The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) is an internationally recognized art museum with an active studio and artist-in-residence program. Research, construction, and fabrication occur on site in studios that are open to the public. Founded in 1977, FWM initially invited visual artists to Philadelphia to experiment with fabric in its workshops, and it later expanded tools to accommodate a wide range of innovative materials and media. Resident artists over the years have included Laurie Anderson, Mark Bradford, Louise Bourgeois, Glenn Ligon, Ed Ruscha, Yinka Shonibare, Sarah Sze, and dozens of others.
This grant supported a two-year artist residency by Sarah Sze—a MacArthur Fellowship recipient widely recognized for her dazzlingly intricate, site-specific installations made of everyday consumer, industrial, and organic materials including tea bags, water bottles, and electric fans. Sze's time at the Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) will conclude with a massive installation in December 2013, in which she will weave objects throughout three floors of FWM's Arch Street building, creating a narrative that unfolds as viewers move sequentially through the space. Sze has exhibited at major international venues such as the Venice Biennale, the Whitney Biennial, and the Carnegie International. Her show at FWM, which has presented more than 500 exhibitions and projects with artists working in all media since its founding in 1977, will be her first in Philadelphia. FWM will produce a documentary video on Sze's work, and will set up an interactive kiosk for visitors to learn more about specific objects and materials used in the installation. A special microsite, accessible from the FWM website, will feature video clips and journal-like updates on Sze's work process as she develops the installation.