February 03, 2020
ArtCenter Exhibitions announces, SKY, an immersive examination of how humans have conceptualized the sky throughout history, on view February 21 through August 23, 2020 at ArtCenter College of Design’s Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery in Pasadena. An opening reception will take place on Thursday, February 20, from 7 until 9 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
SKY is an exhibition that invites visitors to ponder both the provincial and universal elements of space above and around the Earth’s surface. This group exhibition will demonstrate how the unfolding realities exposed by new science are affecting change in the understanding of ourselves, our planet and beyond.
SKY , curated by Stephen Nowlin, vice president for ArtCenter Exhibitions and director of the Alyce de Roulet Williamon Gallery, is part of the gallery’s ongoing series of exhibitions and programs examining the intersection of contemporary art and science.
The SKY exhibition features works of contemporary art, science artifacts and historical objects displayed equally and side-by-side, blurring boundaries and distinctions between domains usually separated by convention and differing periods of history. The exhibition includes works by Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902), Georg Braun (1541-1622) & Franz Hogenberg (1535-1590), George Ellery Hale (1868-1938), Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), Albert Thomas DeRome (1885-1959), Angel Espoy (1879-1963) and Magnus von Wright (1805-1868). Additional contemporary artists and lenders presented include The European Space Agency, The Caltech Archives, GAIA Spacecraft, Lia Halloran, The Jonathan Art Foundation, Eleanor Lutz, Rebeca Méndez, Laura Parker, Christopher Richmond, Carol Saindon and Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
Like a haiku poem, the evocative objects in SKY probe a provincial Earth-sky duality in which the monotony of celestial clockwork can numb our sensations of appreciation and comprehension. At the same time, science and astronomy reveal greater and more nuanced levels of the sky’s complexities.
“We’ve been distracted by the sky’s above/below illusions and fabrications throughout our long and inquisitive past, by mythologies and dichotomies invented from whole cloth and often lodged in the pictorial spaces of art,” writes Nowlin in his exhibition essay. “Art over time enshrines our habits of understanding the world – habits that carve out beliefs, guard their cultural authority, and become difficult to re-shape,” he continues. “Among those, the provincial dualistic sky’s familiarity and dependable rhythm lulls like a rocking cradle, a drifting complacency, fortifying in us the existential hubris of an immutable universe with ourselves at its center – even as we know better that we are not.”
The SKY exhibition presents works of art and artifacts without identifying wall labels. Visitors are encouraged to experience the exhibition visually prior to utilizing copies of gallery notebooks that provide text augmentation to the objects on display. SKY is accompanied by a 20-page illustrated catalog available to visitors without cost, that includes the curator’s essay and a checklist of artworks and artifacts in the exhibition.
A SKY-affiliated exhibition at ArtCenter’s Peter and Merle Mullin Gallery located at 1111 South Arroyo Parkway in Pasadena, features artist Lia Halloran’s mesmerizing three-channel video installation Double Horizon through March 15.
Partial funding for SKY is provided by the generosity of Williamson Gallery Patrons and a grant from the Pasadena Art Alliance.
For more information:
Williamson Gallery Hours:
12 to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday
12 to 9 p.m., Friday
Closed Mondays and holidays
Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery
ArtCenter College of Design
1700 Lida Street, Pasadena, Calif. 91103
About ArtCenter Exhibitions and the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery: ArtCenter Exhibitions is a program of public-facing curated spaces. Our programs seek to ignite emotional resonance, provoke intellectual dissonance, and conjure unexpected pathways of thinking by connecting art and design with the social, scientific, humanitarian, and poetic dimensions of our time. Galleries include the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery at the College’s hillside campus, Peter and Merle Mullin Gallery at its south campus, and ArtCenter DTLA in downtown Los Angeles. Additional curated spaces include the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography Gallery (HMCT) and Hutto-Patterson Exhibition Hall located at ArtCenter's south campus, as well as the hillside campus Student Gallery.
The Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery has established a broad reputation for exploring the intersection of science and art. Through a nearly three-decade series of programs and exhibitions, it has contributed to the emergence of an international movement among universities, journals, conferences, artistic studio practices, and design strategies that promotes an intensified collaboration between the humanities and sciences.
About ArtCenter: Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, ArtCenter College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. ArtCenter offers 11 undergraduate and seven graduate degrees in a wide variety of industrial design disciplines as well as visual and applied arts. In addition to its top-ranked academic programs, the College also serves members of the Greater Los Angeles region through a highly regarded series of year-round educational programs for all ages and levels of experience. Renowned for both its ties to industry and its social impact initiatives, ArtCenter is the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status. Throughout the College’s long and storied history, ArtCenter alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live and important issues in our society.
Media Relations Director
ArtCenter College of Design