Taking Place is a 2,700 sq. ft. wall painting installation by Savannah-based artist, Vanessa Platacis, that reimagines some of PEM’s most beloved objects. The artist researched the museum’s vast and varied holdings, diving deep to find unexpected connections across time, cultures, and materials. Platacis turned her findings into 210 canvas stencils—all drawn and cut by hand with X-Acto blades. After applying the stencils to the walls, she and her assistant used a variety of spray-paint and graffiti techniques, including drop shadows, high contrast, and layering, to apply color to the walls and give dimensionality and life to her forms. Organic forms and curvilinear lines emerged as unifying design motifs that speak to the natural world. As you move deeper into these galleries, floral forms give way to enchanting fauna and larger-than-life presentations of familiar and unexpected objects. Platacis’ labor-intensive contemporary approach to painting connects to the artistry and skill embedded within the historical objects in PEM’s collection, creating a fascinating interplay between artistic practice then and now.
*PEM’s annual gala will celebrate the opening of the museum’s new wing on the evening of Saturday, September 21. Learn more at pem.org/gala
*Please save the date for a press preview reception on Wednesday, September 25 from 6-8pm. Invitation to follow.
*Member Preview Days will be held on Thursday, September 26 and Friday, September 27 from 10am – 5pm. Join now and become a member at: pem.org/join-give
*PEM’s new wing will open to the public with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, September 28.
For more information: Peabody Essex Museum
Boston Magazine: Vanessa Platacis is Spray Painting the Peabody Essex Museum for Taking Place
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Through its exhibitions, programs, publications, media and related activities, PEM strives to create experiences that transform people's lives by broadening their perspectives, attitudes, and knowledge of themselves and the wider world. More than a decade ago, the Peabody Essex began a comprehensive campaign to conceptually and physically integrate, interpret and exhibit the full breadth of museum collections for the first time in its 200-year history.
The museum also set out to greatly enrich and enhance all its programs. During the last several years, the Peabody Essex has ranked among the top museums in the nation for collection acquisitions through purchase and gift. The institution's $194 million transformation resulted in the creation of a new and major museum, serving people in Greater Boston, New England, the nation and the world. At its opening in June 2003, its facilities ranked among the 25 largest art museums in the nation. The suite of new galleries dedicated to changing exhibitions is among the largest on the East Coast. As of 2015, the Peabody Essex Museum has distinguished itself as one of the fastest-growing art museums in North America.