The installation Democracy was commissioned for MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) for the exhibition Oh, Canada. The work remained in the gallery from 2012 to 2014. The exhibition was curated by Denise Markonish.
Democracy recreates on a vastly enlarged scale a frieze designed by the American architect Louis Sullivan, the father of the modern skyscraper, for the tomb of Charlotte Dickson Wainwright, the wife of his client Ellis Wainwright (1892). Although the forms of Sullivan’s proto-modernist buildings are quite minimal, intricate and complex ornament is stunningly integrated into their surfaces. Sullivan wrote of an understanding of ornament based on his ideas of natural law, notably the unmanicured growth of plants, including weeds, as an expression of American democratic principle.
Made with the assistance of Red Armstrong
Dimensions: 3.5 x 40.5 m (11’ 6” x 133’)
Materials: flock directly on gallery wall
Photography: Art Evans