterwhite’s first solo museum show at the Fabric Workshop and Museum
Logan Cryer, Artblog, November 30, 2019

Jacolby Satterwhite
Amber Jamilla Musser, The Brooklyn Rail, October 2, 2019

30+ Must-See Exhibitions in Philadelphia for Fall 2019
Staff Writers, Visit Philadelphia, September 1, 2019

Here Are 23 Outstanding Museum Shows Across the US That You Won’t Want to Miss This Fall
Sarah Cascone & Caroline Goldstein, artnet News, September 5, 2019

Movie costumes, fairy tales, explorations of black beauty - and one ghost ship - are all coming to art museums in Philadelphia
Thomas Hine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, September 14, 2019

The Artsy Vanguard 2019: 50 Artists to Know Right Now
Artsy Editors, Artsy, September 16, 2019

Solange’s otherworldly animator for 'When I Get Home’ has his first solo museum show. In Philly, not Brooklyn.
Thomas Hine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, September 19, 2019

Science-Fiction Dreams Rendered in Three Dimensions
Patty Gone, Hyperallergic, October 1, 2019

Jacolby Satterwhite’s Hallucinatory Dreamscapes Come to Life in Two Exhibitions
Osman Can Yerebakan, Observer, October 4, 2019

Inside the Wild Universe of Artist Jacolby Satterwhite
Tiana Reid, The Nation, November 22, 2019

See Jacolby Satterwhite's Queer-Art Universe
Samuel Anderson, V Man, October 8, 2019

An Artist Who Works to Lana Del Rey and the Hum of Cable News
Thora Siemsen, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, October 10, 2019

The Circularity of Jacolby Satterwhite, A 3D Artist With A 360 Point of View
Rachel Small, Interview Magazine, October 16, 2019

How artist Jacolby Satterwhite transformed family recordings for his new album
Mitchell Kuga, Fader, October 25, 2019

‘30 Americans’ at the Barnes: What you take away depends on what you know coming in
Thomas Hine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 27, 2019

Jacolby Satterwhite’s Celestial, Zero-Gravity Dreamscapes
Michael Bullock, Frieze, November 4, 2019

GARAGE Fusions: Solange x Jacolby Satterwhite
Thea Ballard, Garage, November 8, 2019

The Tactile Technological Touch of Jacolby Satterwhite
Rahel Aima, Art21 Magazine, August 23, 2019

Downloadable Media and Related Links

Download the Press ReleaseDownload the Press Release

About the Artist

American, born 1986, lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Jacolby Satterwhite is visual and conceptual artist whose interdisciplinary practice includes video, performance, 3D animation, fiber, and printmaking. Drawing from an extensive set of references—queer theory, modernism, video game history, and personal mythology—he synthesizes multiple disciplines in immersive installations. Satterwhite employs virtual reality (VR) and digital media to produce intricately detailed animations and live action video of real and imagined worlds populated by avatars. The artist holds a BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. He is represented by Mitchell, Innes and Nash in New York; Morán Morán in Los Angeles; and Lundgren Gallery in Mallorca, Spain. Satterwhite’s work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (New York), The Whitney Museum of American Art, and Studio Museum in Harlem, among others. He received the USA (United States Artists) Francie Bishop Good & David Horvitz Fellowship in 2016.


Support for Jacolby Satterwhite: Room for Living is provided by The Joy of Giving Something, Inc., The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, Maja Paumgarten and John Parker, Budmen Industries, and The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation, University of Pennsylvania. Major support of FWM is provided by the Marion Boulton “Kippy” Stroud Foundation. FWM receives state art funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Additional support is provided by The Philadelphia Cultural Fund, Agnes Gund, and the Board of Directors and Members of The Fabric Workshop and Museum.

Past Related Events

Family Program
Family Galaxies!
September 5, 2019, 11:00 am to 2:00 pm

Jacolby Satterwhite Public Lecture
October 23, 2019, 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Teen Program
A Room for Creating
October 25, 2019, 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm

Drawing New Places: Graphic Novel Writing Workshop
December 14, 2019, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Public Program
Endgame: Black Artists on an Urgent Black Future
January 18, 2020, 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm