The Seattle Art Museum presents Sondra Perry: Eclogue for [in]HABITABILITY (December 8, 2017–July 1, 2018), the solo exhibition of Sondra Perry, winner of the 2017 Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Prize. The second in a series, the mixed-media installation presents a visual eclogue—or short pastoral poem—about real and virtual landscapes, investigating ideas of race, class, abstraction, and representation.
Perry has already made a mark in Seattle; her video Double Quadruple Etcetera Etcetera opened SAM’s exhibition Disguise: Masks and Global African Art (June 18–September 7, 2015). With Eclogue for [in]HABITABILITY, Perry creates an immersive mixed-media installation. A refurbished backhoe sits in the center of the gallery, surrounded on three sides by video projections using layers of images from a host of sources, including the artist’s own archive, drones, and the internet. With the imaginative qualities of science fiction, the installation highlights the precarious relationship between people and place, drawing connections between humankind’s continued transformation of land and the racialization and gentrification of bodies, technology, and physical spaces.
In addition to this solo exhibition, staged in the museum’s Gwendolyn Knight & Jacob Lawrence Gallery, Perry received a $10,000 award to further her artistic practice.
The exhibition is curated by Sandra Jackson-Dumont, Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chairman of Education at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and SAM’s former Deputy Director for Education and Public Programs/Adjunct Curator in Modern and Contemporary Art.
ABOUT SONDRA PERRY
New Jersey-based video installation and performance artist Sondra Perry has exhibited in group shows at MoMA PS1, Seattle Art Museum, Brooklyn Museum, and The Studio Museum in Harlem, and has participated in residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and the Experimental Television Center. Perry holds an MFA from Columbia University and a BFA from Alfred University. For more information, visit sondraperry.com.
EXHIBITION ORGANIZATION AND SUPPORT
SAM’s Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Prize is awarded biannually to an early career black artist who has been producing work for less than 10 years.
Sondra Perry is a recipient of the Seattle Art Museum’s Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Prize. Funding for the prize and exhibition is provided by the Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence and Jacob Lawrence Endowment and generous support from the Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation.
Image credits: Installation view of Sondra Perry: Eclogue for [in]HABITABILITY at the Seattle Art Museum. © Seattle Art Museum. Photo: Natali Wiseman.
ABOUT SEATTLE ART MUSEUM
As the leading visual art institution in the Pacific Northwest, SAM draws on its global collections, powerful exhibitions, and dynamic programs to provide unique educational resources benefiting the Seattle region, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond. SAM was founded in 1933 with a focus on Asian art. By the late 1980s the museum had outgrown its original home, and in 1991 a new 155,000-square-foot downtown building, designed by Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates, opened to the public. The 1933 building was renovated and reopened as the Seattle Asian Art Museum in 1994. SAM’s desire to further serve its community was realized in 2007 with the opening of two stunning new facilities: the nine-acre Olympic Sculpture Park (designed by Weiss/Manfredi Architects)—a “museum without walls,” free and open to all—and the Allied Works Architecture designed 118,000-square-foot expansion of its main, downtown location, including 232,000 square feet of additional space built for future expansion. The Olympic Sculpture Park and SAM’s downtown expansion celebrate their 10th anniversary in 2017.
From a strong foundation of Asian art to noteworthy collections of African and Oceanic art, Northwest Coast Native American art, European and American art, and modern and contemporary art, the strength of SAM’s collection of approximately 25,000 objects lies in its diversity of media, cultures, and time periods.