Paper Architecture / Architecture de Papier

An exhibition by Marjorie Welish and Olivier Gourvil of work and drawings produced through correspondence


Fields of Knowledge
  • Aesthetics / Media
  • Artistic legacies

Organizing Institutions



Fifth Floor Foundation

Opens to public





4017 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104


25% Formal - 75% Informal

  • Welish

Slought is pleased to announce "Paper Architecture / Architecture de Papier," a dialogue through working drawings by Marjorie Welish and Olivier Gourvil, on display from September 1-October 22, 2005.

In 1999, face-to-face conversations led to the idea of exchanging titles with which these painters might provoke one another to imagine conceptual architecture. A selection of the drawings thus produced, together with a sampling of their correspondence, is on view at Slought, accompanied by an essay by Joseph Masheck.

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Tuesday, 29 August 2000


Thank you for your message. I must tell you I was thinking of you last week! I'm working on the notion of titles, titles that artists give to their abstract paintings [...] Here are some extracts of a project ("WORKING TITLES) I am trying to realize [...]

• Each artist invents, more or less, his own system, his own 'Amacine' [Deleuze] to title his works.

• "Working titles" proposes a project of collaborating with the public on the title of a given work.

• For me, the question of the title is that of the name. How to name?

Do you remember your suggestion of collaborative drawings? Do you remember that I didn't feel ready for it? This project is not so far from your original suggestion: do you think a project of "collaborative titles" could take place between us? I could send you French titles and you could reply with a drawing...and the same for me. Please, feel free to tell me what you think about such a project.

Best regards,


Monday, October 2, 2000


Many conceptual possibilities suggest themselves in the aftermath of Reinhardt's so –called turning off the light. Here are a few, some of which correspond to contemporary intellectual developments.

Analytical propositions for grammatical sentences such as: A column falls. Pragmatic propositions, such: Hold that beam! (Wittgenstein's meaning as use.) Nonsensical propositions, such as Duchamp contrived for two doorways sharing one door. Theoretical propositions: door through wall/door through-out wall (one of my favorites so far).

Olivier, what do you think of the notion of titling the House series of drawings "Paper Architecture?"

Notes from the think tank,


The paintings of Marjorie Welish, at the Baumgartner Gallery, in New York, and at the Aaron Galleries, in Chicago, provide a context for the notational implication of drawings shown at Slought Foundation. Welish is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, the International Studio Program, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding. She is the author of Signifying Art: Essays on Art After 1960 (Cambridge University Press, 1999). In April 2002, Slought Foundation and the University of Pennsylvania produced a conference on her art and writing, the proceedings of which became Of the Diagram: The work of Marjorie Welish (Slought Books, 2003).

Olivier Gourvil lives and works in Paris. Recent exhibitions of his paintings include the Artothèque de Caen (2004), the Rue Montgrand (Marseille, 2004), and the Sympra (Stuttgart, 2004). His upcoming exhibitions in Europe are at La Galeru (2005), Fontenay (www.lagaleru.org/), and at Duende Studios, Rotterdam, where he is an artist-in-residence for 2006. A relationship between text, drawings, and paintings usually forms the basis of his exhibitions.

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Poet, painter, and critic Marjorie Welish, known for her independence from fixed schools of thought and a desire to re-think classifications, is the subject of essays by poets, visual artists, historians, and architects.

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