Pati Hill: Photocopier

Arcadia University

2014
$78,500

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Pati Hill, Alphabet of Common Objects, c. 1975-79, 45 black and white copier prints, each 11” x 8.5,″ part of Arcadia University Art Gallery's 2015 exhibition Pati Hill: Photocopier. Courtesy Estate of Pati Hill and Arcadia.

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Pati Hill, A Swan: An Opera in Nine Chapters (detail from Chapter 1), 1978, black & white copier print, 8 1/8” x 10 11/16”, from an installation comprised of 32 captioned copier prints. Courtesy of the Estate of Pati Hill.

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Installation view of Pati Hill: Photocopier, Arcadia University Art Gallery. A Swan: An Opera in Nine Chapters, 1978, 32 captioned black & white copier prints, dimensions variable. Photo by Aaron Igler, Greenhouse Media, courtesy of the estate of Pati Hill.

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Installation view of Pati Hill: Photocopier, Arcadia University Art Gallery. Left: Photocopied Garments, 1976, 9 examples from the series of black & white copier prints. Photo by Aaron Igler, Greenhouse Media, courtesy of the estate of Pati Hill.

This groundbreaking exhibition presented the early artwork of the late Pati Hill, an American writer who pioneered the use of the photocopier as an artistic tool in the 1970s. The exhibition surveyed black and white prints made between 1974 and 1983. Using the machine to scan objects as quotidian as a gum wrapper or as unexpected as a dead swan, Hill published many of the resulting images alongside her own texts. Through a chance encounter with designer Charles Eames in 1977, Hill acquired an IBM office copier, which the manufacturer installed in her home. Hill relocated to France in the early 1980s, where she continued to experiment with the machine and, with the assistance of her husband, gallerist Paul Bianchini, supported others doing the same in Paris and Sens, where she lived until her death in September 2014. Having worked closely with the artist herself, Arcadia presented the first comprehensive exhibition of this largely unknown body of work, accompanied by a publication and a series of public programs.


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