29 Nov 2020 / 17 Jul 2020

SITElab 14: Petah Coyne (postponed)

Petah Coyne creates intricate and sumptuous sculptures inspired by the narratives of history, literature, and the macabre with an array of highly evocative materials and forms. Her large-scale hanging sculptures and floor installations employ such evocative and disparate materials as pigmented wax, satin ribbons, silk flowers, velvet, and taxidermy. This summer SITE brings together several iconic works by Coyne in this special SITElab exhibition in celebration of SITE’s 25th Anniversary.

Central to Coyne’s SITE exhibition is Untitled #1379 (The Doctor’s Wife) (1997–2018), a sprawling sculptural landscape composed of handsewn Venetian velvet, silk flowers dipped in wax, a hanging structure, and cast statuary enshrouded in fabric. The work recalls the novel The Doctor’s Wife by Sawako Ariyoshi, one of the most renowned Japanese women writers. It spins a twisted tale inspired by Hanaoka Seishū, a real-life Japanese surgeon, the first to successfully utilize general anesthesia. Invoking the melodrama between his mother and young wife, The Doctor’s Wife forewarns against competition among women, the kind that ultimately keeps men in power.

Petah Coyne’s exhibition is presented on the occasion of SITE Santa Fe’s 25th Anniversary.