The New York Times, July 28, 2021
Tilda Swinton's Orlando Inaugurates Princeton University Art Museum's New Photo-Focused Gallery, Art on Hulfish
Innovative and visually arresting exhibition of contemporary photography to open Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021
PRINCETON, NJ— Orlando, an exhibition of contemporary photography guest-curated by award-winning actor Tilda Swinton, will open Saturday, Dec. 4, and launch Art on Hulfish, a new gallery space from the Princeton University Art Museum.
Art on Hulfish showcases a roster of exhibitions led by photography that will consider issues of profound impact on 21st-century life. Located in downtown Princeton, it encompasses some 3,000 square feet of exhibition space and another 2,000 square feet for public programming, ranging from drop-in activities to scheduled work with artists. Admission is free. The gallery will present four exhibitions each year until late 2024, when the Museum’s new building designed by Sir David Adjaye is projected to open.
The exhibition Orlando is inspired by the themes of Virginia Woolf’s revolutionary 1928 novel Orlando: A biography—the story of a young aristocrat who lives for three centuries without aging and shifts gender along the way—and Sally Potter’s equally groundbreaking 1992 film Orlando, which featured an androgynous Swinton in the starring role. Woolf’s tale has long held sway over Swinton, who invited 11 photographers to create or gather work inspired by the novel and the film and their themes of expansiveness and the possibilities of human experience. The resulting exhibition of more than 50 riveting, multifaceted photographs includes baroque inventions by Mickalene Thomas, layered images by Carmen Winant, and fragmented figural studies by Paul Mpagi Sepuya, among others.
“Visually lush and richly provocative, Orlando is a wonderful project with which to launch our new photography-forward gallery space, which is designed to bring together public and University audiences during the years in which a new Museum home on the Princeton campus is under construction,” said James Steward, Nancy A. Nasher–David J. Haemisegger, Class of 1976, director. “Tilda Swinton’s curatorial eye is an apt marker of our wider commitment to sharing our institutional voice, just as the exhibition models our wider commitment to breaking down barriers to participation.”
“Woolf wrote Orlando in an attitude of celebration of the oscillating nature of existence,” Swinton has written. “She believed the creative mind to be androgynous. I have come to see Orlando far less as being about gender than about the flexibility of the fully awake and sensate spirit.”
Orlando will be on view at Art on Hulfish Dec. 4, 2021 through Jan. 23, 2022. Art on Hulfish joins Art@Bainbridge, the museum’s other satellite gallery in Princeton’s Bainbridge House, a revolutionary-era building retrofit to present primarily solo installations by emerging and early-career artists throughout the year.
Art on Hulfish is made possible by the leadership support of Annette Merle-Smith and by Princeton University. Additional generous support is provided by John Diekman, Class of 1965, and Susan Diekman; William S. Fisher, Class of 1979, and Sakurako Fisher; J. Bryan King, Class of 1993; Christopher E. Olofson, Class of 1992; Barbara and Gerald Essig; Jim and Valerie McKinney; Nancy A. Nasher, Class of 1976, and David J. Haemisegger, Class of 1976; H. Vincent Poor, Graduate Class of 1977; and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Orlando is organized by Aperture, New York, and made possible, in part, with the support of Slobodan Randjelović and Jon Stryker. Aperture also thanks ROOT STUDIOS for supporting the production of Mickalene Thomas’s work.
About the Princeton University Art Museum
With a collecting history that extends back to 1755, the Princeton University Art Museum is one of the leading university art museums in the country, with collections that have grown to include more than 112,000 works of art ranging from ancient to contemporary art and spanning the globe. Committed to advancing Princeton’s teaching and research missions, the Art Museum also serves as a gateway to the University for visitors from around the world.
The main Museum building is currently closed for the construction of a bold and welcoming new building, designed in partnership with Sir David Adjaye and slated to open in late 2024.
Art on Hulfish, located at 11 Hulfish Street in Palmer Square, will be open daily starting Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021.
Art@Bainbridge is also located in downtown Princeton at 158 Nassau Street. Art@Bainbridge hours are Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission to both galleries is free.
Please visit the Museum’s website for digital access to the collections, a diverse portfolio of virtual programs and updates on opportunities to visit in person.
The Museum Store in Palmer Square, located at 56 Nassau Street in downtown Princeton, is open daily, or shop online at princetonmuseumstore.org.
More information: artmuseum.princeton.edu
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Princeton University Art Museum
Amber Hendrickson, Blue Water Communications
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