Leah Modigliani: The City in Her Desolation
PAFA welcomes Artist-in-Residence Leah Modigliani to the Morris Gallery.
Modigliani, currently Assistant Professor of Visual Studies at Tyler School of Art at Temple University, is PAFA’s second Artist-in-Residence in a new program that provides opportunities for leading contemporary artists from around the world to teach and critique at PAFA.
As both an art historian and an artist, Modigliani studies the history of the avant-garde and its relationship to political critique, the history of conceptual art, social dissent since 1968, and feminist politics of visual representation and discourse.
Her creative and scholarly interventions employ the methods and languages of a variety of disciplines including fine arts, art history, critical theory, cultural studies, geography, and anthropology.
While at PAFA, the artist will delve into its history through its deep historical archives in the Center for the Study of the American Artist. Modigliani will create an installation based on the histories and the fates of two neoclassical figurative sculptures once commissioned to be donated to PAFA; William Wetmore Story’s Jerusalem in Her Desolation (1873) and G.B. Lombardi’s Deborah (1873).
The fate of all cities, and the fragile promise of the social contract of equality for all, is the subject of this work, which tracks the banishment, disposal, and eventual reclamation of two important works of art.