The painter Willem de Kooning once said that the idea of space “is given to the artist to change if he can.” And of the real, Robert Rauschenberg opined that a painting “is more like the real world if it’s made out of the real world.” Space in painting is measured on a scale that begins with deep illusion depicting what appears beyond the window of the canvas, and moves successively forward to tangible real tactility in front of the canvas.
Where an artist chooses to work on that illusion-to-reality scale can have meaning in and of itself. And the modern history of those choices can be viewed as a kind of archeology of existential change. The exhibition REALSPACE, opening October 4 at Art Center College of Design’s Williamson Gallery, is meant to reflect on how science intersects with that history. Poeticized by artists and studied by scientists throughout human history, the intractable reality of the natural world is examined by contemporary art and artifacts included in REALSPACE.
REALSPACE will be installed in the Williamson Gallery October 4, 2014 through January 18, 2015. The public is invited to an opening reception on Friday, October 3, from 7 to 10pm. Artists in the exhibition include Adam W. Brown and Robert Root-Bernstein, James Griffith, Dan Goods, David Delgado, Santiago Lombeyda, Rebeca Méndez and Jennifer Steinkamp. Artifacts and writings by James Ferguson (1710-1776), William Herschel (1738-1822), and Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), on loan from The Huntington Library, are also featured in the exhibition that combines works from contemporary art and science. At its opening, the exhibition will be accompanied by a 20-page free booklet and, eventually, a 40-page catalog.