The Walsh Gallery has opened its newest group exhibition, “Working in Wonder,” which will run through Feb. 11, 2011.
According to information released by the university, the exhibit will host various media by artists that have been inspired by the Curiosity Cabinet, a historical era of collecting that occurred between 1500 and 1700.
“Working in Wonder” looks at the connection between “artificialia” and “naturalia,” or man-made and natural objects. The exhibit shows how the Curiosity Cabinet, a product of the Renaissance, continues to influence art, and even contemporary culture.
Walking into the exhibit, one is encouraged to consider the relationship between people and the environments in which they live. The artists aimed to recreate their personal experiences through their art, offering commentaries on society while also expressing the historical influence of the cabinet.
The exhibit displays objects that have long been considered curiosities, like butterflies, rocks, minerals and taxidermy, and commonplace items from modern day life. However, the artists combine the intriguing and mundane in a way that creates something new.
Some pieces seem commonplace but are discovered to be very unusual for the mediums that they utilize, like “Moon” by Tracy Heneberger, which is made entirely from real anchovies sealed and preserved in epoxy, shellac and resin.
The exhibit asks viewers not only to examine closely the beautiful and strange things on display but to use their imaginations in viewing them.
A symposium, “Modern/Contemporary Art and the Curiosity Cabinet,” will take place in conjunction with the exhibition on Feb. 5, 2011 at 10 a.m. on the first floor of the Walsh Library in the Beck Room directly across from the Walsh Gallery.
Lawrence Weschler, author of “Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder,” will give a keynote speech on ” A Natural History of Wonder.”
Other speakers will discuss topics such as Joseph Cornell, The Morbid Anatomy Library, and the work of Damien Hirst.
Kevin Stevens can be reached at email@example.com.
Andrea Aguirre can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.