Using glass to explore a range of artistic and intellectual concerns, New York artist and master craftsman Josiah McElheny produces dazzling fabricated objects that address such subjects as the nature of visual perception, the narratives of modernism, and the origins of the universe. A highlight of this exhibition will be McElheny’s most recent film, 'The Light Club: A Women’s Picture' (2012), an evocative and stylized adaptation of the 1912 novella 'The Light Club of Batavia' by German expressionist writer Paul Scheerbart. McElheny is designing a dramatic viewing environment for the film, an enclosed “cathedral”-like cinema space consisting in part of color glass-block windows. The piece will be filmed in 2012 at the legendary Vizcaya mansion in Miami, with voiceover narration by the photographer Zoe Leonard, and it will be post-produced in the Wexner Center’s Film/Video Studio Program. Also on view in this exhibition will be three of McElheny’s works featuring abstract film projections on mirrored sculptures, 'Three Screens for Looking at Abstractions' (2012), co-commissioned by the Wexner Center for the Arts and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. A catalogue produced by the Wexner Center will accompany this exhibition, exploring utopian ideas about modernist architecture and featuring essays by exhibition curator Bill Horrigan and film scholar Thomas Gunning (University of Chicago); shorter texts by visual artists Jeff Preiss and Jason Simon; a commentary by classicist Richard Fletcher (The Ohio State University); and a conversation among Horrigan, artist Doug Ashford (Cooper Union), and curator Helen Molesworth (Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston).
McElheny has been featured at the Wex in previous years, including with the enormous glass “chandelier” An End to Modernity, depicting the Big Bang—part of the reopening exhibition Part Object Part Sculpture in 2005.
Josiah McElheny: Towards a Light Club
Wexner Center for the Arts
The Ohio State University
1871 North High Street
+1 (614) 292 0330
Monday - Wednesday and Sunday: 11am - 6pm
Thursday - Saturday: 11am - 8pm
26 January - 7 April 2013
Photo Credit: Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives