Blog / Petah Coyne – The Nasher and Now


By Christine Smith, Nasher Intern

The first time I walked into the permanent collection exhibition hall at the Nasher Museum, I couldn’t help being instantly struck by Petah Coyne’s work. At 11 feet high, her assemblage, “Untitled #1111 (Little Ed’s Daughter Margaret),” was impossible to overlook as its energy seemed to radiate throughout the space.

From far away, it looked like a tangled mass but, upon closer inspection, I realized that it was an intricate composition of tree branches, birds, ribbon, thread, tassels and wax-dipped silk flowers. This piece, actually the Nasher’s first significant purchase, makes a bold statement, especially since the piece is programmed to cry at spontaneous times twice every day. You can read more about the Nasher’s first purchase on the New York Time’s website (

Coyne’s assemblage was the perfect piece to reinvent the Nasher as a modern art museum, and who knew that it would still be so cutting edge two years later? Petah Coyne’s newest exhibition, entitled Vermilion Fog opens at Galerie LeLong in New York on October 24, 2008. This new exhibition features the same kind of large-scale assemblages, composed of birds, branches and flowers, as the one found at the Nasher. Vermillion Fog is based on two overarching themes, Dante’s Inferno and Unforgiven, which draw allusions from literature and film that focus on loss, chaos and redemption.

To read more about this exhibition, visit:

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