During the Summer of 2015, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts presented Traction Company, an exhibition that took a micro-to-macro look at Traction Company and its twelve members, all PAFA alumni.
The exhibition, which was on view from July 2 – October 11, 2015, consisted of three collaborative works, Truss, subTraction, and Modular Studios, as well as works from each of the individual artists.
Truss, which took up an impressive footprint in the gallery, is a to-scale duplicate of the one of the 19th-century trusses that support the historic Traction warehouse. The group built the sculpture using wood sourced from a now-demolished Philadelphia building from the same era and employed construction methods from the period.
The exhibition included subTRACTION, the group’s first collaborative project that painstakingly recreates their enormous workspace by hand in amazingly precise 1:6 scale miniature. But this is no dollhouse: The contents of subTRACTION includes impossibly tiny power tools, acetylene torches, safety goggles, coffee cups, and work tables covered with wood scraps, clamps and calipers.
Modular Studios, are four 8′ x 12′ studio spaces constructed out of standard pallet shelving and re-purposed materials. The structures can be deconstructed, transported, and reconstructed elsewhere, an act that speaks to the uncertain future of the warehouse.