The Resonant Surface: Movement, Image, and Sound in California Painting
Curated by Erin Stout, PhD
September 11, 2021 – February 12, 2022
The Resonant Surface encouraged us to slow our gaze and to experience paintings in an embodied and immersive way. Musical landscapes, rhythmic abstractions, sound and color experiments, and other multisensory subject matter played with the immediacy of visual perception. The exhibition considered these kinds of explorations in image, movement, and sound in early to mid-20th century California painting. It traced the ways artists have long used painting to investigate the complex nature of perception beyond vision, building connections across time, space, images, objects, and sensations.
Four main themes developed these connections: correspondences, rhythm and abstraction, dynamism and flux, and visual music. By activating our multiple senses—looking, but also listening and feeling—the 26 presented works of art could be experienced as vibrant, interconnected surfaces that “resonate” within and beyond the spaces they occupy.
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