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install view of Samara Golden Exhibition

Night Gallery is pleased to announce Samara Golden's solo exhibition Upstairs at Steve's at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, PA. As the museum's press release states,

The exhibition will premiere a new installation by contemporary artist Samara Golden created during her 2019-2020 residency at FWM. The elaborate installation was only partially completed when Philadelphia’s shelter-in-place orders were enforced in March. With Golden consulting remotely, the FWM Studio completed the installation after a five-month hiatus, infusing the post-disaster seaside scene with layered meanings.

At once infinite and ephemeral, Golden’s immersive structures have been described as psychological architecture for the way they thoughtfully embed layers of consciousness within socio-economic stratification. Upstairs at Steve’s depicts a complete upending of an outdoor tableau, set in a seaside landscape. The exhibition reveals a mysterious confluence of biography, history, psychology, and nature. Familiar household objects are strewn across the dunes, as if deposited from a natural disaster, with an accompanying soundscape adding another atmospheric layer.

To achieve the dueling sensations of depth and expanse, the artist distorts perspective with strategically placed mirrors, prompting viewers to question what is real and what is illusion. Golden has introduced a new dimension to her signature practice of warping space—notably employed in her installation, The Meat Grinder’s Iron Clothes, at the 2017 Whitney Biennial—as she looks to the outdoors. Building upon the artist’s original soundscape, visitors are invited to submit audio recordings of their immediate surroundings, with the goal of generating a cumulative and collaborative soundscape over the course of the exhibition.

FWM’s Artist-in-Residence program is renowned for pushing artists to experiment with new media and processes, take risks, and ultimately expand their practices as they create new works of art. As part of her residency, Golden researched patterns found in historical swatch books in noted textile collections, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library. These include 1836-1926 printed cottons and silks from William Simpson’s Washington Print Works and its successor Joseph Bancroft and Sons. For the installation, she chose to juxtapose these with the more recognizable designs from specific parts of her life spanning childhood to the present, collapsing time, history, and memory.

Support for Samara Golden: Upstairs at Steve’s is provided by The Coby Foundation, Ltd., The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, Maja Paumgarten and John Parker, CANADA Gallery, and Budmen Industries.


Samara Golden (b. 1973, Ann Arbor, Michigan) has had solo exhibitions at MoMA PS1, New York; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Night Gallery, Los Angeles; and CANADA, New York. In 2019, she presented new work in the group exhibition "Psyche & Politics" at Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden. Her monumental installation "The Meat Grinder's Iron Clothes” was featured in the 2017 Whitney Biennial. She has also been included in group exhibitions at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; Nicelle Beauchene, New York; the Yuz Museum, Shanghai; and was featured in the 2014 Hammer Biennial, Los Angeles and "Room to Live" at MOCA Los Angeles. In 2015 a monograph on Golden was published by MoMA PS1, and her work has been written about in ArtForumArt in AmericaThe New York TimesThe New Yorker, and Mousse among other publications. Golden’s work is in the permanent collection of The Whitney Museum, New York; LACMA, and MOCA in Los Angeles; The Zabludowicz Collection, London; and Yuz Museum, Shanghai. She lives and works in Los Angeles.