Persisting Matters: An Artist Talk Series – Sheila Pepe in conversation with Lex Lancaster


November 07, 2023, 6:00 PM

General Admission: FREE


Join us for the first in a series of encounters and conversations with contemporary artists, starting with Sheila Pepe and Lex Lancaster.

Persisting Matters is a series of talks that places contemporary artists in conversation with scholars, curators, critics, and the public. The series is developed in the context of CIMA’s 2023-2024 exhibition, Transatlantic Bridges: Corrado Cagli, 1938-1948, and supported by a grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Cagli saw his artistic practice as a tool for anti-rhetorical resistance and critique to power in times of exile, displacement and trauma. Questions of gender, racism, political oppression and resilience through art and community practices were central to his work in the years of his exile from Italy, due to the country’s racial laws. Persisting Matters engages contemporary artists, whose practices explore these pressing subjects in their individual context and prism.

About Sheila Pepe:

Sheila Pepe is best known for crocheting her large-scale, ephemeral installations and sculpture made from domestic and industrial materials. However, the exhibition Sheila Pepe: Hot Mess Formalism, curated by Gilbert Vicario for the Phoenix Museum of Art, and the catalog published with it, showed us that Pepe has built a more expansive and complex way of working since her start in the mid-1980s.

For more than 30 years she has accumulated a family resemblance (see Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations) of works in sculpture—installation—drawing and other singular and hybrid forms. Some are drawings that are sculpture—or sculpture that is furniture, fiber works that appear as paintings, and tabletop objects that look like models for monuments, and stand as votives for a secular religion. The cultural sources and the meanings twisted together are from canonical arts of the 20th century, home crafts, lesbian, queer and feminist aesthetics, 2nd Vatican Council American design, an array of Roman Catholic sources as well as their ancient precedents.

The constant conceptual pursuit of Pepe’s research, making, teaching and writing has been to contest received knowledge, opinions and taste.

Pepe’s My Neighbor’s Garden, commissioned by the Madison Square Park Conservancy, will be on view through December 10th. Related press and other links can be found at

About Lex Morgan Lancaster:

Lex Morgan Lancaster (they/them) is a scholar and curator who focuses on queer, trans, anti-racist, and crip contributions to the field of contemporary art. The author of Dragging Away: Queer Abstraction in Contemporary Art (Duke University Press, 2022), Lancaster’s scholarship focuses on queer and trans approaches to abstraction and the politics of formal and material strategies in contemporary art. Lancaster is Assistant Professor of Art History at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.

This series is developed through a grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Light refreshments will be provided!