Josiah McElheny. The Last Scattering Surface. 2006.
Hand-blown glass, chrome plated aluminum, rigging, and electric lighting.
Courtesy of the artist and Donald Young Gallery, Chicago.
Josiah McElheny: The Last Scattering Surface
April 5 – July 13, 2008
Josiah McElheny has grafted a distinguished art career out of two far-flung strands of contemporary art practice: conceptual art and the studio glass movement. Deploying the most sophisticated and virtuoso glass-working techniques, he makes installations and discrete sculptures that explore crucial moments in the development of modernity, its visual and theoretical undercurrents. Since his celebrated An Historical Anecdote about Fashion, commissioned by the Henry Art Gallery in 1999, McElheny’s work has focused primarily on comparing art to the history of the 20th century. His interest in the history of modern science finds its fullest expression in The Last Scattering Surface. Working with astrophysicists at Ohio State University over several years, McElheny has created a vivid tangible model of the Big Bang, the explosion postulated to represent the beginnings of organic matter. Characteristically the form also quotes visual culture, specifically the gigantic chandeliers of New York’s arch-modern performance space, Lincoln Center.
When he was named a Macarthur Fellow the Foundation described his work as “objects of exceptional formal sophistication, exquisite craftsmanship, and conceptual rigor.”
Josiah McElheny: The Last Scattering Surface is organized by Henry Chief Curator Elizabeth Brown. The exhibition is generously supported by ArtsFund and the Patrons of the Henry Art Gallery.
For more information please visit: Henry Art Gallery