Back to All Events

Legal Tender

  • Little Berlin 2430 Coral St Philadelphia, PA, 19125 United States (map)

Join us on Saturday, September 13, 2014 for the opening reception of Legal Tender a solo exhibition by Emily Erb. Originally conceived by Gretchen Hupfel Curator of Contemporary Art, Maiza Hixson, the show is “traveling” from Delaware Center for Contemporary Art to Little Berlin.

LEGAL TENDER presented by Little Berlin

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 13, 6:00 -11:00pm
Closing Reception: Saturday, September 27, 6:00 - 11:00pm
Public Gallery Hours: Sat, September 20 and September 27 12:00 - 3:00pm or by appointment

Description of Exhibition:
Sep 13, 2014 - Sep 28, 2014

Philadelphia-based artist Emily Erb employs the ancient Indian technique of silk painting to reflect a global perspective on the history of American money. Winner of the People’s Choice Award for her textile-based, iconoclastic interpretation of Picasso’s Guernica (1937) from the DCCA’s 2011 MFA Biennial exhibition, Erb’s solo exhibition consists of new flag paintings depicting paper currency produced by the U.S. between 1862 and the present. 

In 2012, concurrent with the Occupy Movement’s protests against Wall Street, Erb began to examine the subject of money through her painting practice. Pulling a dollar out of her pocket and photocopying the front and back at 18 times its original size, the artist then layered silk fabric over the enlarged photocopy and trace-painted the two sides of the giant bill. The result was an enlarged replica that the artist hung like a flag in various public spaces throughout Philadelphia. 

In her latest series of oversized silk bills, Erb ironically offers up representations of metaphorically counterfeit money as a luxurious creative medium of exchange in silk paintings installed from flagpoles.The term “legal tender” is of Middle English and French origins and means to offer. Conflating American currency with patriotic symbols of national identity, the artist initiates a dialogue on what constitutes our collective value system in the wake of the subprime mortgage crisis and recent financial industry collapse.

-Maiza Hixson
Gretchen Hupfel Curator of Contemporary Art

Earlier Event: September 5
Later Event: September 15
Film Screening @ The Annex