A ceiling installation that senses the movements of its viewers and makes sounds in response; fluid, super-smooth ceramic pottery; texture and words contained in found-object books—all are part of an upcoming Toledo Museum of Art contemporary exhibition meant to engage the senses.
InSight: Contemporary Sensory Works will be on display Nov. 5, 2014–Jan. 4, 2015 in Canaday Gallery and Galleries 8 and 9. Admission is free.
The three featured artists—Pinaree Sanpitak of Thailand, Magdalene Odundo of Kenya and Aminah Robinson of the United States—prove that while vision is the primary sense utilized by art, it is equally capable of stimulating minds through sound and texture.
In connection with the special exhibition, Sanpitak, Odundo and Robinson will each give a free public lecture at the Museum as part of the International Visual Literacy Association’s 47th annual conference, The Art of Seeing: From Ordinary to Extraordinary, which runs Nov. 5-8. The conference brings together artists, researchers, educators, business thought leaders and other innovators for candid conversations about the rising influence of “speaking visual,” or communicating visually.
“The objective of the conference is to demonstrate the applicability of visual literacy—the ability to read, write and comprehend visual language—to all domains, not just to art,” said the Museum’s Assistant Director Adam Levine, one of the conference organizers. “The InSight exhibition is a way to engage world-famous artists in advancing the conversation about how a museum can teach people to look more closely, and, in so doing, have more profound sensory experiences.”
Admission is free to InSight and the artist lectures. Registration is required to attend other portions of the conference. To register, or for more information, visit www.VisLit.org.
The exhibition is made possible by members of the Toledo Museum of Art and sponsored in part by Christie’s. The artists featured in InSight and times of their free presentations are below.
Nov. 1: 3 p.m., GlasSalon
Known for being influenced by the female form, Thai conceptual artist Pinaree Sanpitak presents Anything Can Break, which was recently shown at the 2012 Biennale of Sydney. Origami cubes hang from the ceiling, dotted with glass “clouds” shaped like breasts, all lit with fiber optics. Motion sensors trigger a variety of sounds in response to the movement of people below. The talk is part of her Glass Artist Pavilion Project (GAPP) residency at the Museum.
Nov. 6: 3 p.m., Peristyle
Kenyan-born British artist Magdalene Odundo creates elegant ceramic vessels reminiscent of the graceful curves of the human form. Their smooth silhouettes belie the hand-built coil techniques she uses to mold her thin-walled vases and pots into clean, bold shapes.
Nov. 8: 3 p.m., Peristyle
Using found objects and everyday materials like buttons, cloth and twigs, Aminah Robinson constructs two- and three-dimensional works of art inspired by the community of her native Poindexter Village in Columbus, Ohio. The artist, storyteller and visual historian reflects on themes of family and ancestry in her prints and sculptural books.