About this Website

Website Editor, E. Tracy Grinnell
Website Designer, Cliff Rubin – JonasWeb Website Design

Grateful acknowledgment is made to Charles Bernstein, Judith Goldman, HR Hegnauer, Konrad Steiner and Tom White for their contributions to the development of this site.

About Tom White


In Untitled #1336 (Scalapino Nu Shu), 2009-2010, an apple tree covered in black sand is populated with taxidermy pheasants and peacocks. Peacocks were important to Flannery O’Connor, who wrote about and raised them, and saw them as symbols of renewal and the “eyes” of the Catholic Church. The peacocks in Coyne’s tree are brilliant, but rather than preening they seem strangely frozen in time, anticipating. This sense of waiting is embodied in Nu Shu, a centuries-old Chinese writing technique solely for women and used to secretly express loneliness and fear. Knowing this back story gives Coyne’s peacocks something to anticipate—a story told in secret writing to an intimate friend. The title of the work references Coyne’s own friendship with the poet Leslie Scalapino.
—Denise Markonish, curator, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA

Petah Coyne
Untitled # 1336 (Scalapino Nu Shu), 2009–2010
Apple tree, taxidermy Black Melinistic Pheasants, taxidermy Blue India Peacocks, taxidermy Black-Shouldered Peacocks, taxidermy Spaulding Peacocks, black sand from pig iron casting, Acrylex 234, black paint, cement, chicken wire fencing, wood, gravel, sisal, staging rope, cotton rope, insulated foam sealant, pipe, epoxy, threaded rod, wire, screws, jaw-to-jaw swivels
158 x 264 x 288 inches (401.3 x 670.6 x 731.5 cm)
Collection: Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri
© Petah Coyne
Courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York
Photo © Elisabeth Bernstein
Scalapino Nu Shu
Petah Coyne and Tom White in front of Scalapino Nu Shu at the Kemper Museum, Kansas City, Missouri, 2011

Petah Coyne
Untitled # 1181 (Dante’s Daphne), 2004 – 2006
Artificial tree branches and berries, wire, feathers, wax, velvet, nylon thread, shackles, pearl-headed hat pins, spray paint, metal tubing, silk flowers, cable, and cable bolts.
Purchase through a gift from Thomas J. White in memory of Leslie Scalapino, 20012.
Collection: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
© Petah Coyne

Petah Coyne
Petah Coyne
Petah Coyne