Press Release

Coming This Summer: PAFA Presents "SWARM."

Forging individual and collective identities across diasporas, dislocations, and reformations

PHILADELPHIA (May 18, 2018) -- The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is pleased to showcase the work of artists Didier William and Nestor Armando Gil/Taller Workshop in the exhibition SWARM., on view from June 28–September 9, 2018 in both the Fisher Brooks and Morris Galleries, across the campus of PAFA's Samuel M.V. Hamilton and Historic Landmark Buildings.

To "swarm" is to teem, to converge and to confront en masse, period. SWARM. beckons viewers, as an imperative, to physically and intellectually "swarm" conceptions of colonialism in order to disarm narratives of power.

SWARM. is organized into five thematic sections which explore revolution, spirituality, process, migratory identity, and affect, in which William and Gil reveal their multilayered Haitian and Cuban heritages, respectively, inflected by the diasporic communities they call home in the United States. Viewers will encounter more than 30 works in a variety of media such as printmaking, painting, sculpture, installation, and performance.

"PAFA is honored to organize and present SWARM., a project of Didier William and Nestor Gil that asks us to examine places of power and confront our notions of America," said Brooke Davis Anderson, Edna S. Tuttleman Director of the Museum. "As a museum committed to telling the sweeping story of American art, we are looking forward to a summer that reflects the creative diaspora of Caribbean communities, in particular, Haitian and Cuban."

Nestor Armando Gil (b. 1971) was born to Cuban immigrants in Florida and is active in the United States as an artist and Assistant Professor of Sculpture and Media at Lafayette College in Easton, PA. His work, made in collaboration with his network at Lafayette and beyond—Taller Workshop—examines movement, memory, and loss within diasporic communities in sculpture, printmaking, and performance.

Didier William (b. 1983), born in Haiti and active in the United States, is a painter and printmaker whose work critiques the historical narratives of colonialism through strategies of mythmaking. He is currently Chair of PAFA's MFA program.

Last Updated
July 9, 2018 - 10:37 AM

About PAFA

Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is America's first school and museum of fine arts. A recipient of the National Medal of Arts, PAFA offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the fine arts, innovative exhibitions of historic and contemporary American art, and a world-class collection of American art. PAFA’s esteemed alumni include Mary Cassatt, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Thomas Eakins, William Glackens, Barkley L. Hendricks, Violet Oakley, Louis Kahn, David Lynch, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.