Process and Practice: 40 Years of Experimentation

December 15, 2017–March 25, 2018

Process and Practice: 40 Years of Experimentation
Do Ho Suh, artist box contents for Paratrooper II, 2005. Monofilament, resin, nylon, poly organza, stainless steel armature. Collection of The Fabric Workshop and Museum. Photo credit: Carlos Avendaño.

Celebrating four decades as a pioneering force for artistic innovation, The Fabric Workshop and Museum concludes its 40th anniversary year with Process and Practice: 40 Years of Experimentation. The exhibition, curated by former Executive Director Susan Lubowsky Talbott, highlights FWM’s renowned Artist-in-Residence Program and explores the experimental essence of art making.

Throughout its history, FWM has collaborated with some of the leading artists of our time to challenge their boundaries and expand their practice. In FWM’s studio—a veritable living laboratory—Artists-in-Residence explore often unfamiliar materials, test ideas and ultimately create new works of art. Each leaves behind materials—research, handwritten notes, samples, sketches and prototypes—documenting their process and tracing the evolution of their artwork from concept to completion. Retained in nearly 400 archival Artist Boxes, these process materials represent a chronicle of contemporary art throughout the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Process and Practice displays the contents of more than 100 Artist Boxes alongside finished works by such celebrated artists as Chris Burden, Renée GreenCai Guo-Qiang, Ann HamiltonJim Hodges, Anish Kapoor, Roy LichtensteinYinka Shonibare, Sarah Sze, Richard Tuttle and Carrie Mae Weems. Accompanying the exhibition is Process and Practice: The Fabric Workshop and Museumthe third in a series of publications documenting the works of art created by Artists-in-Residence and the permanent collection at FWM. The exhibition offers a behind-the-scenes look at FWM’s significant place in the history of contemporary art and serves as a tribute to the enduring vision of its late founder, Marion Boulton “Kippy” Stroud.


The Fabric Workshop and Museum
First, Second, and Eighth Floors

Opening Reception

December 15, 2017, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Art in This Exhibition


Fabric Workshop and Museum shows artists' creative process through detritus
The Art Newspaper staff, The Art Newspaper, December 14, 2017

Fabric Museum bares all for 40th anniversary
Peter Crimmins, WHYY, December 15, 2017

Fabric Workshop And Museum Puts 40 Years Of Own History On Display
Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio, December 16, 2017

Digging into inspiration
Pamela J. Forsythe, Broad Street Review, December 18, 2017

Fabric Workshop and Museum unboxes an exhilarating anniversary show
Thomas Hine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 20, 2017

Susan Lubowsky Talbott on 40 years of the Fabric Workshop and Museum
Imani Roach, Artblog, January 14, 2018

Downloadable Media and Related Links

Download the Press ReleaseDownload the Press Release

About the Curator

Susan Lubowsky Talbott became The Fabric Workshop and Museum’s second Executive Director in 2016 following her retirement as Director and CEO of the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT. Previously, Talbott was Director of Smithsonian Arts, Washington, DC, and in that capacity also served as Acting Director of the National Museum of African Art. Throughout her 40 year career, she held other museum directorial positions and curated numerous exhibitions including Patti Smith: Camera SoloMy Reality: Contemporary Art and the Culture of Japanese Animation and Fred Wilson: Memory.


Major support for Process and Practice: 40 Years of Experimentation is provided by the Coby Foundation, Ltd., with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Joy of Giving Something, Inc., the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation, and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.

Major support of FWM is provided by the Marion Boulton “Kippy” Stroud Foundation. FWM receives state arts 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

Connections in Clay with Dominique Ellis
February 17, 2018, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Film Series
Rare Footage: FWM Artists-in-Residence
February 20, 2018, 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Teen Program
Inside the Box
February 23, 2018, 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Carrie Mae Weems: Ways and Means
March 23, 2018, 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Gallery Walkthrough with Curator Susan L. Talbott
February 15, 2018, 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm