Universal spirituality converges at UMD's The Art Gallery October 27, 2011- December 9, 2011.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – University of Maryland’s The Art Gallery presents ALIGNED: Paintings by Tobi Kahn. Kahn’s works, though essentially abstract, walk a fine line between the conceptual and representational. The use of simplified yet defined shapes come together to create landscapes that conjure a contemplative environment for the viewer. Many of his paintings appear as microscopic views of landscapes or organic materials.
Kahn’s interest in landscape is particularly profound in his Sky and Water paintings, which focus on the horizon line where sea meets sky. In ALIGNED: Paintings by Tobi Kahn, The Art Gallery will display Kahn’s largest Sky and Water painting installation to date: Thirty-three paintings displayed on a grid, offering a full color study within this body of Kahn’s work. In these works, Kahn plays upon a collective memory of the landscapes that bring together two vast expanses and transforms those memories by depicting them as quiet and simplified. He accomplishes this transformation by using subtle relationships between colors to evoke the familiar terrain. Each painting is thus a color study as well as an incubator for memory, and a space to contemplate this immaterial phenomenon.
Healing, redemption, and self-contemplation are vital themes in many of his works, which are widely displayed in hospital wards and various places of worship. His works also have the unique ability to create a spiritually-charged space that extends well beyond his actual work. This creation of sacred space speaks to a universal spirituality that all audiences can enjoy. This commitment to reach across cultural and denominational lines is found in Kahn’s persistent use of abstraction, distilling the experience of spirituality and memory into indeterminate, yet familiar forms. Observant viewers may leave Kahn’s paintings seeing themselves much like his works: a small fragment of a larger spiritual whole.
Tobi Kahn is a painter and sculptor whose work has been shown in over 40 solo exhibitions and over 60 museum and groups shows since he was selected as one of nine artists to be included in the 1985 Guggenheim Museum exhibition, New Horizons in American Art. Works by Kahn are in major museum, corporate, and private collections. Kahn lectures extensively at universities and public forums internationally on the importance of visual language and art as healing.The public opening reception for the exhibition will be held on Thursday, October 27, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The exhibition will remain open to the public through Friday, December 9, 2011. An exhibition catalog will be available to purchase. Tobi Kahn will participate in an Artist Talk hosted by The Art Gallery on November 17, 2011 at 5 p.m. inside the Art-Sociology Building, room 2203. The Art Gallery is located at 2202 Art-Sociology Building on the University of Maryland College Park campus. Please visit www.artgallery.umd.edu or call 301-405-2763 for more information.
The Art Gallery is supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. Funding for the Maryland State Arts Council is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, which believes that a great nation deserves great art. The gallery is also supported in part by the College of Arts and Humanities, the University, as well as national, state and local arts agencies, foundations, corporations, and private donors.