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The Observable Universe: Visualizing the Cosmos in Art

Date & Time

Sun, Sep 29 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Tue, Oct 01 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Wed, Oct 02 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Thu, Oct 03 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM

Fri, Oct 04 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Sat, Oct 05 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Sun, Oct 06 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Tue, Oct 08 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Wed, Oct 09 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Thu, Oct 10 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM

Fri, Oct 11 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Sat, Oct 12 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Sun, Oct 13 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Tue, Oct 15 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Wed, Oct 16 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Thu, Oct 17 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM

Sat, Oct 19 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Sun, Oct 20 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Mon, Oct 21 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Tue, Oct 22 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Wed, Oct 23 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Thu, Oct 24 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM

Fri, Oct 25 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Sat, Oct 26 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Sun, Oct 27 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Tue, Oct 29 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Wed, Oct 30 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Thu, Oct 31 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Address (map)

1130 State St

Venue (website)

S.B. Museum of Art

By definition, the observable universe comprises all matter that can be seen or captured with current technologies. As vast and all-encompassing as that may seem, it still presumes a specific perspective from which all else is viewed and conceptualized—one afforded by the particular viewpoint of being on earth. Our unbridgeable physical distance from other cosmic entities, including the infinite reaches of other galaxies, has forced artists to look to observational sciences like astronomy for inspiration and employ experimental methods to conceptualize the vastness of outer space. In astronomy, there are multiple methods used to visualize celestial objects. Similarly, artists’ perceptions of the universe vary widely, inspired by a variety of cosmological models.

Drawing primarily from SBMA’s permanent collection and supplemented by loans from area collections, The Observable Universe explores a diverse range of artistic representations of the cosmos roughly coinciding with the ‘Space Age’ of the last sixty years. From early fascinations with space travel to philosophical questions of humankind’s place within the larger universe, the artwork featured in this exhibition reflects an enduring captivation with outer space and the mesmerizing imagery that the limitless cosmos inspires.

Image: Michael Light, Southern Lunar Hemisphere, Homebound, Photographed by Alfred Worden, Apollo 15, July 26-August 7, 1971 (detail), 1999, printed 2003. Chromogenic print, ed. 18/25. SBMA, Museum purchase with funds provided by PhotoFutures.

This exhibition will be on view through February 16, 2020.

 

 

 

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