Phoebe Washburn at Guilford

Readers who have not heard of Phoebe Washburn will surely learn of her work soon enough. I say this not only because of her accumulating successes (she’s been called “one of the country’s most closely watched young artists”), but also because she will be at Guilford two weeks from today.


Phoebe Washburn, It Makes for My Billionaire Status, 2005 (installation view, Kantor/Feuer Gallery, Los Angeles) 

The New York-based installation artist’s public lecture will take place on Tuesday, April 3, at 7:30 p.m. in Bryan Jr. Auditorium in the Frank Family Science Center.

Washburn works in a monumental scale, using discarded and recycled materials such as cardboard boxes, wood from pallets, newspapers, and fish tanks. Her works are also largely contingent on the spaces in which they are shown, partly because they are often anchored into the wall. Yet, she says that “chance is definitely more of a factor in the final product than is any predetermined design. I just let the structures evolve by repeating the same action again and again.”

Creating this sensation of repetition can be rather painstaking. Emphasizing the element of activity, she compares the process of producing her sculptures–which requires a team of assistants–to beavers building a dam. “The shapes are less about form than they are about the activity involved in amassing and assembling the forms.”

Washburn has shown at the Deutsche Guggenheim, the 2008 Whitney Biennial and she is represented by Zach Fehlauer Gallery in NY.  She received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts (NY). She is the daughter of two Guilford alumni, Parker (‘69) and Arthur (‘69) Washburn.

This lecture is an incredible learning opportunity for anyone interested in art. It’s also free of charge and on Guilford’s campus, so don’t miss out!

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