Philadelphia

Sonya Clark, Many (detail), one hundred linen flags, each 18 1⁄2 × 36".

Sonya Clark, Many (detail), one hundred linen flags, each 18 1⁄2 × 36".

Sonya Clark

The Fabric Workshop and Museum

African American Museum in Philadelphia

Sonya Clark, Many (detail), one hundred linen flags, each 18 1⁄2 × 36".

NEARLY A DECADE AGO, during a research fellowship at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC, Sonya Clark noticed a small object that has preoccupied her ever since: a portion of a humble dishcloth, displayed in the same exhibition as Abraham Lincoln’s top hat at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, that had been offered in surrender at Appomattox, a crucial final battle of the Civil War. Clark recognized the potential of this emblem of peace in an increasingly polarized nation and set out to “amplify” it during a two-year residency at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia (aptly located in a former flag factory). Her culminating exhibition there centered on Monumental, 2019, a huge re-creation of the dishcloth, laid out on an angled platform similar to that used in the Smithsonian’s display of the equally huge Star-Spangled Banner

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the September 2019 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.