“Into the void of silence, into the empty space of nothing, the joy of life is unfurled.” --C.S. Lewis
Although the artwork in this exhibition was created in the BEFORE, we write this in the NOW-- in the midst of a necessary distancing, one that is spatial in nature, but which is felt in the heart as it is in the body, a geographic and logistical separation that pains the psyche and frays the emotions. We have entered into the void; the world is suddenly unknown. Will our bodies and livelihoods survive? When will it end? What will the world look like on the other side? Forced to remain at a distance from each other, we experience anxiety, loneliness, and fear.
The modernist white cube, a distancing mechanism, promotes appreciation of individual works, accentuating them and providing a calm mental state for viewers. It allows the artwork to “breathe.” We are physical beings who like to shake hands in greeting, hug, and reassure with touch. In the absence of such ability, however, can we embrace the potential of our own “white cubes,” allowing ourselves to breath deeper, to calm our senses, and ultimately to appreciate with greater intensity and purpose each individual work in front of our eyes?
The work in this exhibition deals with place, distance, and overlap. It considers what it means to take up space, to embrace the void as well as solid mass. It asks, what is the relationship between positive and negative space, and how do we define such space, in physical terms but also as a judgement of value and worth? It challenges the viewer to walk slowly, breathe deeply, and consider our place in the world, our relationship with our surroundings, and by extension, with each other.
Included artists: Mary Anne Arntzen, Kyle Bauder, Sue Crawford, Liz Ensz, Andrew Flanders, John Herndon, Lilian Bayley Hoover, Jeremy Jirsa, William Knipscher, Nicole Lenzi, Giulia Piera Livi, Zoë Elena Moldenhauer, Danni O'Brien, Anne Clare Rogers.
J. Susan Isaacs, Curator, Art+Design, Art History, Art Education Galleries at Towson University
Erin Lehman, Director, Art+Design, Art History, Art Education Galleries at Towson University