The New Jersey State Museum is proud to present the exhibition, I Am the Cosmos, on view through May 29, 2011. The exhibition, organized by scholar and independent curator Sara Lynn Henry, explores new cosmic art for our era.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, a new mode of art appeared showing astral, spiral, spherical and constellated forms set into deep space. The dynamics of these forms are suggestive of cosmic processes. A large cohort of artists has resonated with recent discoveries concerning the stars, galaxies, deep space, the Big Bang, dark matter and energy. The stunning photographs from the Hubble Telescope (beginning 1994) and from space probes have made the actualities of deep space phenomena more real for all of us. Images from electron microscopes and high-speed particle collisions have opened up new scientific and visual domains. For some artists, recent discoveries have affected directions they were already undertaking; for others it has opened up whole new terrains.
Unlike earlier 20th century precedents, these 21st century artists plunge us directly into the vastness of time and space. Images are more tangible, astronomically and microscopically informed. Outer-space references multiply, suggesting abstracted star fields, nebulae, comets and cosmic webs of macro and micro phenomena. Spheres expand and explode. Fiery clouds of luminous, roiling atmospheres give birth to metaphoric stars. Galaxies spin and points of light congregate in fathomless dark spaces. Movements are elliptical, spiral and curved, rather than the more static idealized diagonals and perfect circles of the earlier art.
Artists included in the exhibition are David Ambrose, Alice Aycock, C Bangs, Paul Brach, Amy Cheng, Kwang-Young Chun, Russell Crotty, David Hardy, Carter Hodgkin, Ellen Levy, Robert Longo, David Mann, Matthew Ritchie, Dorothea Rockburne, Todd Siler, Barbara Takenaga, John Torreano, Sarah Walker and Marlene Tseng Yu. The exhibition is enhanced by antiquarian objects used by astronomers, and by source material from NASA/Hubble Space Telescope.
The exhibition was funded, in part, by the Friends of the New Jersey State Museum through the Lucille M. Paris Fund.