Client: City of Philadelphia Percent for Art office and Philadelphia International Airport
Location: Philadelphia, PA, United States
Completion date: 2017
Artwork budget: $23,000
Arden Bendler Browning
City of Philadelphia Percent for Art office
director of exhibitions at Philadelphia International Airport
original digital print on acrylic with polycarbonate laminate
71 inches by 170 inches.
“Nonstop” was commissioned by the City of Philadelphia as part of its Percent for Art program, for the Philadelphia International Airport.
From curator Leah Douglas:
“Philadelphia artist Arden Bendler Browning is known for creating large-scale, highly energized, gestural paintings inspired by her urban surroundings. Browning’s paintings are mostly abstract, yet include hints of realism, with the suggestion of architectural structures, roadways, telephone poles, and green spaces. Browning’s paintings envelop the viewer with their scale, intensity and sense of movement. Her imagery is derived from photos taken while traversing the city. The photos enable her to see the city from various vantage points and, as she has described, “jump through time and space”.
Browning’s paintings visually capture that sense of timelessness as she often conveys a disorienting landscape where colors and shapes collide and overlap, where only glimpses of reality come into focus. She speaks of the urban environment as ” a vast sea of fluctuating boundaries arguing claim to the demarcation of space”.
The work was commissioned for a new wall in a busy airport terminal. The materials needed to be sturdy and somehow translate the texture, range of color and marks within Arden's paintings to a surface that was not paint, and not under glass. Throughout many review sessions, the work was revised to be slightly more representational, lighter, and referential of Philadelphia.
A submission to an open call yielded an award to the semi-finalist stage. This included an honorarium and a presentation. Initially the proposal was one of the top 5 selected but not one of the awarded finalists. About a year later, one of the finalists withdrew and Arden's proposal was the next finalist work to be selected for completion. The proposal advanced to a presentation to Philadelphia Airport curatorial and building staff along with Percent for Art project managers, and eventually was presented to the City of Philadelphia Art Commission review board. Upon selecting a fabricator, different options of acrylic finishes were presented before the group choose the final surface as the most optimal with glare from a nearby window and protection from scratches. Panels are permanently adhered to the wall but may be reprinted and replaced if necessary.