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J. Morgan Puett: {of, with, as, for, them, and, it} Workstylings

Alexander Gray Associates
508 West 26th Street, 2nd floor, 212-399-2636
January 6 - February 6, 2010
Reception: Saturday, February 6, 4 - 6 PM
Web Site

Closing reception and event: Saturday, February 6, 2010, 4-6 PM

Alexander Gray Associates is pleased to announce a project by artist and fashion designer J. Morgan Puett. Based on Puett’s concept of “workstyles”, an integrative approach to artmaking, lifestyle, sustainability, and industrial life, the project activates the gallery as a hybridized exhibition and studio space, convening mechanism and showroom.

In the gallery space, Puett has installed a moving platform of burnt wood and steel, on which a tableau of personal artifacts and research materials are gathered: books, sewing machines, measuring tools, antique textiles, benches, chairs, shelves and surfaces. Within this dynamic apparatus, Puett will conduct further research and dialogue with invited participants from a range of fields including artists, designers, performers, scientists, academics, business leaders and journalists. The installation will change daily, as emotions, stories, objects and texts are considered and arranged by Puett and the participants; this approach reflects Puett’s commitment to community activity, shared experience, and exchanged labor.

Conversations taking place within this architecture will inform Puett’s on-going investigations on the history and changing frameworks of fashion and retail; the result, at the end of the gallery presentation, will be a new clothing system, patterns for these clothes, and fabric-based artworks incorporating algorithms developed in the process. Following the presentation at Alexander Gray Associates, this evolving project will take place at the Queens Museum of Art with support from the Smithsonian Institution’s Artist Research Fellowship Program.

Since 2006, Puett has re-imagined community and learning environments through her summer project, Mildred’s Lane, a hybridized art education institute and residency program co-founded with Mark Dion in rural Pennsylvania; this approach to collaborative practice has also taken place at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Headlands Center for the Arts/California College of Arts.

J. Morgan Puett (b. 1957, Hahira, GA) emerged in the mid-1980s in New York as a celebrated fashion designer, rising to prominence for her hand-made and richly textured clothing, and for the quirky and patinated environments she designed as stores and creative generators in SoHo and TriBeCa neighborhoods until 2001. Since then, she has focused her endeavors on large-scale collaborative projects that extend her interest in the cultural manifestations of fashion and site; projects have been commissioned by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Santa Barbara Contemporary Art Forum; the Abington Art Center, Philadelphia; Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA; Artex, Arnhern, Amsterdam; The Fabric Workshop Museum, Philadelphia; Wave Hill, Bronx, New York; the Serpentine Gallery, London; and the 2002 Spoletto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. Puett received her BFA and MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago.
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