Fall 2016 Talks : Spencer Finch

About the Talk

At the core of Spencer Finch’s practice is an ongoing investigation into the nature of light, color, memory, and perception. By utilizing a range of media from painting, drawing, photography, and installation, Finch transforms his own observations of a particular time or place into form. With both a scientific approach to gathering data and a true poetic sensibility, Finch’s installations lie between the objective investigations of science and the subjectivity of perception and lived experience, endowing his work with a melancholy that comes from what Finch describes as “the impossible desire to see oneself seeing.”

His talk accompanies Public Art Fund’s ambitious new exhibition Lost Man Creek, which embodies Finch’s poetic sensibility and investigation into nature’s power to awe and inspire. The installation, a 1:100 scale living recreation of a 790-acre section of the Redwood National Park in California, will be installed at MetroTech Commons for two years.

Finch’s talk at the New School will focus on the artist’s various public and large-scale installations like A Certain Slant of Light (2014-15), a site-specific installation at the Morgan Library inspired by its collection of medieval Books of Hours; Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning (2014), a commission for the National September 11 Memorial and Museum composed of 2,983 individual watercolors representing the artist’s recollection of the sky on September 11, 2001; Painting Air (2012), an installation of more than 100 panels of suspended glass inspired by the colors of Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny; and The River That Flows Both Ways (2009), a permanent installation on New York’s High Line featuring an existing series of windows which Finch transformed with 700 individual panes of glass representing the water conditions on the Hudson River over 700 minutes in a single day.

Public Art Fund Talks at The New School are organized by the Public Art Fund in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School.

This program is made possible in part by Con Edison and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, as well as by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.



The New School

The 66 West 12th Street Auditorium

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Photo Gallery

About the Artist

Spencer Finch (b. 1962, New Haven, Connecticut) lives and works in Brooklyn. Having exhibited extensively internationally, his solo shows and projects include Ulysses, Marfa Contemporary, Texas (2014); Colour/Temperature, Hanes Gallery, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC (2014); Spencer Finch: Yellow, Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ (2014); A Certain Slant of Light, The Morgan Library & Museum, New York (2014); The Skies can’t keep their secret, Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK (2014); Painting Air, Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, Providence, RI (2012); Lunar, The Art Institute of Chicago (2011); Rome, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla, CA (2011); Between the light – and me, Emily Dickinson Museum, Amherst, MA (2011); My Business, With the Cloud, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2010); Evening Star, Pallant House, Chichester, UK (2010); Between The Moon and The Sea, Frac des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou, France (2010); As if the sea should part and show a further sea, Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia (2009). He has taken part in numerous group exhibitions including Light and Landscape, Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York (2012); NEON, La material luminosa dell’arte, MACRO, Rome (2012); More Light, Museum De Fundatie, Zwolle, The Netherlands (2011); Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010); Making Worlds: 53rd International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia (2009); 50 Moons of Saturn, Turin Triennial (2008); Refract, Reflect, Project: Light Work from the Collection, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C. (2007); Light Art from Artificial Light, ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany (2005); and Colour After Klein, Barbican Art Gallery, London (2005). His work can be found in the collections of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.; the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA; the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, IL; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, NY. Spencer Finch is represented by James Cohan Gallery, New York; Lisson Gallery, London; Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago; Galerie Yvon Lambert, Paris; and Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin and Stockholm.

About the Fall 2016 Talks Series

Mining the Minutiae
The fall 2016 Public Art Fund Talks at The New School series brings together a diverse group of artists—David Shrigley, Heather and Ivan Morison, and Spencer Finch—whose practices mine the minutiae of collective experiences.

David Shrigley employs a distinctive comedic tone to dissect the experience of everyday situations and human interaction. Often utilizing the public realm, Shrigley confronts the viewer with his or her own experience, creating an awareness regarding life’s infinite jest. Working predominately outside the gallery space, Heather and Ivan Morison focus on the interaction of people and ordinary things, objects forgotten and unnoticed. Their public interventions focus on the active engagement of common grounds, from histories, sites, and materials to people. Spencer Finch seeks to represent the most elusive forms of experience through the lenses of nature, history, literature, and personal experience. Referring to the fleeting and the temporal elements inherent in all areas of life, Finch mines the observed world to create poetic installations that speak to a shared existence.