At SOFA Chicago this week, artist Judy Mulford will present her remarkable room-sized mixed media installation Empty Chairs. The installation features a central sculpture entitled “What now?” she said. “What now?…What now?…What now?…” surrounded by 80 individually rendered chairs in frames. The intimate and emotional sculpture chronicles domestic life. The dollhouse chairs, dolls, buttons and embellishments used in the work were collected by the artist from family members, flea markets, antique stores and friends. Mulford spent a year on the work, which marks her upcoming 80th birthday. She has also produced a limited-edition book, 80 Empty Chairs, as a part of this project.
Mulford’s sculptures have been exhibited at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery and The Textile Museum, Washington, D.C. and the 12th International Biennial of Tapestry in Hungary. Mulford’s work is informed by her studies of the basket-making culture of Micronesia, particularly on the islands of Truk and Ulithi. She was a member of the studio team for Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party in the 1970s.
Mulford will speak at her Special Exhibition booth, SE221, and sign copies of her book at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, November 4th. Mulford will also be at browngrotta arts, Booth 921 at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday the 6th and will be available for questions and conversation throughout SOFA.