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Stanton MacDonald-Wright , "Oriental" Synchromy in Blue-green, 1918; oil on canvas, 36 x 50 inches; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase 52.8

Stanton MacDonald-Wright , "Oriental" Synchromy in Blue-green, 1918; oil on canvas, 36 x 50 inches; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase 52.8

Sensory Crossovers: Synesthesia in American Art

On View Friday, February 11, 5:30 pm pm–Sunday, May 22, 2011

Anthony J. Sisti Gallery    East Gallery    John R. Oishei Foundation Gallery   

The Albuquerque Museum of Art & History organized the exhibition Sensory Crossovers:  Synesthesia in American Art.  Synesthesia refers to the phenomenon where one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another, as in sound influencing the visualization of color.  Its influence on early- to mid-20th century artists had a profound effect on the modernist art movements in Europe and the United States.  After premiering in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Synesthesia exhibition was presented at the Burchfield Penney Art Center at Buffalo State College in Buffalo, New York.

The exhibition and accompanying scholarly catalogue provide an unprecedented opportunity to consider synesthesia through the work of the 20th century’s most significant artists—luminaries such as Charles E. Burchfield, Arthur Dove, Max Weber, Joseph Stella, Georgia O’Keeffe and Adolph Gottlieb. In a vibrant exhibition that presents examples of distinct sensory crossovers—some celebrated, some previously unacknowledged— Sensory Crossovers addresses the art-historical gap dating from the ideas of Pythagoras, to its resurgence in the early 20th century, to the relationship of sound to contemporary art.  

The exhibition traveling to Buffalo is comprised of 51 works by 26 artists represented by major paintings, and an additional 10 illustrations, plein-air studies, preliminary sketches or drawings, letters and photographs. Guest curator for the exhibition is Sharyn Udall, Ph.D., noted art historian and author.  The full-color catalogue includes essays by Dr. Udall and Nancy Weekly.