Frances Trombly: ZONA MACO Sur

Frances Trombly

February 7 - 11, 2018

Mexico City, Mexico

Emerson Dorsch presents new handwoven fabric sculptures by Frances Trombly. They shape-shift from painting to sculpture and back to fabric always with an elegant aesthetic, challenging assumptions of how to produce meaning in post-disciplinary craft.

MIAMI, FL—Emerson Dorsch is pleased to announce that the gallery will exhibit Frances Trombly at the ZONA MACO art fair in Mexico City this February. Frances Trombly’s work was selected to be part of ZONAMACO SUR, a special section curated by Kiki Mazzucchelli, who presents “The Logic of Materials,” with artworks in which the articulation of different materials plays an essential role in the construction of meanings.

Frances Trombly is a weaver. She uses her hand-woven fabric to shapeshift between art forms according to her whim. But there’s never a whim in Frances’ sculpture – she ties up months of work in a piece that seems effortless.

In the past she made representations of every day objects, mise en scene, left behind in a way to suggest that something happened there recently. These were crumpled pieces of paper, left on the floor, or receipts tacked on the wall. Each piece was handwoven and/or hand-embroidered. The labor revealed on the second look underlines the will behind her decisions of content and placement. They were laborious ready-mades. Someone, after all, always does the work.

Her work has, since 2010, explored the potential of her fabric sculpture to shift form between paintings or sculptures. In other cases they accentuate architecture or the fabric itself. She does not use paint. In her 2010 show at Girls Club Collection, she stretched, leaned, floored and upholstered bare handwoven canvas. In Over and Under, her 2013 piece at Locust Projects, a bolt of hand-dyed vivid yellow fabric draped, zig-zag fashion, through the rungs of an aluminum scaffold. She sought to recall the forms of industrial looms, their usual purpose, and their history too. Textiles were one of the earliest innovations in the industrial revolution to take women from their cottage industries into a far more alienating workforce. She also refers to her own history (in the making) since the scaffold was purchased with funds in the budget for the show to support her alternative art space, which in turn supported her studio space. More key actions reveal themselves in this piece – work, time, drape and interconnectivity. In Blue Folds (2015) (pictured) Trombly wove blue thread into her fabric as if to highlight her favorite detail – the peaks in the fabric’s graceful drape.

In a review for the Los Angeles Times, Leah Ollman wrote, “What confident trespassers, the works of Frances Trombly. Sculptures, weavings, installations — they meander into all sorts of territory, straddling genre lines and tunneling through hierarchical divides. They make a quietly defiant case for the complex richness of multiplicity, simultaneity.”

About Frances Trombly

Frances Trombly has exhibited at Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH; American University, Washington, DC; Prosjektrom Normanns, Stavanger, Norway; Locust Projects, Miami, FL; The Abrons Art Center, New York, NY; The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT; the Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, FL; Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia, PA; and Socrates Sculpture Park, New York. Her work is represented in the public collections of Pérez Art Museum Miami; the NSU Art Museum, Fort Lauderdale, FL; The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, Miami, FL; and the University of Maine, Museum of Art, Bangor, ME. Selected private collections include Jorge Pérez, Paul and Estelle Berg, Francie Bishop-Good and David Horvitz, and the Ruth and Marvin Sackner Collection. She runs an alternative art space called Dimensions Variable with Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova. Her bibliography includes hyperallergic.com, The Miami Herald, Sculpture Magazine, El Nuevo Herald, Miami New Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times. A catalog of her watershed series Paintings, shown at Girls’ Club Collection in Fort Lauderdale, was published in 2011. She is represented by Emerson Dorsch, Miami and Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Los Angeles.

Selected Works


Exhibition, News

December 20, 2021


October 29, 2020


October 27, 2019

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