38 Orchard street, New York, NY
Jan 22 - Mar 11, 2020
“The power of play has always been at the forefront of Fort Makers’ design philosophy. Puffy is an embodiment of our mission to design objects and environments that stimulate the viewer and encourage a creative exchange of ideas.”
Fort Makers is pleased to present Puffy, the third exhibition at the design collective’s gallery space and concept store since its opening last fall. Organized by Fort Makers’ original founders Naomi S. Clark, Noah James Spencer and Nana Spears, Puffy comprises a canvas-padded, full-room installation that harnesses the power of play in sculpture, participatory performance, and interactive design.
Drawing from a body of work that reimagines the stage, Fort Makers has transformed its exhibition space into a puffy “forest” constructed of soft, sculptural pillows hanging from the gallery’s interiors. The floating pillow composition will be encapsulated by canvas-cushioned architecture that has been treated with gestural paint marks by Naomi S. Clark. Visitors are encouraged to reconfigure the colorful plush shapes that form the installation to fashion the space to their choosing. Removing the object from its pedestal, Puffy takes a Noguchi-like approach towards the necessity of the “playground” in sculptural spaces.
Clark's work with Fort Makers—from painting on old wool blankets to her more recent canvas poufs and ottomans—has often centered play and tactility as modes of world building. In the days leading up to the opening, the windows to 38 Orchard will be left uncovered while Clark paints, turning the installation process into a live painting for passersby. Keeping with Fort Makers’ signature eye for color, Clark will paint the padded space in lavender, cobalt, chartreuse, poppy red, maroon, mint and pumpkin orange. Within this vibrant backdrop, the smaller stuffed pieces camouflage into a compositionally fluid but formally consistent landscape of bold hues and soft surfaces.
The exhibition incorporates art pieces from two previous Fort Makers projects: stage design from 2014 for MoMA PS1’s Warm Up outdoor music series, and an interactive wall installation in collaboration with magnetic wall covering company Visual Magnetics in 2017. Puffy is a continuation of the interactive spirit of these objects’ past lives—to enter the space, visitors trade in their shoes for a pair of bootie-slippers, and with them, a full-body freedom to play, rest, or dream.