The exhibition at Temple Contemporary (April 25–July 12, 2019) showcased photographs by the iconic feminist artist and Tyler alumna that had never been printed or shown prior.
Photograph above: Hannah Wilke, Untitled, circa 1975, from the Gum in Landscape Series, Hannah Wilke placing a chewing gum sculpture on a tree branch. Photograph on home page: Hannah Wilke, “Gum in Cherry Tree,” 1976, from the California Series, 1976, archival pigment print, 2019, 24 x 36 inches. Both from the Hannah Wilke Collection & Archive, Los Angeles, © Scharlatt (licensed by VAGA at ARS, New York).
The Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University was honored to present the work of alumna and feminist icon Hannah Wilke (above), who studied at Tyler from 1957 to 1962 and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art and a Bachelor of Science in Education.
“Hannah Wilke: Sculpture in the Landscape” was organized in collaboration with the Hannah Wilke Collection & Archive, Los Angeles. Directed by Wilke’s family, the archive contains Wilke’s correspondence, papers, photographs and hundreds of works by Wilke, some of which have been exhibited by the family since Wilke’s death in 1993.
For the exhibition, the Hannah Wilke Collection & Archive agreed to present photographs Wilke titled the Gum in Landscape Series and photographs of ceramic and bronze sculpture in the landscape that were never printed or shown during her lifetime. This exhibition and its accompanying catalog provided a rare opportunity to experience a previously unknown body of Hannah Wilke’s work and gain a new perspective on this legendary artist.
“What a thrill to see this body of work and share it with the public for the first time,” said Tyler Dean Susan E. Cahan. “Hannah Wilke is part of a lineage of extraordinary women who earned their degrees here: Barbara Chase-Riboud, Ree Morton, Louise Fishman, Paula Scher, Laurie Simmons, Lisa Yuskavage, Jennifer Packer, Doreen Garner—I could go on. It’s a legacy that’s an enormous source of pride for Tyler.”
“Hannah Wilke: Sculpture in the Landscape” was an outcome of the ongoing Temple Contemporary initiative Tyler Mentors. This unique program supports working relationships between the Tyler School of Art and Architecture’s distinguished alumni and our recent graduates. Lauren Rosenblum, who received her master’s degree in art history from Tyler in 2012 and a PhD student in art history at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, was selected by the Hannah Wilke Collection & Archive, Los Angeles, as an emerging scholar whose research interests in the history of feminist art practice and the landscape were an ideal match for this project. Rosenblum’s research for her catalog essay, “Before her Landscape, a Backdrop for Hannah Wilke’s California Series,” included a trip to the Hannah Wilke Collection & Archive, Los Angeles.
The photographs in the exhibition revealed an "unexplored arc of Wilke's creative work: oblique references to the design and depiction of an alluring, picturesque landscape as manifestation of her feminist politics," said Rosenblum. "Wilke's photographs register both metaphors of woman as nature and woman in nature."
Funding for “Hannah Wilke: Sculpture in the Landscape” was generously provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Tyler School of Art and Architecture’s Office of the Dean and the Department of Exhibitions & Public Programs, as well as Temple University’s General Activities Fund.
“Hannah Wilke: Sculpture in the Landscape” was on view at Temple Contemporary within the Tyler School of Art and Architecture from April 25 through July 12, 2019.