November 5, 2011 - Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago - Spencer Finch: Rome (Pantheon, Noon, June 14, 2011)
November 5, 2011

Spencer Finch: Rome (Pantheon, Noon, June 14, 2011)

Spencer Finch, “Rome (Pantheon, Noon, June 14, 2011),” 2011.

Spencer Finch
Rome (Pantheon, Noon, June 14, 2011)

On View in La Jolla through January 22, 2012

MCASD La Jolla
700 Prospect Street
La Jolla, CA 92037-4291

Whether grand or subtle, Spencer Finch’s works translate the experience of a place or a perception in time to another realm altogether. His “specific” depictions—the pink of Jackie Kennedy’s pill box hat, the color of his dreams, sunlight in the Pantheon—are unlikely, but perhaps also accurate. His recollections blend scientific observation with poetic gesture.

Often, Finch filters “found” light to bridge an actual locale with a recalled memory. Rather than depict a scene’s physical contours, he evokes the moment and mood of a place by controlling the light with the use of simple color filters. He links locales and actions, which are separated by time and space, through the recollection of sensory information.

At MCASD, Finch connects the architecture of Rome’s Pantheon, with its single circular skylight, to the Museum’s Robert Venturi-designed entry court. Finch approximates the Pantheon’s oculus with an expansive scrim-covered lens, installed overhead. The overlay of Finch’s minimal sculpture brings a geometric clarity to Venturi’s star-shaped lantern. More than a simple play of forms, the installation also filters the clear California sunshine to approximate the quality and color of light Finch experienced on a recent summer’s visit to Rome. Finch’s aesthetic time-travel links place and memory in a subtly enveloping environment.

Spencer Finch: Rome (Pantheon, Noon, June 14, 2011) is being presented in conjunction with Phenomenal: California Light Space, Surface a historical overview of artists working in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s for whom light became a primary medium.

Born in 1962, Finch earned a B.A. from Hamilton College in Comparative Literature and an M.A. in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1989. He has exhibited widely since the mid-1990s, including one person shows at MASS MOCA and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. His celebrated public art project, The River That Flows Both Ways, in the New York City’s High Line park, is integrated into the casement windows along the public greenway.

*Image above:
Courtesy of the artist.
Photo by Pablo Mason.

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
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