November 4, 2017 – March 4, 2018

Pati Hill, A Swan: An Opera in Nine Chapters (detail of Chapter 5), 1978, installation of thirty-two captioned black and white copier prints, 13.75″ x 8.25″; Image courtesy of Estate of Pati Hill.

This exhibition considers the first phase of the cross-disciplinary art of Pati Hill (1921-2014). Although her exploration of the copier, which she called “a found instrument—a saxophone without directions,” did not begin until the early 1970s, Hill is regarded as a pioneer due to her singular approach and commitment to the medium. A resident of Stonington, Connecticut from 1957 to 1989, Hill developed ways to use the machine that were shaped by her experience as a published writer.

Employing the copier to record items as common as a gum wrapper or as unexpected as a dead swan, she also applied the process to transform appropriated photographs for her experiments with narrative. The exhibition features twelve different projects, including Hill’s attempt to photocopy the palace and grounds of Versailles, and is accompanied by a generously illustrated catalog with texts by 14 authors.

Pati Hill: Photocopier is a traveling exhibition organized by Arcadia University Art Gallery. Original support for Pati Hill: Photocopier was provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Philadelphia. Additional assistance has been contributed by Dorothy Lichtenstein; Kaja Silverman, through her distinguished Achievement Award from the Mellon Foundation; and the Estate of Pati Hill.

Pati Hill, Alphabet of Common Objects, c. 1975-79, 45 black and white copier prints, each 11” x 8.5″; Image courtesy Estate of Pati Hill.
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