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The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, photo by James Ewing, 1

Artist:  Jennifer Steinkamp
Title:
  Blind Eye
Date:
2018-19
Dimensions:
Clark 43' x 12', Lehmann Maupin 46' x 10.4'
Photo Credits:
James Ewing, Matthew Herrmann
Part of the Collections: 

Thoma Foundation, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Health Sciences at The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

Martin Margulies Collection, Miami, Florida

Exhibition History:

  1. Blind Eye, The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, curated by Esther Bell, June 29 - October 8, 2018, exhibited 1.
  2. Impeach, Lehmann Maupin, New York, New York, curated by Carla Camacho, February 28 - April 13, 2019, exhibited 3.
  3. Womb, Talley Dunn, Dallas, Texas, August 24 - October 26, 2019, exhibited 4.
  4. Art in Our Times, Contemporary Masters, and Philanthropy, The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, Miami, Florida, curated by Katherine Hinds, October 29, 2019 - April 25, 2020, exhibited 3.
  5. The Age of Trees, The Hayward Gallery, London, United Kingdom, curated by Ralph Rugoff, March 4 - May 21, 2020, exhibited 1.

Description:  Blind Eye was conceived to interact with the Clark's 140-acre setting and the architecture of the Lunder Center at Stone Hill designed by the architect Tadao Ando. The art engages with one of the oldest themes in art history nature and landscape. Blind Eye depicts the seasonal phases of a birch grove. The composition is a play on monocular perspective, an inter-exchange of a multiple gaze.

I am fascinated by the recent discoveries that trees communicate through an underground chemical exchange; the Radio Lab Episode where they discussed this was amazing. You can certainly sense the incorporeal in nature. If anything, this is a consistent current in my work. There is so much we can just barely sense and feel; I believe we are surrounded by sentience. I use the tangible invisible forces in air to communicate this, for example, an invisible wind is revealed by the trees movement in Blind Eye.

The title Blind Eye is a play on words: it refers to a tree blind; it also conveys the singular eye scars left on birch trees after they lose their branches; it is seeing with one eye, or monocular vision; there are so many things we turn a blind eye to these days, Trump pulling out of the Paris Agreement is among the most hideous. We are dumping carbon and methane gases into the atmosphere, changing the climate at exceeding rates.

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Lehmann Maupin, New York, photo by Matthew Herrmann, 3

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The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, photo by James Ewing, 1