Thursday, February 28, 2013

Textile Art Installation Opens at the Spencer

Conversation with the Artists
Ann Hamilton + Cynthia Schira

Saturday, March 2, 6-6:45 PM, reception to follow
Spencer Museum Auditorium
Moderated by visiting author Joan Simon

In response to an invitation from the Spencer Museum of Art, Ann Hamilton and Cynthia Schira have mined its encyclopedic holdings to create new works of art for the Central Court and adjoining galleries. The resulting exhibition, An Errant Line: Ann Hamilton / Cynthia Schira, reflects their distinctive contemplations of the Museum's legacy as well as the relation of the handmade to a world increasingly structured by the digital code of zeros and ones.

Schira's installation features sheer, woven, and mesh fabrics. It includes a monumental "word" cloth and ETYMON, woven on a computer-controlled Jacquard loom at the Oriole Mill, abstracted from selections obtained from the Spencer's online collection database.

In Ann Hamilton's work, ghostly figures line the walls of the Central Court, looking like puppets in a gestural drama. Transformed by the way an obsolete scanner "sees," the objects are drawn from the Spencer Museum's collection of Presepio, or nativity, figures, enlarged and digitally printed on Japanese Gampi paper bonded to cheesecloth. A shrouded grand piano awaits the touch of the hand to sound and play scales or songs that might serenade the silent figures.

Join the artists and visiting lecturer Joan Simon in the auditorium for a conversation from 6-6:45 PM. Simon is an independent curator, writer, and arts administrator based in Paris who has written books on both Hamilton and Schira. She served as curator-at-large for the Whitney Museum of American Art from 2004-2009 and as managing editor of Art in America from 1974-1983.

This presentation is sponsored by the Franklin D. Murphy Lecture Fund. The Murphy Lecture series is co-sponsored by the Kress Foundation Department of Art History and the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

A reception follows the talk.