University Hall Gallery

Monster A.  
Victoria Fu & Matt Rich

Victoria Fu & Matt Rich, Comet, 2018

Monster A.  
Victoria Fu & Matt Rich

On view: 9.4.18. – 10.26.18.
Public Reception and Performance: 10.21.18. | 3–5pm

Monster A. features the ongoing collaboration between artists Victoria Fu and Matt Rich, and presents new works inspired by the utilitarian and domestic garment, the apron. The exhibition consists of sewn fabric constructions and neon sculptures; the installation echoes both a traditionally hung painting show as well as a theater of objects that await bodies for activation. The printed fabric collages combine Fu and Rich's respective practices, intermingling painterly and screen-like textures. The objects – absurd, colorful, at times asymmetrical, and political – touch on the performance of labor, uniforms, and gender. Martabel Wasserman argues in her catalog essay, A is for Apron, that with this collaboration, Fu and Rich “work to re-signify ‘labor of love’ from its histories of underappreciated domestic and emotional labor.” 
Fu and Rich are partners, parents, artists and educators. Their collaborative practice is a product of their domestic and studio cohabitation. Rich is a painter whose work is in direct conversation with the history of process and abstraction, whereas Fu is a moving image artist whose work in film, video, and installation grapples with the folding of virtual into physical space. The tension between illusory depth and surface emerges as a shared critical point between their two practices, is explored here in the aprons. While generating images to print on fabric, they documented objects from Rich's studio as well as from their home, and stills from Fu's 16mm film footage (often projected onto the former). 

They began their collaboration by making unique photographic collages, and then arrived at the apron form as the primary vehicle for their collaboration. Beyond the apron's symbolism, Fu and Rich's constructions require intuition, adaptation, and vulnerability in order to be considered as wearable. Viewers are invited to handle and wear certain pieces in the exhibition and experience the work physically. These objects are first and foremost flat canvas shapes, and the immediate reference in the gallery is as paintings. The apron-painting-objects are hybrids, a second skin for the wearer, and also anthropomorphic in their own right with torsos and straps as radiating limbs. As Ester Partegàs puts it in her catalog essay, the "…aprons are body surrogates; they are only in what concerns the front, which is where consciousness inhabits, and all that we consider rational, logical and organized. When the messy and formless threatens, we call on an apron. [...] It represents our shadow in the front, our unconscious and messy side."

The catalog for the exhibition will be made available at the public reception on October 21st, and will include an introduction by Gallery Director and organizing curator Sam Toabe, essays by writer/curator/artist Martabel Wasserman and artist Ester Partegàs, and a commissioned performance script by artist and educator Marcus Civin, entitled Apron Not Flag. The script is meant to activate the artworks, to be performed by UMass Boston students on Sunday, October 21st at 4pm, with public rehearsals on the days leading up to the event. We will announce the exact dates and times here closer to the date.
For more information, or to schedule a classroom visit or private viewing, please write us at:

About the gallery: The University Hall Gallery is a center for visual arts, presenting original and traveling exhibitions for the Art Department, the campus, and the region with an aim to make exhibitions and public programming accessible. Our mission is to serve as a community forum for cultivating pluralism, fostering dialog, and enhancing educational opportunities for the enjoyment of and interaction with original works of art.

The gallery is always free and open to the public.

For more information, please email:

University Hall Gallery is located on the first floor of University Hall, in Room 1220. 
University Dr. N, Boston, MA 02125

NEW HOURS: starting in September, we will be open 12-6pm every day of the week

Directions: University Hall Gallery
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Tuesday 11 a.m. 6 p.m.
Wednesday 11 a.m. 6 p.m.
Thursday 11 a.m. 6 p.m.
Friday 11 a.m. 6 p.m.

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