Trombly’s Trompe-L’oeil

At first glance, the works of Miami artist Frances Trombly represent a new low in conceptual art. A bunch of scrunched-up Publix receipts? A plank of plywood leaning against a wall? A roll of toilet paper? In a gallery space? That’s not art. Is it? But take a closer look and you’ll notice that these mundane objects are all made of fabric. That’s right: Trombly uses materials like cotton to weave, knit, stitch, and embroider into existence life-like plastic bags, tarps, and cardboard boxes. It’s a form of trompe-l’œil that severs objects from their functions, allowing things like garden hoses to radiate uselessly and exert fascination. On her website, Trombly claims that these works pose questions of “feminism, class, and the American way of life.” Or you might think of them as strange quarks that rob other objects of meaning in the same way that repeating a word over and over turns it into nonsense. “Frances Trombly: Paintings,” an exhibition of her heretofore-unexhibited works, opens at the Girls’ Club (117 NE Second St., Fort Lauderdale) on November 30 with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. and runs through September 30, 2011. Free. Call 954-28-9151, or visit
Wednesdays-Fridays, 1 p.m. Starts: Dec. 1. Continues through Sept. 30, 2010

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Girls' Club Collection

117 NE Second St.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301


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